We're a locally-owned family business dedicated to making our clients look good and ensuring they get amazing value for their investment.

SInce 1995 we've been working hard to create quality custom signs, vinyl banners, graphics, decals, engraved, large format inkjet prints, dimensional logos and other signs in Seattle.

5 Design Tips to Create an Outdoor Banner

September 28, 2018

Outdoor banners are an effective way of getting your advertising or marketing message out to a vast audience.  If they’re designed properly, outdoor banners can make a significant impact on any event or gathering.

There are a few essential design elements that should be taken into consideration if you’re looking to design your banner. Fonts, colors, and mounting considerations can make or break the effectiveness and persuasiveness of banner design.

We’re going to give you five design tips that you should consider carefully when creating your banner design.  If after reading this blog post you’re still drawing a blank, you can always get a professional graphic designer to handle the creative aspect.

Mounting Options

Far too many DIY designers create a beautiful looking banner in Photoshop or InDesign only to have the execution fail miserably when it’s mounted.  One of the bigger mistakes made is having the design cover the entire banner, which doesn’t take into account how it will be mounted and displayed. This results in a banner that looks off due to the grommet holes covering parts of the design.

Another thing to consider is the actual area where the banner will be mounted. Is there a strong breeze that occurs in the morning or afternoons? If so then a mesh banner will help prevent a breeze from catching and causing it to flap wildly in the wind.

Font and Banner Size

Outdoor banners are intended to be big and grandiose. They have to be to capture the attention of people near and far. One of the biggest mistakes people make when designing their banners is choosing the wrong font and banner size for the event.

Consider where the banner will be hung and the viewing distance of the average person who will be looking at it. The basic rule of thumb is ten inches of letter height for every 100 feet of visibility.  This means you’ll need to select a font size that can be easily read and seen from a distance. 

By following this design rule, you’ll also be able to estimate the size of the banner that you’ll need. 

Keep It Simple

The adage of K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, silly”) applies when designing a banner. The average person usually gives less than 2 seconds of attention to a banner. Your message, design, and copy need to be able to be instantly understood in a single glance.

Beautiful, complicated designs may look great on a computer screen, but in real life, they take far too much time for people to look at and attempt to decipher. Nobody is going to stop in the middle of an outdoor crowd to read a banner. People should be able to glance at the banner and immediately understand the message quickly.

Focal Point

The focal point is where the human eye is drawn to when looking at a design. Keep the most impactful aspect of your design close to the focal point. You can also use white space to isolate focal points and help make them stand out on a colorful background.

While the subject of focal points and design is far too in-depth for this blog post, there are several design courses offered online that could help beginner designers get up to speed with the basic elements of effectively laying out an effective or impactful graphic banner design.

Call to Action (CTA)

The most effective banner designs are ones with a clear call to action. You could have the most beautiful banner design that causes people to stop and look up in awe, but if there is no carefully thought out CTA, then people won’t act and the design is not effective.

Put the CTA in a prominent place on the banner and use as few words as possible. A few examples of CTA’s are:

•    Stop by our Shop for a Free Sample!

•    Call Us Today!

•    Visit Booth #101 for More Info!

•    Visit Our Website!

You can also add a pURL, which is a personalized URL that is easy to remember. In this day and age of smart cell phones, people can instantly visit your website from their cell phone.  By adding a form to the site, you can quickly collect people’s information so you or your team can follow-up.

Outdoor Banner and Banner Design in Seattle

At McNamara Signs, we’ve been helping local Seattle businesses and groups design and create persuasive and effective outdoor banners for well over 20 years. We have both the design chops and experience to design and create a banner that will attract attention from far and wide. Give us a call at (206) 284-0809 to learn more about how we can help you.

Back to blog

We're Here to Help You!

Give us a call or stop on by.

Call 206-284-0809
Mon - Fri: 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
14058 Lake City Way NE
Seattle, WA 98125