Whatever you call your roller banners -pop up banners, cassette banners or banner stands - roll-up banners are one of the most popular and effective ways of promoting a company’s brand.
Stood to attention everywhere from hotel receptions to motorway service stations, I can guarantee you’ve probably walked past one already today.
And if you’re visiting an exhibition hall, then just take a look around…
They may all look similar - the same type of mechanisms, same looking cassettes, similar plastic type printed film - but look closer and you’ll see that the printed graphic on view can be on a wide range of different media.
But what’s the difference between all the roller-banner products available?
Polyester (PET) film is the most stable option for a display film.
It’s much less prone to the edges curling and will remain flat when stood upright for the length of the promotion.
Its usually only available in a grey-backed version and is the most expensive of the alternatives but if you and your client are looking for roller banners that will last, PET is a clear choice.
In recent years a number of manufacturers have been combining PVC with PET to produce a two-part film.
Hybrid films use PVC for cost reductions but still keep PET in the mix for stability.
Any long campaign that would have previously always used a full PET film, now a hybrid film could perform the same when costs need to be tightened.
PVC Roller Banner Media
After the full PET films or the hybrids, arrives PVC.
The coatings on a PVC film will be close to those of the PET versions.
It’ll be able to hold plenty of ink to create a punchy high definition print.
If your design has plenty of colour, make sure you pick a product that can take the ink load.
To make the absolute most out of your media, talk to us about profiling the film to your printer. Not only will it save ink, but it will also visibly show a superior end result.
PVC is still relatively stable and should remain flat for the duration but, if the roller banner is going to spend its life being pulled up and down in service-stations around the country, go for a PET for that extra durability.
Whilst on with the subject again of edge curl, not all the reasons for it can be attributed to the media.
As well as media choice, another main culprit for the edges of roller banner film curling is incorrect tension on the laminator when a crystal type laminate is over applied.
Too much tension can create a twist and too little can cause the edges to pull in or out.
If you’re seeing curl on the finished product and it has gone through the laminator, try different nip roller pressures to see how and if it affects the film.
If the bars at the top or bottom are not aligned, this can also cause a twist or kink in the film. Some bars are fixed in place with self-adhesive tape and others use a clip. Both work fine as long as the film is straight and true when attached.
Still strong and tear resistant but at a lower cost than both PET and PVC. PP films have their place for producing large volume and short-term roller banner promotions.
They may not be quite as stable as the other alternatives but for many projects, they will do their job and perform adequately.
If unit cost is the main factor, a PP film could well be worth trialling.
To Laminate Or Not To Laminate?
With water-based printers, all roller banner films were laminated.
In today's print room where latex sits alongside solvent and UV, this does not always have to be the case.
If laminating, the main choice is the sandtex or crystal textured laminate film.
The texture hides scuffs and scratches better than a more matte finish.
More and more films though do not require laminating.
They are produced complete with a textured face finish that, when printed onto, has an element of scuff resistance.
They can’t be as bulletproof as a laminated film where the print is protected under the scuff resistant layer, but they are getting pretty close.
With the ongoing advances in durable latex, solvent and UV inks, these textured direct-print films are looking to become the most popular for producing roller banners.
They are also now available in both PVC and PET plus hybrid variations.
Grey Backed or White Backed?
And you thought only the face film was important?
The different backing options are usually either grey or silver or a white.
Most films are now being produced as grey as its more efficient to use a light stopping version if you don’t know where the end use will be.
There is no point using a white-backed product that could then find its way in front of an office window. The pole behind will be seen through the film and nothing takes more away from the banner’s message than a big shadow right the way across the design.
Stick with a dark grey back and you won't see these show-through issues.
That covers the roller banner films and which is best designed for what purpose.
If you still need some impartial advice, get in touch on 01772 250207 or firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll help you work out the best film for your next campaign.