Banner design for print ideas and tips

This page aims to help give you some banner design ideas and tips to help you design your banner for print.

For designing roll-up banners, the preparation of the printing files is not the same as preparing for standard printing of small prints. Traditionally you will concern yourself with dimensions and resolution, which centers around working with 300-dpi (dots per inch), while large format printing does not. It is a a misconception to thinkg that bigger prints need more resolution than normal print jobs. 

The design process for large format printing does not require 300 dpi iresolutions, large just implies just that the medium is big, When designing, the images used on the print are normally only required to be around 100 pixels/inch for most types of banners.

In order to understand this, it is a matter of viewing distance. An A4 paper is typically going to be looked at within half a meter of your eyes, and your eyes can pick up on the pixels if you do not print at 300 dpi. But with a banner, the viewer is usually a few meters away, and it is impossible at that range to see pixels at 300 dbi. In face, they cannot even see pixels at 100dpi, so that is why the lower dpi is absolutely fine for nanners.

If you are looking for a 2m by 4m full-color banner design with photos and text. Consider where is the final image going to be placed and how far people will be away when viewing it. If viewed from less than 1 meter (like a wall mural), then the detail is needed, around 300-ppi (pixels-per-inch) Resolution. So a Photoshop design set at 300-ppi which will create a very large file. Often that file is too big to be used by your graphic tools.

If the banner is going to be seen from a distance, we can decrease the resolution to around 100 dpi. Now we have a much smaller file, perhaps around 200 MB. Keep in mind that if Photoshop is used to create ar large-format file, Photoshop will only handle a maximum design pixel dimension of 300,000×300,000. Since Photoshop CS however, and later versions, there is a specific large-document file format called PSB, which supports this requirements.

For some banner design ideas,  you need to choose the correct banner for you and your target audience. 

Example: A banner design for a roll up banner will be different to a banner design for a teardrop banner.


Types of banner materials

  • Roll up vinyl
  • Teardrop banners/flags
  • Straight edge banners
  • Material / fabric banners

Checklist when planning a banner design

Short catch phrase

Company logo

Contact details either email, phone, web address

Spell check done

Audience specific

Clear font

How to select a banner design idea according to the target audience:

Less is more when it comes down to advertising with banners and flags. You need to clearly show your product and logo while the area you are putting your banner will determine how much writing / information you can have on the banner. 

In a high traffic area, where there is foot or vehicle movement:

*Example: roadside, festivals and faires

*Use less writing

*Make the script bold and visible. Arial and Verdana are effective, easy to read and more efffective.

*Have multiple banners at regular intervals to let the reader absorb the information 

In a slow traffic area

*Example: sitting down in a restaurant, clients in a boardroom, inside a printing shop or in a store showing specials, college campusses

*You can add more information eg a menu of specials, a product list which your company provides.

*The clients are more likely to be able to concentrate on the details, so you could add prices where relevant and more images. 

Advantages of using banners to advertise:

  • Banners are effective, inexpensive
  • High visibility
  • Easy installation
  • Indoor and outdoor
  • Bright and bold
  • Can be repeated in a short area
  • Custom made per company or product




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