Nothing catches a passerby’s eye more than visually striking aesthetics. This is why businesses rely heavily on display advertising or banner marketing.

But here’s the funny thing – it’s easier said than done. There’s a lot at stake as you need to choose the right colors, design, and of course, the right base for the signage. Brands are always experimenting with different options to make their banner ads memorable.

One such dilemma they often face is choosing between fabric or vinyl for their banners. As you read through this article, you will understand what each banner is like and why they are used. By the end, you should be able to make an informed choice for your business banners.

Fabric vs. Vinyl Banners: The Face-Off

Statista found that the banner advertising market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% up to 2027. These mainly include small and mid-sized businesses for both outdoor and indoor purposes. Meaning the use of both fabric and vinyl banners is expected to rise. Let’s understand the two first.

Fabric banners are generally printed onto a 100% knit polyester fabric, usually with a non-glare matte finish. These banners are most suitable for indoor signage, given their warmer finish through the sublimation printing technique.

Vinyl banners, on the other hand, are made of PVC or polyvinyl chloride. These banners are usually printed with the help of advanced inkjet printers on a single piece of material. Vinyl banners are commonly used for outdoor advertising.

Benefits of Each Material

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to designing an eye-catching banner for your small business. Both fabric and vinyl have their fair share of pros and cons. It is only when you weigh them all that you can decide which will best suit your needs.

Let’s start with the benefits of fabric banners.

  • The fabric banner goes easier on the eyes because of a softer finish.
  • Fabric banners naturally blend in with their surroundings and do not appear as flashy promotions.
  • Fabric banners are lightweight and highly portable. All you need to do is simply fold them, and they can be carried anywhere with ease.
  • Since fabric banners are highly fluid, they appear elegant and unique.
  • You will never find reflections on a fabric banner (which usually disrupts the view) because they absorb light.

Now, let’s look at the benefits of vinyl banners.

  • Vinyl banners are highly durable due to their structural integrity. They will not tear easily.
  • If you’re looking for an option to make your design pop, vinyl banners are the best. They naturally have a glossy finish which makes the design appear opulent and catchy.
  • Vinyl banners remain unaffected by weather-related damage. They are waterproof and only need a gentle wipe with a damp cloth for cleaning.
  • Vinyl banners facilitate readability under all lighting conditions. This is mainly because the material is highly opaque.

A Look at the Other Side of the Coin: Drawbacks 

Both fabric and vinyl banners have their drawbacks. For instance – vinyl banners can be a little challenging to transport because they are bulkier than their fabric counterparts. They could also develop creases if handled roughly.

Conversely, fabric banners are unsuitable for areas experiencing erratic weather conditions. Also, these banners are washable. But, this could affect the quality of the ink and make the text unreadable after repeated washing sessions.

Can You DIY a Business Banner?

Designing your own custom business banner is not all that difficult. However, you will need special equipment to make this happen. In the case of a fabric banner, you can choose to hand-paint it, but that might only work for smaller banners meant for indoor purposes.

Otherwise, you need a special sublimation printing machine, transfer paper, and special ink for the printer. Also, you will need an electronic cutter machine to cut the fabric to the desired size and shape (without leaving behind any loose threads hanging).

As for vinyl banners, you do need a high-quality inkjet printer to print the design. Then, you can cut those designs onto vinyl using an advanced Q24 series vinyl cutter. These cutters can even cut your designs onto reflective and cardstock. If vinyl is your go-to banner material, a vinyl cutter in-house will increase turnaround and precision.

Whether you choose fabric or vinyl, just remember to follow the specific outdoor advertising rules of your particular state.

The Bottom Line

Besides the banner material, it is equally important to pay attention to other aspects, such as the purpose of designing that banner. Your approach for branding will be different than the approach for informing (the latter’s banner must be more simple and minimalistic).

Moreover, choose colors that are simple but also well-contrasted with each other. Even the typography should be clear, simple, and easily readable from afar. Lastly, keep the message short but clear. You can also add relevant images since a picture is worth a thousand words.

The aim is to design a banner that can create a captive audience out of motorists speeding to soccer practice!