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What Is Banner Printing?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 16, 2024
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Banner printing is a type of poster printing, also called wide-format printing or large-format printing, used to make banners for a wide array of customers. Large printers known as wide-format printers are used to print on various banner mediums. Banner printing generally employs different paper types, has a much larger size than regular printing, may be printed one- or two-sided and is made to be used either inside or outside.

Uncoated regular paper can be used for banner printing, but this is not recommended because regular paper does not hold the same amount of ink or toner and does not offer the same durability. The most common mediums for banner printing are coated papers in a matte or gloss finish, vinyl, canvas and a flag-like material. These mediums are thicker than paper, offer extra durability and are usually fade resistant.

There is no official size for banners. They tend to start around 12 inches (about 30.5 centimeters) and go up to 10 feet (about 3 meters) for both the height and width, depending on the customer’s needs. Banners can also be printed in larger sizes, if needed. Smaller prints are considered to be posters rather than banners and are printed on larger sheets of regular paper.

Banners can be printed in simplex or duplex, meaning one-sided or two-sided. Simplex is the most common, and many companies that print banners do not offer duplex banner printing. Duplex printing is an option with some companies, and is best if the banner is going to be hung outside where traffic is coming from both directions. The difficulty of printing duplex banners means the price is generally much higher.

Banners are made from specifically weighted material for either inside or outside use. Inside use would include banners that hang on windows or from a ceiling or wall. These tend to display marketing messages or can be used for events such as parties or dances. The material used is thinner, to make it easier to display, and is not made to be durable against outside forces such as strong winds and rain.

Outside banners are hung on the exterior walls of a business or between streets, often via light posts. Exterior banner printing uses much thicker, more expensive material. This thicker material is able to stand up to erosion and will not rip or tear like paper or inside banners. Most printing companies will guarantee their banners for a period of time against showing signs of wear.

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Discussion Comments
By mann — On Jun 22, 2011

I used to work in printing, and while duplex banners are possible, they are hard to do and cost a lot. Honestly, the few times we did duplex banners, we did what seag47 suggested, and glued them together.

Print companies will always ask you to contact them first because they probably don't want to go through the hassle of duplex banners, and because it costs a *lot* more to do.

From what I know, vinyl duplex banners are the most common, but I could be wrong about that.

By seag47 — On Jun 22, 2011

@Oceana - I have been looking for a company that does duplex printing to get my church's revival announcement printed and placed along the highway so that both sides of traffic can view it. I have found that most of the printing companies' websites do not even list duplex printing as an option! I think maybe a better method for people with a small budget would be to glue two banners together back to back.

By Oceana — On Jun 21, 2011

I have been searching for places that do duplex printing to print my new company's banner. I have noticed when looking online for price ranges that most places ask you to contact them for a quote for duplex printing, so I guess it must be significantly higher.

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