In this article, we explain how to design a vinyl banner – for free!
What is a Vinyl Banner?
Vinyl Banners are made from inexpensive PVC banner material. The banner can be hand-painted or sign written or decorated with vinyl-cut lettering and logos. More commonly, vinyl banners are now printed using super-wide large format printing machines, with some able to print at up to 5 metres wide in full colour.
Vinyl banners are durable, cost-effective and can be used indoors or outdoors. They are typically used for short-to-mid-term outdoor promotions by any type of business, including shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels and outdoor events.
The decorated vinyl banner is usually finished with hems and eyelets and/or pole pockets to fit it.
How To Design a Vinyl Banner
When printing at enormous sizes, your artwork needs to be in high resolution to avoid the finished banner looking blurry and pixellated. Rather than using bitmap images, which suffer when enlarged, professional vinyl banner printers use PDF, EPS or Vector artwork, usually designed with expensive industry-standard software packages such as Adobe Illustrator, part of the Adobe Creative Suite.
Other solutions are available, including Corel Draw, Canva and more. However rather than saving your designs in their native formats, you should always save your files as high-resolution PDF files before sending them to a banner printing firm.
Design Your Vinyl Banners Online – For Free!
Banner World, the UK's leading Banner Printers, has recently launched a free Online Design Tool for customers to use.
Easy to use online designer
Banner World's online designer is straightforward to use. Unlike Vistaprint and similar online print-on-design sites, their online designer is unique. Rather than a set template, they gave their clients complete control, meaning you design your artwork from scratch. So let's begin with creating artwork for a banner.
Select your product
Firstly you need to select a product. Once you have chosen your desired product, enter your banner's size and required finishing, i.e., hem and eyelets, pole pockets, etc. Now that you have selected the size and finishing, select the ‘Design Online' option shown on the artwork section. The Online Designer window will load a new artboard and safe area to match your size and finish. Please wait for the designer to load, which can take up to 30 seconds.
Basic Controls (LHS desktop / Top on Mobile)
Below is a description of the basic controls:
Background colour: Select the desired colour.
Text: Add text.
Clip art: Choose from a wide range of clip art.
Backgrounds: Choose from a wide range of backgrounds.
Upload: Upload images and vector logos.
Save: Save, Load, share and Print.
Other controls (Bottom Left)
Undo: Undo a change
Redo: Redo a change
Tools ( Bottom Left)
Align: Align Objects
Above: Move selected object above (Move forward)
Below: Move selected object below (Move behind)
Flip: Flip an item vertically or Horizontally
Copy: Create a copy of an object
Paste: Paste a copied object
Zoom (Bottom Right desktop only)
+ Zoom: Zoom in closer
– Zoom: Zoom out further
Begin your design
You are now ready to create your design. You can now create a simple design and proceed to the checkout within a few minutes. Below are explanations of how all the controls work.
Select Background Colour
Select the paint drop icon and choose from a range of background colours.
Use the text tool. Enter your text required into the box. If you require your text on two or more lines, simply press return after each line required. Click the add button to add the text to your design. You can edit the text once it is added by selecting the text. To select the text, click the text item on the artboard. If you want to add another text set, you will first need to unselect your last text box by clicking on the background. Once the text is unselected, you can click the text box and follow the instructions above to add more text.
Select your typeface using the font options box. Next, choose from Bold or Italic using the checkboxes underneath. Please note: Italic and Bold are only available on limited fonts. Use the coloured boxes to select the font colour and an outline colour if required. Letter spacing and line spacing can be adjusted using the sliding bars. Use text effects to add text on a curve, slant, and other effects.
Bounding box / Selection tool
Each item you add to the design is controlled using the bounding box shown around the item on the canvas. When you have an item selected, the bounding box will show. You can adjust the size of a selected item by dragging out the bounding box using the bottom corner arrows. The bottom and side arrow will stretch the item, while the bottom corner arrow will resize the item to scale. Use the bounding box to resize, rotate, stretch and lock the item by selecting the relevant icon on the bounding box. You can use the bounding box to move the type to another position by simply clicking and dragging. Also, to help with alignment, lines will show when clicking and dragging, making it easy to centralise objects.
If you wish to add clip art, then use the rosette icon. We have 1000's of clip art available. Clip-art isn't allowed past the artwork safe area. Some clip art is colourable, meaning you can change certain clip art to suit your design. If an item is colourable, you will see a colour selection box appear once you have placed an item on the canvas. You can ‘Replace Artwork' or ‘Add Another' by clicking the relevant boxes. If you wish to remove a clip art, simply click the bin icon on the bounding box.
We have a selection of background images. Background images can go past the safe area. Please note that we only print the artboard area, meaning the faded background shown beyond the safe area will not be printed. If you require to fill the entire background with an image, sometimes it's best to zoom out using the + & – symbols at the bottom right of the designer. Then you can drag out the graphic to fill the entire canvas.
You can upload pictures, images and logos. You can upload the following formats. JPG, PNG, SVG, EPS and PDF. Once uploaded, you can resize and move the artwork using the bounding box controls.
You will need to accept a disclaimer before proceeding. The disclaimer will appear every time you upload an image or file. Please ensure that you upload images that are of acceptable quality to you. We cannot be held responsible for poor quality images being uploaded to the designer.
Save Share and Load
Use the save, share and load button to print, save and reload a saved design. One thing to remember. Because each artboard is bespoke, you must use the same product, size and finish to open a saved design. A difference in artboard size, product or finish will mean your saved design isn't suitable, so it isn't loadable. We always advise creating your design and then adding it to the basket. You can always come back later and checkout once an item is saved in your basket.
The tools controls are situated at the bottom left of the page. Here you can align, move objects above and below other objects. You can also copy and paste items and also flip items horizontally and vertically.
Proceed to checkout
Once you are happy with your design, click the ‘proceed to checkout' button. Once clicked, you will have the chance to add notes regarding your order. Please carefully check that you are happy with your artwork before clicking proceed to the checkout; you cannot edit the artwork once you have proceeded. You can now checkout and complete your order.
For professionally printed vinyl banners, BannerWorld.co.uk offer the best prices in the UK. Get instant quotes with registering, order online and receive your banners within a few days.