Types of Banners – A Material Comparison
Banners are an ideal, cost-effective option for anybody who wants to share an important message, spread the word about an upcoming event, or advertise a big sale. The possibilities are endless, but which type of banner material is best suited for specific applications?
This article compares the most popular types of banners - vinyl, fabric, and mesh - to help determine the best material for all kinds of display needs.
Vinyl is the most common banner material - and for good reason. This versatile fabric features several intrinsic properties that make it the perfect option for a variety of different applications.
To start, vinyl is naturally water and ultraviolet (UV) light resistant - making it the ideal choice for extended outdoor use without degrading or fading. The colors printed on vinyl banners will look clear and crisp long after it’s put on display.
Vinyl materials are also available in a range of thicknesses, beginning with our standard 13 oz. options all the way up to more durable 18 oz. products. The size is based on weight per square yard (or 9 square feet). This means a 13 oz. banner weighs 13 oz. per square yard.
For most displays, 13 oz. vinyl is the best bet. It offers a happy-medium between lightweight and durable and all 13 oz. vinyl banners are constructed with a uniquely woven scrim vinyl that provides increased strength.
Mesh banners are made from a special PVC polyester fabric that allows for as much as 37% air-flow. This unique quality makes them the perfect candidate for windy areas and outdoor locations that are meant to be partially transparent. They’re commonly displayed on fences at athletic events or construction zones.
The mesh banner construction incorporates slits that look somewhat perforated as well as intersecting fibers that help maintain a sturdy, printable surface for long-lasting image quality.
When creating a design that’s intended to be printed on mesh, keep in mind that mesh banners actually have less surface area to print on because of the tiny holes that allow for air-flow. This results in colors that appear to be lighter or softer that may be difficult to read at certain distances. It’s recommended that mesh banners are designed with high contrast colors to increase readability.
All mesh banners are constructed with heat welded hems and grommets for increased resistance against strong winds. For added wind resistance and durability, it’s recommended to hang mesh banners with elastic ball bungees.
Fabric banners are formulated with a high-quality nylon/polyester blend that’s both beautiful and functional. This soft-to-the-touch material is lightweight and easy to install as a result, which helps make indoor displays look professional and stylish.
Fabric banners are printed using an advanced dye sublimation process. This cutting-edge printing process uses a heat transfer machine that transforms the ink from a solid to a gas and then dyes the cloth to create vibrant, eye-popping colors. This method produces extremely accurate colors that really pop.
There are also two fabric options that offer a unique look – satin fabric provides a lustrous shine while banner soft has very low shine and offers a more muted display. Both materials are very similar in terms of textile composition, but, depending on application needs, the right option can be a great complement to complete an eye-catching presentation. For example, banner soft might be more appropriate for a long-term indoor display like a championship banner or home decor while satin fabric may be preferred for storefront advertising efforts as the shine could help grab the customer’s attention.
As an added bonus, fabric banners are flame retardant and NFPA 701 certified. This certification allows the banners to be hung in buildings that are required to meet National Fire Protection Association regulations, including many schools and theaters.