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5 Design Tips for Retractable Banners

November 07, 2019

Retractable banners are a great way to draw attention to your business, event, or trade show booth. They will help promote brand visibility and are highly portable. Best of all, when they’ve served their purpose, simply retract them into their carrying case for easy transportation and storage.  

If you plan on designing your own retractable banner, we want to share with you a few design tips that you can take into consideration. They’ll help you create the perfect roll up banner which will effectively promote your next event or offerings. 

If you get stuck at any point in time or would like an expert opinion, feel free to give us a call at (206) 284-0809, and one of our expert graphic designers will be more than happy to assist. 

Left to Right 

People in the U.S. are used to reading from top to bottom and left to right. Keep this in mind when designing your graphics and laying out your text. If you get too creative with the design, there’s a good chance that you’ll confuse the reader—especially considering people only look at a banner for a few seconds. They’ll probably ignore it if they have to sit there and decipher it. 

If your banner is a part of an overall marketing campaign, try to build upon the anticipation that your banners create and then deliver via your printed materials or digital marketing campaigns. This will help keep your advertising message clear and cohesive all the way through. 

Overall Messaging

The messaging on the banner should be clear and concise. Now is not the time to go into the nitty-gritty of your event or promotion. The fewer words that you use, the better. Otherwise, people will most likely walk by without taking the time to digest the information. 

The primary goal of your messaging should be to build trust. You can establish this by creating an emotional connection and then delivering on promises. For example, if you’re promoting a trade show, try to have the overall messaging showcase the passion and drive that’s at the core of your company. This helps to create an authentic connection with the viewer. 

A Picture is Worth… 

Images and graphics sell, while words and text tell. A picture can create a much more emotional response than text ever could. Be sure to surround your images with enough white space such that they don’t overlap and confuse the viewer.

If you choose to include pictures, be sure to use ones that have a high resolution. While professional photos tend to work best, if that’s not in the budget, then try to make sure that the images are at least 300 dpi (600 dpi will provide for a much clearer picture). 

Keep in mind that the colors you see on your computer screen might not be the actual colors printed. This is why it’s best to send your file to the sign company that’s printing the retractable banner. They’ll be able to give you an idea of precisely what the final product will look like.  


The call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most essential elements of retractable banner design. It helps provide a subtle persuasion effect and tells the viewer what you would like them to do next. For example: 

  • Inquire within
  • Ask us about the trade show 10% discount
  • Visit us on our Facebook page 
  • Ask one of our sales reps for more info 

All of the above are great ways of persuading someone to do something. The CTA should directly pay off the claim made in the text or graphics. If not, it can lead to disappointment or confusion on the end of the reader. Keep the call-to-action as simple as possible in the least amount of words that you can. Remember, brevity is key. 

Retractable Sign Design and Creation in Seattle 

If you need a retractable banner designed or printed, look no further than McNamara Signs in Seattle. Our expert in-house graphic designers will sit down with you and create the perfect banner that’s sure to make an impact wherever it’s displayed. 

We’ve helped countless Seattle businesses and organizations create the perfect retractable banner for their store or event. To learn more about how McNamara Signs can produce and design your next project, give us a call at (206) 284-0809 or send us an email

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