Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Top Tips for Designing an Explosive Bonfire Night Banner

Bonfire night's just around the corner (5th November) and we're hard at work printing leaflets and banners for firework displays taking place right across the country.

Are you planning a display yourself? If so, chances are banners are going to be crucial to getting punters through the gate, so here's our top tips for designing a boomtastic bonfire night banner...

What to put on a bonfire banner...

The key to successful banners is simplicity. Often viewed from afar, the audience has just seconds to read and understand what the banner's about. With that in mind, keep your artwork simple - only include important information (headline stuff), and if appropriate a web address for more information.

You should always include a background - ideally an image. You'll find some free, royalty free images that may be suitable here. If you can't find anything to blow your mind go for a coloured background (keep it black or dark colours for this one!) as it'll look far more professional than having a white backdrop.

Keep your text clear and simple, and use strong, contrasting colours as this'll make your words stand out more. You should go for a clean font like Arial for your text - serif fonts are harder to read from a distance.

Creating flaming hot artwork...

First off don't forget your bleed. Check the requirements for your printers before you start - some print companies need up to 10mm bleed for banners. Secondly make sure you leave plenty of quiet space (an area around the edge without important text / graphics). We tend to leave around 10cm (100mm) quiet on banners but judge it for yourself - don't forget you'll need to ignore the bleed when judging this. It's also worth checking with your printers what size your artwork should be, and what resolution to create the artwork at.

You should always create vector artwork for banners as bitmaps will be huge! If you have the Adobe Creative Suite go with Illustrator or InDesign, and export the files as PDF. If you don't have CS you could use an online alternative like  Canva or YouIDraw.

Choosing a printer for your bonfire banners...

Banners are made from PVC banner material. Just like paper / card printing, banners' thickness is measured in grams per square metre (GSM). They're usually around 540gsm (avoid anything much thinner if you want it to stand up to the autumn wind for more than 10 minutes). The edges of banners should be folded and stitched (hemmed) adding extra strenth to the eyelets (which you'll use to secure your banner to railings etc). When putting the banner up keep it as tight as possible - flapping around in the wind will damage it very quickly.

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