When thinking of content for use on large banners or pop up stands, good images are essential. We have all heard the phrase before - a picture tells a thousand words - and this is true, especially when used on printed display stands. Pop up banners are meant to attract attention, they are there to be noticed and nothing does that better than a good quality photograph.
So how do you take and prepare photographs when designing a pop-up banner? One way is to employ the services of a professional photographer - we use Chris Knox Photography for all our product shots. However, if you’ve got a reasonable camera, and you want to make sure your image is going to look the business. Here’s a few tips to help you achieve a great result.
When printing large display products, megapixels matter. Your image may look crisp and clear on screen but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will look the same when it’s printed on your new roller banner. The last thing you want is for your image to print pixillated and look like a mosaic.
So before you start taking photo’s, check that your camera is up for the job. A camera with a minimum of 20 megapixels is a good start and although the latest smart phones can take great images, if you are intending for them to be used at a large size - they won’t be up to the job.
Next you will need to make sure your camera is set to capture images as large as possible. Look at the menu settings on your camera, and set it to large, high or if you’ve got it – RAW. Choose uncompressed RAW over compressed. Technicalities aside the higher the resolution, the better your photo will look when it is printed.
If you have not used your camera on these higher settings before you’ll notice the a drastic increase in the file size of each image. This will mean that your memory card will run out of room much quicker. You may not use this menu setting everyday to print your 4” x 6” holiday snaps, but it’s great to have a these higher settings available when you are taking photos that will be printed on a large scale.
So you’ve got Photoshop and I hear you say “why can’t I just make my image better in Photoshop?” By all means make an image smaller to reduce file size, especially when using images on a website, but don’t use Photoshop to try and make your photos larger, especially when printing big banner displays! Doing so will give you that same mosaic pattern we spoke aobout earlier.
Photoshop and other photo editing software enable you to view the dimensions and resolution of your image easily. Ideally your images should be 300ppi (pixels per inch,) although anything above 150ppi will be suitable for large format printing. As printers will talk in dots per inch (DPI), but in this example they are interchangeable. When saving your image, compression options should be set to maximum, or the least amount of compression possible, depending on how your program words it.
If you are hoping for vibrant images that will ‘pop’ out of your printed banner, here are some pointers. Light is key. Flood the subject of your photo with good lights or wait for a bright sunny day. Poor lighting will dull the colours of your subject. It’s important to remember when you view your photographs on a screen, you’ll be viewing them in RGB. Your new roller banner however, will be printed in CMYK, which has a narrower colour gamut. We explain this in more detail in our Artwork FAQ.
When converting RGB images to CMYK it is normal for some of the colours to become duller. So shooting with poor lighting and then outputting to CMYK could give you a result far from what you had in mind. It is also important that when you have finished designing your pop up banner artwork that you convert your artwork file to CMYK including all the images - this will give the best result when your stand is printed.
Spending time composing your image, so that your ideas are realised in the photograph, is really important. Take the time to set up your shot and have in mind the message you are trying to convey in your photo. For example, a straight on product shot may not best highlight the features of the product you are promoting. You could instead use a model in the photo to give a sense of scale or to show how the product is used. If you’re photographing a landscape scene remember to select an f/stop not lower than 5.6, which will maximise the detail of the scene.
Make you photo’s interesting - remember a pop up banner is there to draw in potential customers - so use your images to grab their attention.
Once you have the perfect photo for your roller banner - all that is left to do is put together the design.
If this is something you find daunting why not send your photo to our team of graphic designers and let them create the perfect pop up banner design. See our design service page for more details. You can also ask our design team to check the quality of your photograph before we print it!