The Battle of BIG Banners
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SignLab from CADlink


The Battle of BIG Banners

Bigger is better. Big banners can't miss unless they are hung in the woods

By SignIndustry.com Staff

Banners represent a curious phenomenon in the visual communications industry. They have been known to occasion heated discussions at any gathering of sign makers.

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  • For the purists in the sign industry, quality signs are those that are the product of handcrafted materials and methods. The purists hold the view typically that banners are some of the trash of the profession. Banners are the low-end, fast-food products of a profession known for craft and art.

    For the modernists in the sign industry, quality signs are those that are the product of technological know-how and technological equipment. Those who see themselves on the cutting edge of progress hold the view that banners are a reputable part of the more modern, more efficient, and more profitable improvements. Banners are the products for effective advertising. They come with computer hardware, software, printers, plotters, and change. They come with the concepts of marketing, branding, and presence.

    Just image what BIG banners do to a gathering of purists and modernists! Banners that stretch across whole retail buildings in 6-by-50 foot glory. Banners that hang down from a three-story bank building advertising free checking with bold 4-foot letters down a 25-foot sign.

    Big banners-in fact-test even some modernists and their views of the visual communications industry. But think of big banners from the perspective of the customer.

    Big banners are easy to see. They are big. One day the building is just another business in a strip mall or that same old painted glass window or neon downtown; the next day a big banner has changed the visual landscape. "What is different?" asks the population, and it's the banner. Bigger is better. Big banners can't miss unless they are hung in the woods, inside, or in the unexposed alley between buildings.

    Big banners are simple. In fact, they work because they are simple. Single messages, simple words, and direct appeals keep the big banner accessible to the most causal passer-by. In a car, a driver or a passenger may zip by and still catch the new sale, the grand opening, or the brand-of-the-month. Exclamation point addicts can have a field day with big banners.

    Big banners are colorful. They offer a wonderful chance to jazz up a dull brick building or an aging structure. Colors rule in banners. They are king in big banners. The goal is to attract attention. They even generate excitement. Color is the key. Use a big banner's color to contrast with the businesses usual color schemes. Use colors to show change as well as having the banner announce change in its lettering.

    Big banners are promotional. As a new addition to the visual landscape, they are by their very nature a demonstration of something new. The bigger the new banner the bigger the sense of promotion. Bigger is louder. Signs in the window are restricted to the size of the frame. Banners have no such restriction. They can be as big as the building.

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    Big banners offer flexibility. You can change a banner. A new banner can have a new message. A new banner can have new colors and new dimensions. As time passes, events and sales and promotions change. So can that big banner.

    Big banners are relatively inexpensive. They hardly require research and development. The materials are readily available. Rocket scientists are not needed to make even the biggest banner. The big banners do not require the intensive work and time of an army of sign professionals. There is no major fabrication, no electrical work, and no real installation woes.

    Big banners are effective and match up well in comparison to print advertising and media promotion in terms of coast. Big banners represent a fraction of the expense associated with direct mailings, TV ads, and telephone solicitation.

    Whether you are a purist or a modernist in the visual communications industry, the big banner is a part of the sign industry. Customers want them. More customers will want them as the word gets out about their growing popularity and about their cost-effectiveness.

    Perhaps you should think about getting into the banner business in general and the big banner business in particular. Big banners are practical to make.

    While they are durable, big banners tend to have a relatively short life span. Events change, prices change, promotions change. Once customers get into the big banner habit they tend to need a variety of them over short periods of time. That means repeat customers. Repeat customers mean more business and more profit.

    You don't have to give up your craft and art if you are a purist. You do not have to retire your sophisticated software if you are a modernist. Let big banners be a portion of your sign business. Let them be a sign of your shop's flexibility and diversity.

    The overhead is low, and the profit potential is there. And as the customers' buildings are making more and more evident every day, big banners are popping out all over. They are here to stay.

    Let the big banner be a common ground for the purists and the modernists.

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