Banner Making: From Envision to Completion
HOW ARE BANNERS PRICED?
One of the first things you need to know about banner making is that size matters - the larger the banner the greater the expense! There are different methods of banner making, where the quantity made or the complexity of the artwork, will determine which method is most cost effective. Here we have broken down methods of banner making into three categories with a brief discussion of the cost factors for each.
Adhesive vinyl lettering applied to vinyl banner material
Prior to the advent of large format digital printing, adhesive vinyl cut lettering/graphics applied to vinyl banner material, was the most commonly used method of banner making for short run (quantities from 1 to 10) spot color banners. The pricing is usually based on the complexity of the artwork, number of spot colors being used and the overall banner size. Vinyl lettered banner making is labor intensive. Each vinyl lettered banner requires the adhesive vinyl to be cut, weeded, taped and transferred by hand to the banner. Each additional banner requires nearly the same amount of labor. Other than using an "assembly line approach" to banner making, there are no huge cost savings when making several of the same banner.
Because vinyl lettered banners are labor intensive the difference in cost between two banners of the same size with the same color can be priced quite differently. If one banner has a few letters vs a banner with extensive lettering and/or a complicated graphic, the banner with few letters can be substantially less expensive than the complicated layout. This explains why it is customary that a banner making company will usually want to see the artwork you intend to use before a price can be quoted. The designs of the banner samples below demonstrate this:
Is less expensive than this banner:
Digital print banners
The equipment used to produce digitally printed banners are similar in principle to your desktop inkjet printer. The professional printing equipment employed by banner manufacturers to produce large banners with sharp resolutions are costly and require daily maintenance. These printers print on various banner materials, but most commonly are printed on a materiel made of vinyl, similar to the banner material discussed for vinyl lettered banners. Digital print banners are usually priced based on the overall size and quantity of the banner order. Much like the vinyl lettered banners mentioned above, base prices are commonly priced by the total square footage. Factors that affect the pricing of digitally printed banners are labor costs, ink costs, banner material costs, printer equipment costs, and other operating costs. Once the artwork for the digital print banner is "set up" and ready to print, the price of each additional banner can be slightly reduced, giving the buyer a discount as the quantity rises.
Screen printed banners
Silk screen printed banners are usually priced based on the number of colors, the size of the banner and the number of banners needed. Think of silk screen printing as you would in ordering business cards. You would normally not order only one business card. Similarly, you would normally not just order one silk screen banner. The greatest expense in silk screen banner printing is in the setup and preparation. After the setup is completed, the cost of each additional banner comes down to material costs, ink costs and associated labor costs. Silk screen printing usually picks up where vinyl lettered banners and digital print banners leave off. When quantity spot color banners (all same look and design) are needed, silk screen is usually more cost effective in quantities from 50 - 1,000. However, because of the high set up costs, for full color screen printed banners, pricing usually does not become cost affective until a high quantity is printed.