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Creating Communities: A Street Banner Guide

Published on
September 17, 2015 at 11:51:00 PM PDT September 17, 2015 at 11:51:00 PM PDTth, September 17, 2015 at 11:51:00 PM PDT

Carrot-Top recently sat down with our Creative Manager, Latasha Anderson, and our Web Coordinator, Tabetha Carnahan, to discuss the benefits of street banners in any community and effective banner design. Latasha is a graduate of the Raleigh Art Institute and has over seven years of experience as a graphic designer. Tabetha has over three years of experience at Carrot-Top in sales and has led our website marketing efforts for the last two years. In addition to answering our frequently asked questions, we have an online Comprehensive Street Banner Guide that provides further assistance to our customers.


Q: What advantages do street banners offer to schools, cities, towns and counties?


Tabetha:   Street Banners serve multiple resolutions to different communities. Public and private schools use them at their athletic fields to showcase sponsors and student athletes. Street banners are commonly used to identify student bus and car rider locations to promote safety and awareness of pedestrians.  They can be found in various parking lots to identify visitor, teacher and student parking areas.


Universities and colleges have similar needs but typically on a grander scale. Anyone who has lost their car as a freshman in the massive parking lots quickly learns to look for the parking lot name and row number on the light pole banner before returning to their dorm. Athletic field street banners easily identify the different seating sections, allow sponsors advertising space, and spread school spirit with their mascot or logos. Light pole banners on campus help identify buildings, emergency phone locations, and provide student and visitor guidance.


For cities and counties street banners build and promote community and tourism. There may be a single design for all banners displaying the city or town seal. These banners may be used year round. They may recognize an important community member, local military hero or historical event significant to the neighborhood. Some towns and cities will use different seasonal banners and change them out a few times a year. Avenue Banners also allow local businesses to advertise their location in the community. We have worked with many towns to create a street banner sponsorship program  which involves adding each business’s name to the bottom of the banner. Remember a town is only as successful as the businesses it hosts, so supporting each other is the key!


Q: Are there branding opportunities with Street banners?


Tabetha: Yes, The branding opportunities with street banners are limitless. Banners not only give information but they also help shape your location’s identity. A well done banner makes people smile and feel comfortable about where they are and what they belong to-- whether it’s a school or city. Our banners help create communities and reinforce a school or town’s personality. They are the first things guests and residents notice and first impressions matter so it is important to make them count.


Q: In terms of overall design, what are some of the things customers should keep in mind when ordering?


Latasha: When it comes to creating an effective street banner, there are a few key elements to keep in mind: Legibility, Visibility and Graphics.


Q: What do you mean by Legibility?


Latasha: Text height and letter size are both key components. If the banner contains wording, make sure the size of the text is sufficient for the viewer. Ensure that those with “normal” vision can understand and read the lettering and any symbols. Choose a font that fits with that particular business or school and make sure it is legible. San serif fonts are typically more legible-- but keep in mind readability.  Capital and lower case letters are -generally easier to read when using a serif font. If possible, having a combination of the two provides a visual hierarchy that helps differentiate information faster and easier. Our team of designers is well educated and experienced in typography. We inform our customers on what will be legible when we send their proof for approval. If there is a concern, we will instruct your representative to discuss the options with you before we proceed.


Q: What are the issues with visibility? 


Latasha: Keep in mind the area in which you are planning to hang your banners. Think about the colors of the surrounding buildings, trees and landscape, and anything else that can have a direct impact on the look of your banner. For example, you wouldn’t want to design a banner that contains a lot of green if it’s going to hang in-between trees. This can cause your banners to become overshadowed. If you would like colors suggestions that are complimentary of your environment, you can send us a photo of the areas in which you plan to hang them. We are happy to help you make the most of your banners.


Q: What Graphics should be considered?


Latasha: Graphics are the most important element of the street banner design process. There are many different areas that one has to consider to ensure that the intended message is being presented. Color, Contrast, and Photographs are all important.


Be aware of the color combinations. Some colors “vibrate” off of one another making it harder on the eyes (i.e. red on top of blue and vice versa). When these cases come up, it’s best to use either black or white to “ground” the colors. An example of this would be a blue banner with red lettering outlined in white. The white outline allows for the reader’s eyes to rest and adjust to the new color. The shades of the colors are just as important!


Contrast is the difference between lighter and darker areas in the design. Having a banner with lighter text and borders on a dark background is considered a positive contrast and makes the banner easier to read. Keep the message and design simple. It’s tempting to fill in all of the space available, but too much information can distract the reader. A good rule of thumb is to keep about 30% of the banner blank. Address the most important details for your design.


If you want to use an actual photograph on the banner, it needs to be of the highest quality. Banners are typically very large scale items and if the resolution of the image isn’t high (300dpi or higher), the image will print out blurry. The photograph should also be large in size. Sometimes if the resolution isn’t as high but the image is large enough then it can still be used.


If you are looking for some inspiration for your next street banner design, check out our online gallery and brochure! For assistance ordering street banners for your school, city or community contact any of customer service representatives by calling (800) 628-3524. Let our expertise guide your way to building your community.