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Author Topic: Banners  (Read 8368 times)

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Offline Rob

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Banners
« on: May 08, 2010, 01:56:02 PM »
Anyone know what's up with these things? Have any experience getting them printed?

So far the info I've gotten tells me that the file document size of a banner is one to one. So if you want a 5 ft by 2 ft banner you have to make your document size in photoshop 5 feet by 2 feet with a little bleed.

That sounds a little nuts. I mean who draws that huge?

And the DPI for printing is usually 300+ but the one place I've spoken to so far is ok with 150 DPI for banners.

Anyone having any useful information on banners would be appreciated. If you draw and ink traditionally and scan your art in (for a banner) that info would be of particular use.

Offline JGray

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Re: Banners
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 03:11:52 PM »
Information needed: is this a large format printer or a large format press? Printers are generally more forgiving when it comes to DPI. In either case, Illustrator is your best friend. Vector art scales nicely.

Offline Rob

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Re: Banners
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 03:27:51 PM »
Yeah Corey made it pretty clear he doesn't remember any of his Illustrator training (and I've never had any to forget). As for the printer I haven't settled on one yet as for some reason every major printer that does banners in my area... and there are quite a few of them... are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Corey has that Con next weekend and we wanted to try and have a banner by then but it's looking less and less like that's going to happen (with the file not being ready and the printers all closed) but if it does happen it will be a rush job during the week from someone local. I can't imagine any of the on line sites getting it to me by Thursday.

Offline Rori

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Re: Banners
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 04:17:30 PM »
Hi Rob, Hopefully I can help.

The required ppi of the file depends a lot on the process and materials. If you are getting something large printed on a slick material with a laser or photo process, you need a higher ppi. If it is inkjet based, that is much more forgiving. Anything on fabric (which would most likely be a dye-sublimation process) would also be pretty forgiving. Honestly? I've seen things at an effective ppi of 60 turn out just fine--especially if there are smooth gradients (like in a photograph) and not a lot of hard contrasts. If you are running into resolution problems still, putting a slight border around the banner usually looks pretty good, and can reduce the picture enough to squeeze some extra ppi out of it. Also take into consideration the environment that the banner is going to be in, something very noticeable up front can virtually disappear at 5 feet (I don't know if this is a hanging banner or a pop-up banner).

Hopefully this helps, I know all of this stuff because I used to work at a trade show graphics company doing digital pre-press and currently work as a designer for a company that offers these things. (and unfortunately, unless you know a really awesome printer, Thursday is a bit short turnaround, spring/summer is also trade show time, so most place are probably pretty busy).

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Offline lastres0rt

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Re: Banners
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 07:42:08 PM »
As far as drawing at XYZ size goes: You don't HAVE to draw super-huge if you know what you're after.

Vector art is good, and being able to get away with a lower DPI helps a LOT -- something at 150 DPI will print out twice as big as something in 300 DPI. (You ARE working in 300 DPI to begin with, right?), and likewise, if you can do 60 DPI and it still looks awesome... well, you're downright golden.

Make sure to do the ten-foot test with all your work as well -- you probably only need to draw a relatively small amount (or at least a simpler drawing) compared to how much of the rest of the space is taken up by text (which is easy to do big) and other design elements.

Also, if you can do vector work, reducing the number of colors will also bring the costs down since they can do vinyl cuts much cheaper than four-color printing. I got a huge 4'x2' banner done for $40 this way, and it's aged pretty well alongside my art so far.

Offline Rob

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Re: Banners
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 08:30:27 PM »
Yeah I'm looking to get a "front of table" banner made for conventions. That's pretty much what I'm after. And it looks like i'm going for the vinyl thing with the grommets in the corners.

I was looking at GotPrint:

http://gotprint.net/g/welcome.do

but obviously the turnaround time isn't going to help me for next weekend. It's weird though if you go to their templates they require 300 DPI but in the same breath say a minimum of 150 DPI is required.

So I called them and asked for clarification and they told me that because the banners are so big they are only required to have a DPI of 150.

But they also said the document size must be one to one. In other words, the five by two foot banner I want must be five feet by two feet (plus the bleed) in the document size in Photoshop. That is a HUGE honkin' document and not all that easy to manage when you are trying to move it around and color it and whatnot.

Anyway, I tried soliciting other opinions from local printers this week and was surprised to discover that they are all closed on Saturday and Sunday. Personally I find it to be a kind of lunacy to close your small business on weekends but I guess they know the cost benefit.

So I'll find out more from some local folks on Monday. Thanks for all the input though. For now we'll work off of GotPrint's requirements and hope they are close enough to a local printer's requirements that we can get it done this week. If not then we can always send it off to GotPrint and we'll get it in plenty of time for Connecticon in July. I Hope.

Offline lastres0rt

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Re: Banners
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 09:19:42 PM »
Local printers turn around much faster, though... I was able to put in an order on Tuesday and pick it up Thursday.

So, you might luck out and still get it in time if you're working locally.

Offline Rob

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Re: Banners
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010, 09:51:55 PM »
That's the hope.  ;)

Offline TTallan

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Re: Banners
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2010, 10:09:47 PM »
I wanted something for a con this weekend, and I also was feeling a little leery about what my art would look like all blown up to banner size.... I opted to go the cheap route, and if I hated it I wouldn't have wasted a lot of money. Staples/Business Depot can print posters up to 24" wide, and since the paper on this machine is a big roll, they can print to any length you need. It's shiny poster paper, so not something that's going to last and last, but I wasn't ready to invest in vinyl anyway. I printed up a 24"x36" poster, it cost me $30 CAN, and it took them about half an hour to print from my file that I brought in on a key drive. Maybe something like this might be a good option for you if you're in a hurry?

Offline JGray

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Re: Banners
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2010, 06:36:20 AM »
Most Kinko's/FedEx Office's can print banner on vinyl with sun resistant inks for relatively cheap and often in a few hours or less. They'll even grommet the darn thing for ya. Or, at least they could five years ago.

Offline Rori

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Re: Banners
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2010, 11:49:24 PM »
Got Print does good work! I'd definitely recommend them. I'm not sure how large of a population center it is where you live, but there are several print shops in St. Louis (mid-size metropolis) that would offer a pretty quick turnaround, esp. if it's inkjet on a standard size banner (which Kinko's used to, and maybe still does, usually more expensively). And remember, you can always print "as-is", also, you can get a proof (it'll cost you $10-$40, average, though) if you want to be thorough.

Good luck!

Offline Cary

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Re: Banners
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2010, 04:39:08 PM »
I've run the gauntlet of banner creation so I'll chime in here.

My first banner was done at Fast Signs, and while they did a great job and were impressed that I showed up with a print ready illustrator file in hand, the banner was on a plastic coated paper rather than vinyl which sucked. It had grommets and all and worked for one show, but I scrapped it after that and decided to do vinyl. The cost was decent, the turn around was same day, and I was pleased because it was more or less a last minute thing and I needed it fast.

Shift a year down the road and I'd moved hell and gone from anything close to a real city. I once again needed a banner. So I looked around, didn't feel like the 1.5 hour drive into Houston, and went with a local print shop. It took them six days to do a job they quoted for 3. When it was done what I had was great for a yard sign type thing, but sucked ass for conventions. It was...horrible. We ended up hot gluing velcro to the back of it to even get it to look halfway decent and we went with it because at that point we had no other choice. If it weren't for my wife and her craft skills I'd have been well and truly screwed. (Thanks honey!) Cost wise it was more for the vinyl than the Fast Signs version, and I liked it even less. Plus the people there acted like I owed them something and should be GLAD they got it done in 6 days even though they said 3. Note to self, NEVER tell them when you need it by, because they'll stretch it out whenever possible. You need it yesterday!

So, another year gone by and I'm freakin serious now. I want something long term, and awesome looking. I saw a guy's table set up at a con and immediately knew I wanted to fully rip off his idea fromt he ground up. So I just walked up and said "Hey I like your table banner, where did you get it, I'm about to copy you!" He laughed and gave me a website and we were best buds after that. Turns out I didn't go with the folks he got his from, but from another even less expensive place that does similar work. What I've got now is a fully silkscreen printed 4 color logo on an 8 foot table throw that can be used all the way down to a 4 foot table. It's washable, color fast, and that thing looks AMAZING! I haven't set it up at a show yet since all our shows this year are later in the season due to my soon to be born son coming right in the middle of con season! (I still say he did this on purpose but my wife's lobbying heavily on his unborn behalf.) When I set it up I'll take pictures and post em up, but trust me when I tell you, this thing looks bad ass! Cost wise, it was a good bit more expensive than either of the banners I bought before, but by the time you factor in what I spent on both of them, I paid less for the table throw and I got an infinitely better product. Plus, I can still use the not so pleasing vinyl banner elsewhere so it's not a total waste like the paper one was.

The moral of my story is, pony up and buy for the long term. You'll be happier.

Offline Rob

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Re: Banners
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2010, 04:49:34 PM »
And the other, less expensive place you used was....? ;D

Offline Cary

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Re: Banners
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2010, 04:54:37 PM »
And the other, less expensive place you used was....? ;D

See I KNEW the minute I turned my back you were gonna ask me that! I actually had to dig it out of my gmail...which seems to have taken on a life of it's own.

www.premiertablelinens.com

I can locate the other folks but they're one of the top items on a google search of "table throws" or convention promotions.

Offline Rob

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Re: Banners
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2010, 04:56:08 PM »
Thanks I was actually pricing out this very thing today. Now I have a recommended place to start. Much appreciated.  ;)