There is a simple logic to outdoor print. Enlarge a human face to the size of a building, and people will take notice. Perhaps the scale difference reminds us of how huge our parents seemed when we were toddlers. Or maybe we all have a latent fear that THIS time the face isn’t a billboard at all, but actually a real-life physics-breaking giant that has decided to smile at the driving cars. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that large-format print excels at grabbing attention. If an image is pleasing or relevant, it generates positive business for the person or group that installed the colossal face, or advertisement, or whatever.
In a similar vein, if you print a hundred flags and hang them in a row so that they repeat enough times in a driver’s vision, one identical flag after another, you will certainly insert the message into their brain-space (whether they like it or not). No Freudian explanation required; it just works.
When considering grabbing some of this attention for yourself, it’s important to keep half a mind on what kind of material you’d like to print on. Depending on your situation there are some attractive options both in material and finishing options.
Your substrate or material will usually depend on the weather conditions and budget concerns. Sometimes there is wiggle room, and you will be lucky enough to use Fabric, but other times your options will be limited. The most common hindrances arise when wind becomes a large concern.
Durable, cost effective, and good for double-sided signage. Vinyl is a reliable standby for many projects and a very popular choice. Outdoors, it makes the most sense to using a higher “weight” vinyl, like a 15 or 18 oz.
Britten’s AdMesh is a type of vinyl that is specifically designed for high wind areas. Instead of fighting the extra stress from a large gust, the mesh holes allow wind to blow straight through. However, because of those holes, the banner can be hard to see, especially if the sun shines behind the design. It is also ideal for backdrops, building wraps and fencing.
Popular option for customers in need of pole signs, yard signs, and store displays.
After you pick a substrate, it’s time to take a second look at what some after-market upgrades can do for your attention-grabber.
Regular Hems and Grommets are usually essential for hanging and installing any banner. These are fine for short-term solutions like parties.
If you decide that you need a more long-term option, you should consider hemming that has webbing sewn straight into the banner. This adds loads of longevity.
Wind slits (which are small “U” shaped cuts made in the banner) allow wind to blow through a vinyl banner and reduce stress on the installation, allowing for less wind stress, less reinstalls, and less headache.
So the next time you look at an outdoor ad with a human face that’s the size of an airplane—assuming it’s not actually a Giant—take notice of the material it’s printed on. Notice how it braces against the wind or flows with the breeze. If you decide that you want a giant face of your very own, give a Britten account executive a call and they can help you discuss options.