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Tips for Designing a Step and Repeat Banner

MARCH 22, 2021| SpeedPro Dayton

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Banners, Flags

If you’re sponsoring or going to or even hosting an event, a step and repeat banner is the perfect way to draw attention to your branding while simultaneously giving guests a professional backdrop for photos. The press or your guests can then share these photos, and viewers will see your logo repeated across the banner. While step and repeat banners may seem simple in their patterned design, getting the design just right requires some careful consideration. Follow these seven tips to create an optimal, customized design for your banner.

1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZED BANNER

When you design your banner, you’ll want to get the right size. SpeedPro can print step and repeat banners in various sizes to accommodate your design. Since these banners serve as a photo backdrop, they need to be large enough that they extend above and to the sides of anyone having their photo taken. You don’t want the top or side edges of your banner to show in photos.

A good rule of thumb is to make your step and repeat banner 8 feet tall. This height typically provides enough space above people’s heads, considering that the average woman is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and the average man is 5 feet, 9 inches. To choose the ideal width, consider whether guests are likely to be photographed as individuals, couples or larger groups. You want your banner to be wide enough to serve as a backdrop for everyone in the photo.

2. GET THE LOGO SIZING RIGHT

One question you’ll quickly run into is, “How big should logos be on a step and repeat banner?” You can err too far in either direction when sizing the logo for your banner. Logos that are too small will be too difficult to decipher in photos. On the other hand, logos that are too big are likely to get covered up by the participants in the photo. Ideally, your logos should be large enough to be readable and small enough that you can see a few whole logos around the people in each photo.

There is no precise logo size that is ideal for all step and repeat banners because several factors influence sizing. For example, more intricate logos will need to be larger to be legible, while simpler logos can be smaller. You should also consider the distance between the photographer and the banner. If you’re creating a large banner for group photos, then your photographer will likely have to stand farther back. This means you should make logos larger to compensate for the distance.

Use High-Resolution Images

3. PROVIDE ADEQUATE SPACE BETWEEN LOGOS

In addition to logo sizing, you also need to think through your logo spacing. Step and repeat banners can look busy if you cram in too many logos with too little space in between them. This can also make it look like the logos are bleeding together, making it difficult to see individual logos.

Of course, too much space between logos can mean people end up with blank space around them in a photo rather than your logo. Provide enough space between logos that they are distinguishable from one another, and keep logos close enough together that you get that pattern appearance and can see logos around people in photos.

4. USE HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES

If you want your design to look clear and crisp on your banner, you need to start with high-resolution images. An image’s resolution refers to the number of dots per inch (DPI) that make up the image. A low image file resolution will result in a grainy appearance when your banner is printed. A higher DPI number will ensure your image remains sharp even when it’s enlarged.

We generally recommend you stick to a final output resolution of at least 100 DPI at full size. Usually, you want to shoot for somewhere between 100 and 200 DPI.  When you send image files to a SpeedPro studio, our experts will make sure the file is suitable for the project.

5. CHOOSE CONTRASTING COLORS

When you’re choosing colors for the background and the logos on the banner, make sure you choose contrasting colors. Otherwise, your logos won’t pop. For example, red logos on a pink background are likely to fade into the background. An off-white or light blue background would be a better choice. If your logo always appears in a certain color, do your best to stick with that color and choose an appropriate background color to go with it.

If you’re including multiple logos on your banner, or if your logo contains a few different colors, you should consider choosing a neutral colored background. Black or off-white tend to be good choices in these instances. Having a colored backdrop and colorful logos can make your step and repeat banner appear too busy or gaudy.

6. FIT THE FEEL OF THE EVENT

General tips and guidelines are helpful, but you also have to determine the best step and repeat for your event. A step and repeat banner for a fashion show or a formal fundraising gala should be elegant and understated, while a step and repeat banner for a children’s concert should be fun and whimsical.

In some cases, you may want to develop special logos or hashtags for your event. This can be a great way to feature your branding while tailoring it to the feel of the event. Hashtags can also help people share their photos on social media in a way that you can track and will help you gain exposure online.

7. TAKE STEPS TO AVOID GLARE

Since step and repeat banners are created to be photo backdrops, you have to consider the potential issue of glare. Glare occurs when light, such as from a camera flash, hits a reflective surface. It will look like a bright, washed-out area in the photo. There are two aspects of your banner you can consider to prevent glare: material and color. A fabric banner is less likely to create glare than vinyl. If you choose vinyl, make sure it has a matte finish rather than a glossy one.

When it comes to color, it’s generally best to avoid a stark white background. White is a great neutral color, but it is also the most likely culprit for glare. You can still choose an off-white background or another light neutral color, like gray or cream. For the best picture quality, you may want to choose a darker colored background since dark colors absorb light and minimize reflections. The better people’s photos turn out, the more likely they are to post them online, helping you raise brand awareness.

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