How to create a roller banner that works hard for your business

How to create a rolller banner that works hard for your business

One of Steve’s own roller banners showing a workable number of words, one point of contact and a very simple call-to-action – all key points that make it powerful

Once again we welcome Milton Keynes based performance poet Steve Crawford, who recently wrote for us in verse about business jargon. When he is not composing poetry Steve works as a very talented point-of-sale creator and design genius!

One of the most popular tools in Steve’s box is the roller banner (or roll-up banner) very widely used by businesses at live events, exhibitions, conferences, training sessions and much more. In this article, Steve shares his experience and tips on how to create the right impression with – and write the right words on – on these devices so they pay for themselves in value, time after time.

A roller banner can be a valuable resource for any business looking to stand out or get noticed. However often business owners want to get as much information as possible onto a banner, and this can be counter-productive. Good design and the right information on a roller banner are extremely important when it comes to generating impact. Get these two aspects right
to ensure your message will be read and your business remembered.

Whatever you want to call them, roller banners should be treated like any other part of a business marketing strategy. The design should be given the same attention as a newspaper advert, a promotional leaflet or an ad on TV, radio or the web. They are a great way of promoting your brand and product or services to a captive audience, so it is important that the design is effective in also getting across the message you want delivered.

A good roller banner will get you noticed and deliver the right message, but only if it is designed effectively. This is one of those cases where often less is more.

How to create a roller banner that works hard for your business

In this roller banner Steve has focused on a very simple design with powerfully good photography and branding that really catch the eye. Once again, contact details are kept simple

Here are my 5 best-practice tips to produce an effective roller banner

There are far more than five tips I could give, but these are the five that I consider most important.

1.Display your logo or core message at or near the top

Use the top part of your roller banner to display your company logo, the core message or an eye-catching graphic that demands finding out more. It is important to have this at around eye level or just above, so whether this is the logo, a company slogan or an image of a product, it is best put at the level that is most likely to grab someone’s attention as they walk past it.

2.Don’t try to say it all in one go

It is important to only include relevant information and keep the wording to a minimum. You need to grab a readers attention in just a few seconds. In fact most people will spend 8 seconds or less reading your roller banner, so ideally you must be able to say everything on it that you really need to in that very short amount of time or less.

Remember that your salespeople or additional posters, brochures, flyers and strut cards can provide or show more information once a prospect expresses interest. Another thing to consider is that if you say it all on the roller banner, then there is no reason for a prospect to engage with your salespeople or ask for more details or information.

Like I said earlier, ‘less is more’ when designing a roller banner. Consider every word carefully and have a number of people proof read it.

Consumers are used to reading from top to bottom and left to right, so always remember this when filling your banner with information.

Usually using an experienced designer to help create your design can be of benefit, as they will be able to help refine your vision into an eye-catching and concisely worded banner that avoids many of the design faux pas that it’s easy to fall into.

How to create a roller banner that works hard for your business

Another of Steve’s own roller banners with the point of contact higher up, and a strong call to action at the bottom

3.Consider image quality

If you are going to include any images on your roller banner, particularly product images, then be sure that they are of sufficiently high quality. They should be at the very least 300 dpi (Dots Per Inch) and ideally saved as CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key [black]) ready for print. Don’t pull an image straight from a website and expect to use it in your design, as it will most likely be of poor quality, saved as RGB (Red, Green Blue), and will probably be subject to copyright. If you don’t understand these terms then you should be using a designer, and they will advise!

Remember you are trying to capture people’s attention and draw them toward your products by showing quality; the quality of the images used is paramount. There are some great websites for low-cost or free stock images for you to download and build a library of royalty-free images that you can use if you want to do it yourself. Any graphic designer will have access to these.

The printers we use nowadays can reproduce extremely high-quality photographic images in incredibly vibrant colours, so use the technology to your advantage and ensure your images are of sufficient quality and vibrancy too.

4.Make use of colour

Use colour when designing your roller banner stand. Effective use of colour can help to make you stand out at an exhibition, but should tie in and work well with your existing corporate colour scheme and of course your logo. It is also important to consider the impact of background colour of your roller banner in relation to text and images. All images and text must be clear and easy to read. Bright colours like red and orange can really grab the attention, but be sure to avoid using such colours as yellow and white together as it will be really hard to make out any information, especially from distance.

The main banner printer used at Turned Out Well and by other high quality suppliers uses 8 separate and individual ink colours and up to 2400 dpi (Dots Per Inch), to create an incredibly vibrant colour palette and produces stunning high-quality prints that can’t fail to turn heads. The inclusion of a grey ink helps to create smooth gradations and reduced graininess, creating a very crisp output. Other features include high scratch resistance and light fastness of 120 years.

5.Include your contact details

One final thing to remember when designing your roller banner stand is the inclusion of your contact details. This is particularly important for an exhibition where you may not have time to talk to everyone in attendance. Contact details will give visitors information on how to best contact you should they want to find out about or discuss your services or to get more information about a product.

I would suggest you always include your website, perhaps a contact telephone number and possibly your email address (but at the very least one of these three). Some designers stipulate it is best to use a single point of contact.

Social media channels like Twitter and Facebook can also be added to provide customers with other channels to contact you. However this can start to make a banner look cluttered, and they may be better just linked from your website.

It’s also very useful to include a simple call to action that viewers can do right there and then, such as “please take a leaflet” or “please leave your business card here and we’ll be in touch.”

A QR code  (Quick Response Code) can be added to make it easy for mobile users to access your website, however this should not be too low on the design as you don’t want people to have to get down on their knees to scan it… Now that would be counter-productive!

Contact details are often best placed towards the bottom third of a banner stand, but they must still be easy to read, find and photograph – many people these days will use their smartphones take a picture of a roller banner to save its details that way.

How to create a roller banner that works hard for your business

Steve Crawford

A roll up banner will really help your services stand out at your next exhibition or networking meeting. However it is important that whoever does the artwork for your banner gets the design basics right. When selecting a company to produce a roller banner for you, be sure they understand and apply the criteria I have suggested in this article, and you won’t go wrong.

Sage advice, indeed. If you want more information from Steve about his work with roller banners and how they can work for you, you’ll find him on





  1. […] back to roller banner supremo and performance poet extraordinaire Steve Crawford, who has penned his own version of the Nativity […]

  2. […] Roller banners are still a firm favourite with many retail businesses and event organizers, simply because – they work! A well-designed banner gets attention and that is the first step in being able to promote your business or the event that you are organizing. If you don’t get the attention of passers-by or people you want to attract to your event – you can’t really inform them of anything, so an attention grabbing banner is key when it comes to getting eyeballs on what you want to say. […]