How Big Does My Banner Need to be?

Size is the first question most people will wonder about when getting a vinyl banner. How big is big enough?

The easy answer is you need to have your vinyl banner big enough to be seen and read.

Small Banners Work TooMore importantly it must be big enough to be read from a distance equal to the distance that your target audience will see your banner from.

You can see in the example here, bigger does not necessarily mean better. Getting the size right is more important than just SIZE.

A small school fair banner like this was designed for a  viewing distance of only 20-25 metres. They are fine over this distance and I must admit, they looked great.

Here is a link to some of my other school banner designs.

So with these things in mind, the first thing to consider is how big does the text on your banner need to be, to be able to be read by your prospects at the distance they first see it from.

Text Size to Legible DistanceThe answers to this are provided in the long table seen here. My apologies to for the crazy scale used in the Text Size to Distance table. I converted this data for you directly from yards and inches, this led to the odd increments seen.

So it is a matter of determining how far away your prospect will be when they first see your banner. This will determine the size of the text we need to use on your banner for your headline. This will likely be the biggest text on your banner.

Your headline will often occupy about one third (33%) of your banners real estate

Your Headlines purpose is to attract the attention of your audience as early as possible. Makes sense right?

Why this is important is this. Vinyl banners (usually) work in a way where your audience will almost always move closer to your signs location after they first see it.

Think about it, a car driving by where you have your banner displayed. The driver can read your banners headline first, at this point they are driving towards your banner and closing the distance between the observer and your vinyl sign.

With foot traffic too, the same applies. If this is not happening, you might want to pick a better spot for your sign.

What this allows us to do is step down a size in text with the reduction in distance. This in turn enables us to fit a longer message in the same space as your headline, your Body text.

Just a word of warning. Be careful not to put too much information on your banner. This is an absolute marketing performance killer. Banners with too much information, multiple phone numbers and too much fluff are… useless.

When mulling over your message, try to make your banner a “One trick Pony”. A simple message delivered well, will have a far bigger impact than a lot of unnecessary fluff, regardless of how big your banner is.

Vinyl Banner Size Guide DownloadWhen you read your banner and its message, ask yourself a very brutal question. “Who cares”.

If you care but your clients/prospects probably don’t, get rid of it or change your message until it is all about them – your prospect.

This is a little off the track but needs saying, your prospects care only about what happens to them, what they need, what they want and not about you or your business.

If you can show your prospects that you understand their problems and can help with a solution to solve it immediately. You will get sales. This is what we want your banner to do.

So now you know how big your lettering has to be. You will be able to work out your headline size and your body text size, based on the maximum distance your prospects will first see your banner, and your body text catering for about 60-70% of this distance.

As a rule of thumb I count on the lettering being about 70% as wide as it is tall. So a character 100mm. tall will need about 70mm. of horizontal space to fit – Rule of Thumb here. The actual design process will make this a little easier. Once you have a chance to preview your initial design drafts (I do 3 of these FREE for you). You can instruct me on any changes you want well before we put your vinyl banner into production for you.

The process of how many characters in a given size equals what size banner is where this starts getting a little complicated, so rather than make things more confusing than they need be, let me explain better with a simple example.

Example : A Car Wash owner has been having slow days on Tuesday’s over the last few weeks and as a marketing promotion has decided to drum up more cars to wash with Single Day (Tuesday) Promo. He/she organises a half priced hand car wash on Tuesdays an decides a vinyl banner will be the easiest way to let people know about it.

The Essential Data

  • Distance involved Max. – 120 metres
  • Headline 1 Text: Size 189mm = Legible from 63 metres
  • Headline 2 Price: Size 336mm = Legible from129 metres
  • Body Text : 141mm = Legible from 42 metres

Vinyl Banner sizingThese simple banner designs we have here is based on my smallest standard banner (my “$99 banner” – 1,800 by 600mm.).

Contact Steve The Vinyl Banner Guy

This shows how when used in a thoughtful way way, even a relatively small banner like this one can have a very long reach when attracting more people your way.

For more information you get get in touch wit me via the BIG red button shown here.


Steve – The Vinyl Banner Guy

PS. You can download a summary of this information by clicking here
Vinyl Banner Size Guide