Promotional banners differ in shape, material, and design. Some are made for specific events, but many promotional items of this type can be used over and over for different sales. While many people make promotional banners themselves using kits and lettering, some of the most striking banners are made by companies specializing in printing for businesses. These items can be in full-color and may be quite large.
One of the most common types of promotional banners involves printing on heavy vinyl. These vinyl banners are very durable and are excellent for long-term use. A rectangular banner of this type is usually designed to hang across a large area, such as a storefront, and may include a number of grommets that facilitate hanging and prevent the banner from ripping.
Banners made of lighter materials can take a number of different shapes. For example, sail banners are very popular for trade shows and other indoor areas, but are not very good for outdoor use. Standing retractable banners are highly portable and can be made in a variety of designs. Generally, promotional banners made for use at trade shows are lighter and more portable than those made for installation in a store.
The difference between a promotional banner and a promotional flag is minimal, but some people differentiate between these items by how they are hung. Banners are typically suspended by both sides, whereas flags may wave in the wind or may only be supported on a single side. While rectangular shapes are most common, curved designs are also possible for banners and flags.
Printing technique is also a major difference between promotional banners. Current graphics printing makes it possible to design banners involving photographs and other complex designs, but many banners use vector graphics because of the size of the item. Many banner printing services offer design consultation and may offer advice if a design is not of a high enough quality to print at a certain size. A low-tech alternative is to use vinyl lettering on a sign and spell out a message, although this is often not as attractive as printed designs.
Some promotional banners are very unique and fit the needs of specific businesses. Cutout banners made of letters, for example, can be manufactured or handcrafted to express a particular message. Bunting banners are popular in fabric stores and can be made to display messages or sale information as well. In these cases, banners are designed to fit in well with the overall aesthetic look of the store while still getting the customer's attention.