If you have been keeping up with our blog you will have read our previous article “why buying a heavy banner material might not get you as much as you expect” and will already have a deep appreciation for the importance of base cloth in banner material.
The big clue when choosing the best material types lies in the single word “outdoor”. The substrate must display characteristics that are suitable for both the environment and the duration. Regardless of whether you need an enormous building wrap for six months or signage for a week long music festival, you want to know that the banner you order will be fit for purpose.
Whether or not a digital print media should be fire rated is an important consideration when choosing a material for a given job. You would be surprised by the number of times we have been asked about the fire-retardant properties of a product after the job has been printed, often at the point of install. Whilst a banner by the side of a road may pose no significant risk in the event of a fire, graphics being installed at an exhibition centre will almost certainly need to be fire rated.
When you are looking for a banner material surely the weight of the material is a clear and easy guide to what is the best quality? 510 grams is more than 440 so it must be better. Unfortunately, the market is no longer that simple and weight can be a red herring when it comes to run ability, durability and machine and ink compatibility.
The coating of a banner material is there to give you an attractive look and feel, but it is also there to hide what is inside, or what isn’t. To understand what you are buying and if it will be suitable for the task at hand you have to understand what lies beneath the coating. Much like people, or a jam sandwich, the important stuff is on the inside.
For a printer, the perforated nature of mesh banner material opens up opportunities in the outdoor banner market. Typical applications are building wraps, stadium and fence dressing as well as replacing a frontlit banner where wind loading is a factor or where an alternative look is desired. Air Flow rates of 25 - 65% are typical of what is available.
Grand format, or super wide, banners are the kings and queens of banner because they stand out and are readable from a relatively great distance. Well-designed event, stadia branding and building wraps provide cover up of otherwise unsightly buildings and structures and offer excellent opportunities to overlay and project the look and feel of the event or project.