Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tips for Designing a Banner for Fireworks Night...

Bonfire night is approaching and we're super excited! Living in the foothills of the Mendip Hills (Bristol area) we love the evenings around fireworks night, watching displays across the valley from afar. 

If you're planning a bonfire night party or fireworks display, banners are going to be key to your advertising strategy, so here's a few tips to use when designing your fireworks display banners...

Keep it simple...

When it comes to banners, simplicity is key. They're likely to be used at high traffic areas (such as roundabouts, on railings, buildings etc) and the target audience is usually either walking or driving past, meaning you have seconds at best to be noticed.

Keep your artwork simple, with key facts only and if relevant, a memorable web address for more information. Always have a background of some sort, preferably with an image. If you don't have anything suitable just go for a coloured background with a slight gradient. Even if this gradient just moves around in the same colour palette it'll make the banner look more professional. The text for your banner should easily readable from further away, so go for a font like Arial (sans-serif) and make sure the colour contrasts clearly against your background (white against black instead of grey against black, for instance). For your fireworks display banner, stick with dark colours for the background (here's some free firework themed background images), and either white, yellow or orange for your text.

How to create the artwork

The first important thing to remember is your bleed. Check your printers requirements before you start as some printers need more than 3mm bleed for banners (often 10mm +). You'll also want to leave plenty of 'quiet' space for banners as the last thing you want is for text to look like it's about to fall off the edge of the banner. Go for something like 100mm - or whatever looks right for you - just don't forget you need to ignore the bleed when judging this.

Your printers might not need actual size artwork for your banners as many print at higher resolution to the normal 300dpi, so check with them before you go spending loads of time laying out anything.

You're best off creating vector based artwork for banners (bitmap based files will be enormous!) - if you have Adobe Creative Suite use InDesign or Illustrator and export as a PDF, or if not, you could try something like Canva or YouIDraw.

What sort of banner to go for

Banners are usually made using PVC banner material. Banner thickness is measured in gsm (grams per square metre) and usually start around 540gsm. Thinner banners are available but given our windy climate you'll want it to be as thick as possible. The edges should be folded over and stitched (hemmed) adding strength to the fixing points (which are usually eyelets). If budget allows, get the banner laminated as this both enriches colour, and adds to its strength. When putting your banner up try and keep it as tort as possible - the wind flapping it around is what will break it. If you're in a super windy area (such as a sea front) you're going to be hard pushed to avoid pretty rapid damage, but if your Fireworks Night Banners are only going to be up for a couple of weeks, you should be fine.

Hope that helps!

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Friday, 14 October 2016

How to design leaflets ghoulish enough for halloween

Halloween signals the start of the best time of year! As darkness creeps in earlier and earlier, we embark on a fun filled couple of months during the run up to Christmas. Since I was a kid halloween has become increasingly 'commercial', which presents a fantastic opportunity to booooost business with some ghoulish deals.

Halloween's a super time to get some freaky marketing in there, and one easy (and cheap) way to bring in some extra business is by printing some spooky halloween leaflets.

Tips for designing a ghoulish leaflet...

Start off with a big, ghostly graphic that covers the whole page. This can be your background. You'll find A6 or A5 Leaflets will work well - smaller or larger can be problematic, but it's up to you.

Have a peek here for some free halloween graphics if you're struggling to find something that works. Keep your text really simple, using a large font, and keep colours in the black and orange palette for the iconic halloween pumpkin look.

It's super important that your offer is really obvious - include a big call to action, and measure this somehow (perhaps a discount on presentation of the leaflet) so you can see the impact your long fingered leaflets have had.

Our favourite size for leaflets is A5 - the space means the image can do all the talking on the front, keeping the detail on the back. This'll make it more eye catching and you may see a better return.

We also prefer a nice gloopy glossy finish to keep the colours looking deep and bright, and never forget to include 3mm bleed on all sides for the printers.

Lurking leaflet vs freaky flyers...

People call them different things, generally speaking though, a leaflet is printed on thin paper (around 135gsm) and a flyer is printed on thicker card (300gsm+). It's entirely up to you which you go for - flyers will be more expensive (obviously) but their rigidity means they'll last longer and be harder to chuck away. For us, the pick of the bunch is a nice 130gsm gloss leaflet - you'll find 1000 to be as cheap as chips (well, 15 portions of chips, that is).

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