Types of Banner Materials to Choose From

DECEMBER 18, 2019| SpeedPro Cleveland West



Types of Banner Materials to Choose From

When it comes to custom banners, you can choose between several materials. The two leading materials for banners are vinyl and fabric. A fabric banner will provide you with a high-end product that viewers are sure to admire, while vinyl banners are cost-effective, attractive and durable.

In addition to the two main types of materials, there are a few sub-categories of vinyl you can choose from — calendared, cast and mesh. Each of these types has its own benefits, making it crucial for you to know the difference between them so you can choose the right one for your needs.


If you’re considering vinyl as a surface, you should know the different vinyl options available to you, along with their ideal locations and their benefits. The area in which you want to install your banner will help determine which vinyl substrate is right for you. Wherever you decide that you want to install your banner, you’ll want to make sure you are picking a base that will ensure stability, strength and a long lifespan for the display.


Cast vinyl is a type of vinyl that begins as a liquid mixture and then is heated to become solid. After being heated, it takes a fabric-like form and has a thin and flexible surface. Despite its flexibility, it’s still incredibly durable. A cast vinyl banner will last for years, even if it is located outside, exposed to the elements and inclement weather.


If you select calendar vinyl, you are choosing a traditional base that resembles canvas. As the graphics and letters are imprinted onto the signage, the base material is rolled through printers. Due to this process, the substrate is more rigid and thicker than most vinyl, making it perfect for use on flat surfaces. Calendar vinyl banners are versatile but are not meant to be bent or stretched when displayed.


A mesh base is perfect for banners that need to be placed on fences.

Mesh vinyl is the material you need to go with if you want your banners to be translucent. A mesh base is perfect for banners that need to be backlit, placed on fences or designed for two-way visibility on windows. As the material is perforated, the mesh vinyl lets in light, sound and wind. You can still see the visuals on the banner, but they don’t block your line of sight into key areas of your facility or grounds.

Mesh vinyl is a great outdoor signage option as it’s incredibly durable and holds up well against the wind. The permeability of the banner allows for the wind to pass through without causing too much billowing. As the excessive movement that results from wind can damage banners by putting stress on it, mesh vinyl is the ideal material for banners that are going to be outside and exposed to wind.

Generally, mesh banners are used for parks, construction sites, storefront windows and other outdoor locations. They allow for quick setup and have a great deal of versatility. Ideal surfaces include walls, ceilings, fences and windows.


Another benefit to vinyl banners is that you can customize them in various ways beyond the type of vinyl you use. Some of the options you have for customizing your banner include:

  • Shape: While you probably think of banners as coming in a rectangular form, it’s not the only shape that they can take. For example, shield and cylindrical shapes are favorites of those looking to switch up the appearance of their banners. For a less obvious change, you can go with a square design rather than the more narrow rectangular shape of a typical banner, depending on your design needs.
  • Size: Banners range in size from small, in-store options to large custom banners people can easily see from far away. Whatever size you choose, the banner will maintain the same level of quality.
  • Graphics: Vinyl banners are an excellent canvas for graphics and custom messages. There are a variety of inks that you can use to bring your branded colors, images and messages to life. Printing high-quality images on your banners can help make them eye-catching and memorable.
  • Display type: Along with choosing the material of your banners, you also need to decide what materials will hold your banners. There are several ways for a banner to be displayed, with all of them requiring different materials. Do you want your vinyl banner mounted to a pole, attached to a banner stand or hung by grommets? Deciding this will impact how the banner will be paired with the materials holding it.


Benefits of vinyl

Vinyl has several advantages that make it the go-to material for many banner printing needs. The following are some of the key benefits that you should be aware of:

  • Weather-resistant: One of the best qualities of vinyl is its weather resistance. Most vinyl is practically waterproof, and that’s why it’s often used to make rain jackets and shower curtains. Due to its waterproof nature and durable construction, many companies place vinyl banners outside their buildings. No matter the weather or other environmental factors, you can expect vinyl banners to maintain their high-quality appearance for a long time.
  • Colorful: Vinyl is a material that you can trust to be conducive to vivid colors. Vinyl backgrounds produce a banner that makes a strong impression, with bright and colorful inks that pop. Whatever your needs, you won’t need to worry about vinyl being unable to handle whatever colors you throw at it. The range of color options is especially useful for business vinyl banners used to brand a space.
  • Convenient: Vinyl is also easy to display, with vinyl banners being easy to roll up, fold, set up and take down. Their lightweight design also allows for easy transportation. With vinyl banners, you’ll be able to take them from destination to destination with ease, which will prove indispensable if your company regularly attends trade shows or hosts conferences at a variety of locations. With vinyl banners, all you’ll need to do is attach it to a banner stand or hang it by grommets.
  • Affordable: If you select vinyl, you can be confident that you’re making a cost-effective move for your company. As much of print media in the same price range of vinyl is not outdoor-grade, you’ll be getting more bang for your buck by going with a vinyl banner. Vinyl is both durable and attractive, making it an outstanding choice for a company on a budget that wants to look as professional as possible.
  • Versatile: Vinyl can be used for a variety of applications, from large hanging banners over entrances of buildings to vinyl decals on the sides of cars. You can use them inside or outside, and they come in a variety of sizes, making them useful for a variety of purposes.


Another material you can choose for your banner is fabric. One of the most popular forms of banners, fabric custom banners come in standing and hanging styles. Generally, these banners come with a frame stand that you can slip your pillowcase-style graphic over to put the fabric banner into place. The fabric banner material can also be pushed into a frame that has silicone-lined edges. These banners are appropriate for indoor and outdoor materials.

Due to their transparency, fabric banners are also a favorite of companies who want to add backlighting to their banners. By illuminating the fabric, the banner becomes easy to spot and acts as a 24/7 advertisement for the business if kept outside. Whether you want backlighting or not, fabric banners are very popular across the signage industry, and they are often a wise choice for companies in need of high-quality signage.


Fabric can be used for a variety of applications.

Using fabric banners comes with several benefits. Many companies choose fabric when they are looking for an impressive, iconic look for their banners. Below are a few of the reasons that companies choose fabric:

  • High-quality: Fabric is designed to be a permanent fixture, and viewers can tell. Fabric banners are made with materials that give them a long-lasting appearance. The material transforms any space, giving a more polished look to the location that it’s housed in. With fabric banners at your buildings or grounds, you’ll present yourself as a high-end company.
  • Long-lasting: When you select a fabric banner, you can be sure that you are choosing a banner that’s designed for the long haul. If you are planning to use a banner repeatedly, such as for event signage or a long-term installation, then you’ll want to select fabric banners. Even when placed outdoors, the graphics on fabrics will hold up to the elements for years without becoming damaged or lose their appeal. For dye-sublimated graphics on fabric, you’ll even be able to wash the material to keep it fresh.
  • Versatile: You can use fabric for a variety of applications and display types, and you can customize these displays to accomplish various purposes. Depending on what you need, you can adjust the fabric’s size, type and shape to accomplish your goals. Like mesh vinyl, fabric is translucent, making it a great fit for backlit displays.
  • Convenient: Fabric banners are easy to display, and they’re a convenient option for most of your banner needs. Setup is fast and doesn’t require expertise. They’re also incredibly portable, making them a great option if you regularly attend trade shows or conferences that require transportable signage. You can even fold many kinds of fabric banners without worrying about them wrinkling.


Fabric banners are used at many different kinds of locations and events. A few of the most popular are:

  • GraduationsFor universities and even some high schools, graduations draw huge crowds. To celebrate graduates’ accomplishments and help promote a school’s brand, banners are the way to go. They help promote the institution and instill pride in the crowd for the graduates.
  • Outside businesses: If you own a business that relies on foot traffic, a fabric banner on the exterior of the building will draw people into your store or office space. This form of signage is useful for getting the attention of people walking or driving by, making them aware of your business’s presence.
  • Conferences: When you’re hosting a conference, a fabric banner is one of the best ways to welcome people into the venue and brand the conference space. You can also use banners both inside and outside to spread the word about the conference.
  • Retail stores: In retail stores, you can use smaller fabric banners to share your latest promotions and advertise your newest products. These banners can provide customers with important information and encourage them to make purchases.
  • Trade shows: Establishing a presence at a trade show is key if you want to be successful. A banner can be used to separate your booth from the competition and draw visitors to your exhibit. Additionally, a fabric banner will add a professional, elegant appearance to your booth that will make a good impression on those who are visiting your display.
  • Community events: If your local community is throwing an event, such as a music or art festival, you can use fabric banners to decorate the event space. Additionally, you can use the banners to advertise to community members who may not have been aware that an event was happening that day.


If you’re considering adding custom business banners to your company’s advertising and branding strategy, SpeedPro Cleveland West is here to help.  Call us at 440-879-2224.

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Jeff and Lori Kolenich