Everyone has seen the iconic rows of championship banners hung in high school gyms across the country. Despite this being such a familiar sight, you may not have given the materials used much thought. It is important to be aware of the differences when looking at new banners for your gymnasium. To help sort it out, let’s take a look at the most common options.
By far, vinyl is the most common banner material. It is tough and durable and its weather resistance makes it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Vinyl banner is made up of a fine polyester mesh know as scrim which is then coated with a layer of PVC. There are some less expensive vinyl banners that do not have scrim, but they should be avoided. The scrim is what gives the banner it’s strength. We use a 13 oz. banner material which offers plenty of strength and durability, while still providing a clean surface for printing.
Vinyl banners typically come standard with grommets installed in the corners and approximately every two feet on the sides. Grommets are metal rings inserted to offer a strong point to attach a banner to a wall, usually with screws. Another popular way to display banners is with pole pockets. Pole pockets are pockets that have been sewn into a banner so it can be suspended from the ceiling or rafters. Sometimes a pocket is also sewn into the bottom of the banner so a weighted pole can be inserted to help keep the banner flat.
The most attractive feature of this classic banner material for many of our customers is the price point. Vinyl is a cost-effective option that fits most budgets.
For a premium and upgraded look, consider polyester fabric banners. Poly Fab is our best-selling banner material for a few reasons. Using a 600-denier fabric, these heavy-weight banners hang like a classic felt banner without the drawbacks of being difficult to update and collecting dust. Denier is a unit of measurement that determines the fiber thickness of individual threads used in the fabric. A high denier thread count like the one used in Poly Fab, tend to be synonymous with thick, sturdy and durable.
Poly Fab banners have a non-reflective, matte finish and feature folded and sewn hems. This water and wrinkle-resistant fabric can even be used outdoors, so it certainly strong enough to look great in your gym for years to come. Fabric banners are typically finished with grommets or pole pockets in the same manner as vinyl banners.
A PVC banner is a sign-style banner made with a sheet of quarter-inch-thick PVC. The main advantage of a PVC banner is that it is rigid and hangs completely flat. PVC can be routed into any shape, including the popular pennant-shaped banners. In addition to high-end printing our PVC banners also feature a matte-finish laminate that prevents color fade using a built-in UV filter. PVC banners are best suited for indoor use.
Aluminum banners are the exact same as PVC banner except the substrate is made with eighth-inch aluminum versus a sheet of PVC. The main advantage of aluminum over PVC is that aluminum banners work great in the outdoors. They are also a good choice if your banners are going to be hung in an area that it might see a lot of abuse (like being directly struck with a baseball). PVC and aluminum banners are attached to the wall using screws and plastic wall anchors much like a typical sign.
All of the options above allow for vibrant, full-color printing. And because they are digitally printed, they offer the ability to display photo-realistic images, watermarked logos and many other design elements. Our team of designers are ready to get started on a custom design for your school. Reach out to Team Fitz today to speak with someone about your particular project to get a custom materials recommendation and quote.