General Banner Questions and Answers:
1. What is the normal turn around time for a banner order?
The turn around time depends on the order. In all cases, we get the job done as fast as possible. For an average job, the turn around time is 2-3 business days after customer approval, but it all depends on size, quantity, availability, etc. We always try to meet any of your deadline requests.
2. What exactly is a Vinyl Lettered Banner?
These are very simple banners that consist of mostly lettering. Different colored adhesive vinyls are cut to the outline of a letter or simple shape and then applied to the surface of a predetermined size standard colored blank vinyl banner.
3. Is there a standard banner size?
Since we are a custom sign shop, all our orders are different and unique, and usually don't have a set standard size. If you are unsure of the size your banner should be, pick up the phone and give one of our friendly banner consultants a call, they will be happy to assist you and direct you towards choosing an appropriate banner size.
4. How long will your banners last in the weather?
Our vinyl lettered banners should last 3-5 years of outdoors. Our full color Dura-Tuf outdoor banner can last up to three years even when permanently installed outdoors. Our high resolution, standard QS-XLT digital indoor/outdoor banner will last indefinitely in an indoor environment and outdoors for several months at a time under normal weather conditions. For long term outdoor use our Non-Rip standard digital print will last for years.
5. Are your prices competitive?
When comparing apples to apples we believe our prices are very competitive. We always put out the highest quality for the same price as our competitors. We will never sacrifice quality for price.
6. Do you ship to our location?
We ship to anywhere in the United States using UPS as our common courier. If you have any special shipping requests or would like to inquire about alternative couriers, please give our customer service department a call at (866) 267-4467.
7. How long will it take before I receive my banners?
This depends on two factors...Banner Type and Shipping Location.
1). Banner Type: QS-XLT digital banner, Non-rip digital banner and Posters (2 - 3 business days); Pre-print banners (usually within 1 business day); Dura-Tuf digital banner, Mesh banners, Light Pole banners, Wind/Flag banners and Silk Screen banners (5 - 7 business days). Larger orders may require a longer lead time.
2.) Shipping time. We are located in Orange County which is situated in Southern California. Normal UPS Ground shipping times range from 1 - 5 business days depending on your shipment destination. Please inquire about expedited shipping if you need your banner before normal production and shipment transit times.
8. What banner material should I use for my banner?
Choosing a banner material mainly depends on how you will be using and hanging your banner. Our most popular banner materials range from 10 oz. - 15 oz. depending on the type of banner you order. Nine times out of ten our regular QS-XLT and Non-Rip banner material works for just about any banner need, but please call if you have any questions concerning choosing a banner material, we are here to help (866) 267-4467.
9. How large should I get my banner?
We can make banners to almost any size that you need. The best rule of thumb is to determine how far away your viewing audience will be and make sure the lettering is large enough for reading. Please refer to our artwork page for help with this subject.
10. How long can I expect my banner to last?
This again depends on what banner you are ordering and the environment you will be placing it in. Most all of our banners are geared for indoor and outdoor use and should last for up to 3 years in normal weather conditions. Indoor banners should last a lifetime without fading. Banners that are placed in inclement conditions (ex: long hours of direct sunlight or in extremely windy) will have a considerably shorter lifespan. And please keep in mind that proper maintenance plays a factor in your banners longevity also.
11. How should I store my banner so it lasts longer?
All banners should be rolled, NOT FOLDED, and placed either in its original packaging box or in a safe spot where it won't get trampled or smashed. If you fold/flatten banners, they can develop permanent creases, which will affect the look of your banner.
12. What are grommets?
Grommets are circular "Brass Eyelets" that are that are placed into the material for proper installation when hanging a banner. The grommets allow for many different hanging options to be installed wherever needed. Always be sure to secure your banner by all the grommets provided to insure a proper installation. The grommets help disburse the weight of a banner evenly to avoid any possible issues that could destroy the look or integrity of your banner.
13. Is ordering on your internet site secure?
Absolutely! We provide an extremely secure internet ordering system with an SSL encrypted server for all our online orders. We've been in business for 25 years and have never encountered any problems with our secured online orders.
14. Can I place an order over the telephone?
Absolutely! Give one of our friendly sales representatives a call, during our operating hours M-F 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. , at (866) 267-4467 and we'll get your order placed and produced in a quick and timely fashion.
15. What's the difference between stitched banners and non-stitched banners?
There is actually not much of a difference between the two. Stitched banners can give the edges of a banner a little more durability, but other than that, our straight cut edge (non-stitched) banners and our stitched banners are practically the same. They utilize 13 oz. banner materials and will last the same amount of time as each other.
16. How are your banners finished?
Our regular QS-XLT standard banner and Non-Rip banners have straight cut edges (no stitching) with grommets in all four corners. For regular banners over 6' in length, you will need to add extra grommets to the banner, to properly hang the banner. The rule of thumb is to have extra grommets installed at 2 feet intervals. Our Dura-Tuff stitched banners are hemmed and grommeted all the way around with grommets placed every 24" - 30".
General Questions and Answers about Banner Artwork, Files and Preparation:
1. How should I save my artwork files?
Vector is the overall preferred file format to submit for all art files. But, bitmap (raster) format files, will work perfectly for any digitally printed banner. Please call a customer service representative (866) 267-4467 if you have any questions, or submit your artwork for a FREE review by clicking on our UPLOAD or GET A QUOTE options on the home page.
2. What's the largest file size I can email you?
We can accept up to 64 megs through our site. If you have a file of a larger size we suggest you ZIP the files and send them that way, or call our art department at (866) 267-4467 to arrange other means.
3. What is Vector art?
Vector art is like line art. If you'd put a pen on a piece of paper and draw, the lines would be vector shapes. Circles and squares are simple vector images. Our "knife" blade plotter cuts vinyl film by following the trace of the vector images.
4. What programs let me save in vector formats?
Adobe Illustrator, In-Design and Corel Draw are the major software makers out there offering vector based programming. Photoshop, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files are not vector based and can't be cut to shape.
5. What is a Raster Image?
Raster is more of a photograph, with gradients, soft meshes, textures, etc. Not just spot color shapes as described above (vector art). You could not cut out a raster image out of vinyl. Raster images are usually printed as 4 color process prints.
6. What programs let me save in raster formats?
Adobe Photoshop is the predominant raster image software product on the market. Also files that have placed images that are created generated in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint programs.
7. When do I save a raster image, and when do I save as Vector?
Vector is the file format you use when the image is made with paths and fills. It's the only format you can cut vinyl from. Raster would be used for photos, complex images, gradation colors and all other images containing more than two or three colors. Raster images can only be printed. Vector images can be printed and computer cut.
8. Can you help me layout my banner?
We sure can! We can certainly give you suggestions, and layout ideas, but we do require "ready-to-print" artwork, or fees can be incurred. Art fees are determined by the complexity of the design, not the actual banner itself. If your banner will require any design or art fees they will be assessed and provided to you for approval before or during the ordering process. In any case, whether you provide print-ready artwork or need help with design, you will be provided with a visual proof for approval. When design help is necessary we will take what you want to say, and give you a proof to your exact specifications and will sometimes provide an additional "suggested layout", as a second alternative. Please call a customer service representative (866)267-4467 for any questions regarding this subject.
9. Can you match my colors?
In most cases we can come close to matching your desired colors. However, in many cases what you see on your computer monitor will not match the printed image. All printed colors react differently on various mediums (i.e. Vinyl, Paper, Polyester, etc.) When banner making, we can come close to the colors you want, but can't guarantee they will be an exact match. If exact colors are needed, please consult with our customer service representatives, for further details (866)267-4467.
10. What print process do you use on QS-XLT digital prints?
We use an extremely high quality 1440 dpi 6 color printing process. This process uses CMYK plus LC and LM. All RBG files submitted will automatically be converted to CMYK, which can cause minimal to drastic color ships, so please adjust your files before submitting your artwork.
11. What fonts and vinyl lettering colors are available?
Our font database consists of hundreds of different lettering styles. You may submit artwork using any font and if we do not have that font we can try to match it (you may also submit your fonts in a true-type format for us to use.) Our vinyl lettering colors run the normal spectrum of standard colors...white, black, red, blue, yellow, green, orange, etc. Please call or submit your artwork for a color and font comparison. For customers that don't have artwork and need to choose colors and fonts, please see our Font List and Color List, to gain a basic idea of your options and choices.
12. What banner color/background choices do I have?
Digital banners are printed on white vinyl material and can literally have any color background, since they are printed directly to the material in a CMYK format, that covers all spectrum's of the rainbow. Our vinyl lettered banners come in six standard background colors: black, white, red, yellow, blue, and green.
13. How should I give you my artwork?
It all depends on what kind of product we are producing. If we are producing banners with 1, 2, 3, or 4 spot colors, the best format is a vector file. In most cases, if you can give it to us as a vectored file format, we should have no problem working with your artwork. If we are producing banners by printing raster 4 color process images, almost any file format saved with a high resolution (72 - 150 ppi at full size) will work just fine.
14. Can you print from any Microsoft ".doc, .ppt., .xls" files?
The Microsoft platform is not intended to be used for graphic design. Generally we can't print large format signs from files submitted in those particular formats. We can, however, use them as a guideline for re-creating a vector or raster based image to print.
15. What programs do you use to print your signs.
We use proprietary sign making software. But if your curious, we use Gerber Omega and Roland Versa Works for most of our vinyl cutting and digital printing. We use the common layout and graphic design software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, In-Design, etc.) as "bridge" software into our sign making programs.
16. Why shouldn't I use my web site images for signs?
Web images can be great if they are high resolution images and very large in size. Unfortunately, most web designers strive to make images load quickly on web sites, thus making the files very small and compact. For an image to load quickly, the file size is usually small and the resolution is usually only 72dpi. When this small image is enlarged for sign making, the overall quality is usually very poor and results in a very blurry or pixelated image. Also, all web images are in a raster (bitmap) format, which can only be printed and not vinyl cut (see raster vs vector artwork).