Banners are the step-child of traditional paper media. They’re not really on paper to begin with, but they have to fulfill a role much like that of a sign and a flyer and whole bunch of other things. Some times your banner is doing several of these things at once, and you still have to have one that looks decent (and doesn’t suck).
So come with me as we discover all the reasons your banner sucks, and it does, probably. I mean I haven’t seen it, but I have a pretty good idea that it does.
1. Banners! What are they good for? Absolutely…
If you thought I was going to say ‘NOTHING!’ well I’m sorry to disappoint. That song has just been in my head the last few minutes and I decided to take it out on all of you in order to exorcise it from my brain.
But that brings up a good question. What are banners good for? They’re good for lots of things, like I mentioned above, but allow me to expound. Sometimes your banner functions as identifying signage. ‘This is my business,’ it says. ‘I’m limited to logos and branding only, and maybe a phone number and email at the bottom where it isn’t too obtrusive.’
See, that’s a banner that knows its place. It does its job. It’s good for something. Depending on the setting you’re using your banner in, you have to decide what’s most important to put on your banner, because chances are, unless you’re marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it’s going to be the biggest print media piece you have on you at the time.
2. It’s Big… Too Big
Big banners are only good for hanging from ceilings, these days. If it’s the size of a door or larger, you may have just brought a bazooka to an arm wrestling match, and that’s not good sportsmanship.
You should start with knowing what dimensions you have available, first. Then you can go on to getting your banner doing it’s job. But giant banners are often harder to read than regular sized ones, and can just be cumbersome, hard to hang up, and more of an eyesore than they are an attractive feature of your business or booth or the like.
3. You Put Dates on It
Okay, I’m going to get some disagreements here, because sure, you could put the dates for your event on it if you had to. But why would you? Think about it for a moment.
Say you do this event every year. Do you always do it on the same date every year? Good. Then go ahead and put the date on it. But if not, you could save yourself time and money next year by leaving it off, or making it more generic (e.g., “always the first weekend in June”). Unless you have the budget for it, telling people the details of your event is your job.
4. It Stands Alone
Banners go lots of places. Store fronts. Trade show Booths. Tailgates for parades. Trade show booths. On your business facade as a replacement for your broken signage. Trade show booths…
I can’t help but think of trade show booths, or booths in general really, whenever I think of banners. People just overuse them in those contexts, I think, and it’s probably because of branding dependence and insecurity over engaging with potential customers (another symptom of Small Business Addiction). Either way, your banner cannot stand there by itself and do everything for you. You need a living, breathing human being there to do the leg work. Your banner is just there to help passers by know that you’re that creepy chiropractor they saw at that last small business health fair, and that they should probably avoid you again unless they want to end up with a stiff neck for three weeks like last time.
5. It Just… Sucks
No creativity needed with that header. Sheesh.
Invest in quality materials people! Banners can be pricy, and so can the stands and other paraphernalia that go along with them. But you shouldn’t put your banner up on a camera stand with dental floss and climbing carabiners. Seriously. I did that once. Not. Pretty.
If you’re not going to get a quality banner printed, at least put it up with a nice stand or display. And if you’re going to go the extra mile and make your banner look amazing, don’t stick it to the wall with chewing gum.
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Do you suffer from small business addiction? Do you suffer from any of the following?
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