If you are planning to invest in your first roller banners , you will undoubtedly expect them to make a big impression. This is a time when strong design really matters, especially if you are going to be at a trade show or similar event where there will be lots of other banners vying for attention. It’s probable, however, that this will be your first experience of large scale design. If you do not have a professional to help you, you will need to think through what this means before you are ready to produce your banner design. Simply scaling up your existing logo is unlikely to work as well as you might hope.
Technical scaling issues
The first problem many people run into when trying to scale up company logos and artwork is that it was probably never designed with such a large scale in mind. Many companies design their own artwork or commission it on the cheap for use in letterheads and on websites, for example. Most of the time this is of little importance, as you will probably be using the same sized image over and over. When it comes to making it significantly bigger, however, you are likely to run into serious problems and find that it looks really scrappy.
Unfortunately, there is only one answer to this problem and that is to reproduce your logo using scalable vector graphics. There are several pieces of software that can help you achieve this and it’s not as hard to master as you might think. If you need that larger logo in a hurry, however, it may well be worth your while to bring in professional help.
Suiting the shape
Even if you have solved or happily avoided technical scaling issues, your logo is going to make a different impression on a roller banner, simply because the roller banner is a different shape. In most cases it will be much narrower than the places you will have been using the logo previously. This affects how your logo draws the eye and how balanced it looks and it may be necessary to redesign it to ensure it sits correctly in the available space. One popular approach is to scale it to around 60% of the width of the roller banner and leave about four inches of ‘whitespace’ (or whatever colour you have chosen for your background) at the top. This will make it stand out more than simply making it as large as the banner has space for.
Making a logo bigger often means its colours create a different impression. The further you move away from primary colours, the more this is the case. In particular, pastels that may look good on a small scale can look faded and washed out when scaled up. You may need to darken your colour scheme slightly or add a subtle lateral gradient, with the darker shade on the left, in order to create the same impression when you go large.
Scaling up is tougher than it looks, but if you get it right your logo will look really good and you will be sure to get the maximum impact from your roller banners every time you use them.
Written by Joanne Serellis