Connie Blokhuizen, Product Manager, Banner Products, for Avery Dennison Graphics Division Europe, outlines the company’s response to a resurgence of interest in this ‘traditional’ display medium
One of the fastest-growing areas of ‘below the line’ advertising is the use of banners for both indoor and outdoor point-of-sale and display applications. Their popularity has been driven by the extraordinary range of possibilities opened up by today’s wide-format digital print. As one of the leading companies in display materials and with over fifty years’ experience in self-adhesive vinyls, Avery Dennison Graphics Division was among the first to transfer their technical know-how to banners, and is now able to offer companies with a digital print facility a comprehensive range of substrates to suit every occasion. Our two core ranges, Avery Jupiter and Avery Saturn, are complemented by specialties in our Avery Multi-purpose Inkjet and Avery Inkjet Print Media ranges .
A comfortable familiarity
There is a comfortable familiarity about a banner: there can be none of us who has not raised a banner of some kind using cord or cable through eyelets. In fact, there is nothing very much more technical about the application of ‘professional’ banners today: grommets and cable are still the usual solutions, though extruded frames over which banners can be stretched are also an option. It is, however, in the choice of the banner substrate that the technical decision lies.
There are many factors to be considered when deciding on a suitable substrate for a particular banner application. Graphic design, environment, life expectancy, size, and method of installation are the most important.
If the banner’s content is intended for viewing at close range and features a lot of detail, Avery Graphics advise the use of a smooth banner substrate: Avery Saturn 4000 Ultra Smooth would be an appropriate choice. The larger the viewing area, and the greater the distance from the audience, the less important the surface of the substrate becomes.
The characteristics of the banner location are a key consideration. Will the banner be hung indoors or out? If outdoors, is the site windy, or facing directly into the sun? Will the banner be exposed to any airborne pollutants, or to extremes of temperature?
The Avery Jupiter and Avery Saturn product ranges offer a four-year life and five-year life respectively for indoor applications, and, depending on substrate type, from six months to three years in outdoor situations. However, it is important to remember that manufacturers’ statements on durability can only take account of the substrates themselves. Durability will change with the application of inks, and different inks react differently with the banners.
Wide-format inkjet using solvent or second-generation eco-solvent inks is the print technology for which most banner substrates – including Avery Jupiter and Saturn – are optimised. Good aesthetics can be achieved on all types of substrate, but, for really consistent results, we would recommend using ICC profiles. In most cases, a general banner profile as provided in your RIP software will do the job, but Avery Graphics also offer some special profiles on our website.
Many banner substrates make printing and handling easier through the addition of a protective liner – but when printing on unsupported mesh products, it’s important to bear in mind the possibility that small quantities of ink could penetrate through the mesh and contaminate the printer. Check manufacturers’ recommendations.
It is worth noting, too, that two Avery Jupiter qualities – 3150 Frontlit and 3200 Backlit -- are also compatible with the dedicated computer-cuttable self-adhesive Avery 1200 Banner Film and with Avery 4500 Translucent Films..
Finally, I need hardly add that to avoid expensive reprints it is sensible to test the combination of banner substrate, inkjet printer, and chosen inks prior to commercial production.
Finishing and installing
The conventional, traditional methods of banner finishing remain the standard today – stitching and grommeting, plus the newer thermal/high frequency welding processes for seaming a large banner. All Avery Jupiter and Saturn products are compatible with these methods, except for mesh films, which are not suitable for thermal seaming.
There is a belief in the industry that, for windy outdoor sites, cutting ‘wind slits’ in the banner will help the banner from being blown off its fixtures, but we do not recommend this, as it can overall weaken the structural integrity and cause premature faying or tearing of the banner – particularly in cold temperatures. Your banner substrate should have been chosen with the exact environmental conditions in mind, both in terms of the substrate’s strength and the suitability of the fixture method used for the prevailing conditions.
It’s important to take care of your finished banner during transporation and installation to avoid damage. We recommend placing the wound banner, printed side inwards, in a protective tube. Best visual and functional performance will be achieved if all four corners of a banner are secured.
Finally, a good-looking banner will stay good-looking for longer if it is cleaned now and then with a non-abrasive cleaning solution with a pH range of 3-11 (within mild acid or mild alkaline limits): anything more aggressive might damage either the substrate or the print.
Avery Jupiter range
Avery Jupiter banner substrates are our workhorse range -- suitable for all kinds of short-life promotions, indoors and out, and for both digital imaging and computer signcutting.
Their laminated surfaces give exceptional visual whiteness for high-impact print. Offering low shrinkage and B1/M2 fire rating, they are weather- and tear-resistant, can be stitched or grommeted according to requirements, and are available in a range of qualities that comprehensively meet the needs of every type of application: frontlit, backlit, mesh, and blockout. They will find ready use in short-life signage, curtains, building wraps, and point-of-sale as well as in ‘traditional’ banner work.
The high-performance Avery Saturn Banners range includes, as I mentioned, an ultra-smooth quality as well as frontlit, backlit, mesh, and blockout PVC banners. They offer high-resolution print, B1/M2 fire rating, and excellent finishing qualities. They are the choice for long-life, multi-colour printed banner applications at the ‘high end’ of the market.
Avery Dennison Graphics Division Europe is committed to providing a one-stop shop for signmakers and digital printers, and these two ranges of banner substrates demonstrate not only that commitment, but also our partnership with digital printer manufacturers and ink suppliers in jointly developing products that deliver the results our customers – and their customers – want and deserve.
Available in a choice of popular roll widths from Avery Graphics distributors throughout Europe, Avery Jupiter Banners partner the premium Avery Saturn Banners range in Avery Dennison Graphics Division’s ‘one-stop shop’ for digital print media. For further information, visit the Avery Graphics website at www.europe.averygraphics.com.