A Step-by-Step Process: How to Prepare for Custom Vinyl Banner Printing

One of the best parts of custom vinyl banner printing is seeing our customers’ reactions to the final product. It’s literally turning their vision into reality. Our lives are becoming more digital by the minute, which is why tangible objects are so special these days.

To make sure our customers feel that joy every time, we like to take a proactive approach at United GMG. If you’ve worked with a printing partner, you already understand the process. If you’re new to the process, this is a great place to start.

All print jobs begin with an idea that turns into art. Sometimes, our customer needs design guidance or assistance sizing their art to meet the requirements of the banner, and we’re always more than happy to do that. Usually, they send us the files and we print. Being prepared makes the process seamless, which is why we put together this post.

It’s always helpful to get a refresher on the requirements for custom vinyl banner printing—no matter your level of experience. Use this step-by-step guide to understand what you’ll need to prepare on your end to turn your vision into a beautiful display.

Purposeful Custom Vinyl Banner Printing

Every sign and banner starts with a purpose—communication. Signs and banners are a silent salesperson, doing the work on your behalf.

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Launch a new product
  • Provide direction

The list of uses for banners can go on and on. It’s important that your purpose guides the style choice for your banner.

For example, if you need to get people’s attention at a busy intersection, you’ll likely want to hang the banner across your entire building facade. You’ll need the banner to be large enough to display text for people to quickly read as they sit at a stop light.

Your needs would be very different from a store capturing window shoppers’ attention on Michigan Avenue. For their store, a smaller, more personalized banner could work because people have the ability to stop and read the message.

Other common uses for custom vinyl banner printing include:

  • Construction site partners
  • New business opening
  • Business coming soon
  • Step and repeat
  • Product promotions
  • Real estate advertisements

Custom vinyl banners can be designed for many purposes, so if you have an idea and are thinking that vinyl is the best solution, send it our way. We’ll guide you in the right direction.

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How to Prepare Your File for Custom Vinyl Banner Printing

Once you choose your style and you know your message, it’s time to create the artwork. These guidelines are designed to help you or your designer properly prepare your artwork for custom vinyl banner printing. The goal is to send us the files so we can create a mockup for you to review. Then, it’s printing time.

To ensure we’re achieving your vision, we always like to get ready-to-print files from our customers. But, if you need help, we’re here for you too. If you do need design support, give us a call to discuss your ideas.

Step 1: Watch your Edges

Make sure that your message isn’t too close to the edge of the banner artwork. If you want parts of the design to intentionally cut off, please make a note of that during your initial communication with us. This step helps us make sure the mockup is correct.

For the best results, keep all elements of your design at least 1.5 inches inside the edge.

If we’re using pole pockets, please allow 4inches on the sides where pocket poles are required.

Step 2: Save the Proper File Type and Resolution

We’ve pulled together the standards for file types, colors and other setup so you can send us print-ready files. It makes the process a whole lot easier.

How to Prepare Color Files

We only print in four color process (CMYK). If you use Spot or Pantone colors, please have them converted to process colors or CMYK.

Maximum file size: We can accept files up to two GB files uploaded through our FTP site. Just make sure your file is set up in proportion to your final output size and desired full resolution.

How to Prepare Your Files for Custom Vinyl Banner Printing

We accept files from both Mac and Windows platforms and most graphics software. Files can be saved in the following formats:

  • PDF
  • TIF
  • JPEG
  • EPS
  • PSD (All layers must be flattened prior to submission)

Our preference is receiving artwork as a vector file, with all fonts converted to outlines. It’s the best file type for easy scaling and color corrections. If you have brand-specific fonts, please be sure to send those files to us as well.

Recommended resolution: Our minimum resolution requirements are 100-150 dpi at 100% print size, or 200-300 dpi at 50% print size. For our preferred file type, vector based files such as EPS, the resolution is irrelevant and files can be reduced or enlarged to almost any size without losing print quality, unless raster images are used within the design.

Step 3: Submit Your Files

We can accept your files multiple ways including:

  • Email (<25 mb)
  • FTP site
  • Courier

Please note that if you send us your files by courier, please include in a hard-copy printout of your files. We will use this as a reference when working through your art.

Preparing your files for print ensures that you’re in control of your custom vinyl banner printing process from the start. We like to think of it as the ultimate quality control—starting from your highest expectations allows us to deliver an exceptional experience.

Most importantly, we’re here to help you get your banner printed and ready to display on your timeline. We can support you at all stages of your project. Get Started Today.

Request your free quote today »