This article originally appeared as “How long do vinyl banners last” on the blog of One Source Media.
“How long will vinyl banners last?” is a phrase we frequently hear. You want to know that the dollars you put towards marketing and advertising will provide value and be a good ROI of your marketing and advertising funds over the long term.
Truth is, there’s not a single, specific expiration date. A multitude of factors influence a banner’s lifespan. These factors range from environmental conditions to how the sign is stored to the type of fabric or material it’s printed on (for example, whether it’s on mesh, PVC, scrim, or flex fabric).
What are vinyl banners?
Banners are a style of signage that is printed onto some sort of flexible fabric like PVC, mesh, scrim, flex, or other types of fabric The banner is usually mounted or hung. A banner is great for indoor and outdoor applications both!
Life expectancy of banners
A high-quality banner, on average lasts anywhere from 2-12 years. We know that’s a pretty big range. However, it can be tricky to narrow down a more precise life expectancy, due to such a vast range of factors that affect the equation.
Below, we’ll go over what affects a vinyl banner’s longevity and the sorts of things you can do to make your banner last longer.
Printed banners may be temporary tools in your marketing kit, or maybe you use them long term. Either way, it’s important to know how long a vinyl sign is expected to last so you can plan ahead.
Factors that influence banner longevity
While a plethora of negative influences decrease the durability of vinyl banners, a few of them are controllable. Being forewarned of these beforehand will empower you design and maintain a printed sign for a longer lifespan.
Let’s explore the factors you can control.
Is your banner for indoors or outdoors?
Indoor banners can have much greater durability than outdoor banners. UV radiation from the sun, as well as wind can speed up the deterioration of on outdoor Vinyl banners.
That said, outdoor banners can last much longer when you take them down and store them while not being used, and by using the correct fabric type for how much wind the Banner will endure.
Sun exposure on banners
A high sun exposure area will degrade Vinyl banners more rapidly than a shady area, so make sure you select a material with solar-resistant treatment if you plan to install it in sunny locations (and take care not to leave the sign up when it’s not needed).
When deciding on a banner, learn about the number of UV inhibitors that may be in the vinyl. A higher count allows the banner to last longer and handle sun exposure better.
Banners and wind gusts
Wind can likewise damage banners very fast if the fabric isn’t right for a high-wind environment. In the event that banner will be installed in a windy environment, you’ll want to go with a mesh fabric or have wind slits in your banner.
Mesh banners for outdoors
A mesh banner work well for windy areas, since they allow the wind to pass right through. as with PVC or canvas, a mesh banner can be printed upon with images and lettering. Unlike other banner options, the perforations in the mesh fabric give a different appearance than if the material were solid.
Wind slits allow gusts to pass through
Wind slits can serve much the same purpose in a regular outdoor vinyl banner. In point of fact, if the banner is not made of mesh, wind slits are basically required.
Scrim banners for outdoors
Scrim is material that contains a reinforcing mesh within the vinyl coating. The internal mesh makes a scrim sign sturdier and helps it last longer in windy environments.
Vinyl banner materials
The material your banner is made of makes a big difference with regard to how long it lasts. Polyvinyl chloride, also called PVC, happens to be one of the most popular banner materials.
However, different types of PVC exist, in addition to several alternative types of banner materials. Each banner material has its own designated use case and expected lifespan. Let’s run through the options.
Calendered PVC usually lasts from 3 to 6 years dependant on all the various other factors listed in this article. Calendered vinyl is the most common vinyl banner material for companies that don’t use their banner much.
Metalized polyester banners
Fluorescent and metalized polyester can be expected to last about two years or so. Metalized and fluorescent are meant more like a short-term decoration and aren’t expected to function much longer than 2 years after manufacture.
Cast PVC is a better-quality vinyl that lasts anywhere between 5-12 years. This is one of the most long-lasting materials for signs and banners.
When you’re designing a banner and deciding which banner material to use, it’s vital to consider where and how you plan to use it. Selecting a suboptimal banner material could result in a sign that looks weathered and damaged much sooner than you expected.
Printing and ink application procedures
Long ago, vinyl letters were cut out individually and were then moved onto a vinyl sign, but this method is incredibly time-consuming.
A major reason signage shops still sometimes still use this technique is because it vastly extends the life of your sign.
However, this approach places limits on your design.
Today, wide format printers are the trend. They produce better color matching and higher-quality images.
Of highest priority is the quality of the ink that a print shop uses in its printers.
Better ink will extend your sign’s life. In many cases, the right ink, for example fade resistant or UV curable inks, can extend your banner’s life as long as vinyl plot cut lettering would!
Installation and mounting of vinyl banners
Mounting your banner properly is almost as crucial as other aspects. Is it mounted on a building, on a fence, or suspended between two objects such as poles?
Grommets also matter, if it has them. How many grommets are in it? How far apart are the grommets spaced?
How secure is it or how much “flap” is in it? For outdoor banners, especially, proper mounting is paramount for signage longevity.
Working with your local sign shop to ensure a proper mounting system is important and will help you get the maximum lifespan out of your sign.
Especially outdoors, the dimensions and size of a sign, as well as other design elements, will have an effect on durability. The larger the size, the larger the surface area for gusts to act upon. However, wind slits (or mesh banners) mitigate this factor.
Given all these factors of banner longevity, the choice is yours. Most importantly of all, vinyl banners should be designed for the end use in mind. Here at Banner Bros – Vinyl Banners & Signage, we get you the right size, mounting system, and fabric for your needs so that your custom banners last as long as possible! We can also tell you about proper care for your custom signage so that your investment lasts for many years!
About Banner Bros – Vinyl Banners and Signage
Banner Bros – Vinyl Banners and Signage
5830 Downing St Unit B,
Denver, CO 80216
(970) 364 – 2636
Banner Bros – Vinyl Banners & Signage is a Denver Banner store and Sign shop. We provide vinyl printing and custom banners for Denver business, Denver organizations, and Denver events. Banner Bros does Storefront vinyl banners, Retail banners, and other types of vinyl graphics. If you need vinyl banner printing and installation anywhere in the Denver metro, Banner Bros can handle your every need related to custom banner printing.