Digital Printing

5 Key Factors When Selecting a Banner Substrate

5 Key Factors When Selecting Banner Substrate

Banner is considered the bread and butter of a sign shop. There is a wide selection of banner in the market that can make your choice overwhelming depending on what the job requires. Let’s take a look at five key factors of banner substrate that should be considered and what types of questions you should ask yourself when making a decision about which banner substrate to select.

End Use/Purpose

One of the most crucial things to consider is the end use. There are some important questions that should be answered prior to selecting a banner substrate.

Will the advertisement be viewed from a close distance (eye-level) or far away, such as a billboard?

  • Close distance requires a smoother print, so a higher quality banner would be the best choice. While viewing from a farther distance, a lower quality banner would be suitable.

Will the advertisement be placed indoor or outdoor?

  • Indoor application isn’t exposed to environmental elements, so a lower denier and weight is acceptable. Banner placed outside is susceptible to strong winds, rain and other elements. A stronger material is required to prevent tearing.

Is the banner for a large or grand format size?

  • Wide width banners are typically used for building or billboard advertisements. With the large piece of material, it needs to be strong in order to not tear with tension and outlast all types of weather elements.
  • If there is a backing to the banner, such as a billboard, lighter weight material would work great.

Banner Printability

What is the desired print quality?

  • Smoother material tends to have a better print quality, as the scrim pattern is less visible.

What print systems can be used for banner?

  • Heavier weight banner can support higher heat ink systems such as Latex, whereas lighter weight/lower denier banner tends to curl with high heat.


How long do I need the banner to last?

  • The largest number of banner materials will last about one year, depending on the print system used. This works great for the intended purpose of banner, which is short term advertising. The major factor that will affect your durability is the environmental conditions. Areas of harsher weather conditions including high humidity, desert conditions and harsh wind can affect the durability.


When choosing your banner you need to find the balance between look, performance and cost. While cheaper materials may keep you on budget, you could be sacrificing quality. Doing a job more than once can be more costly and can risk losing the confidence of your customer.

Fire Rating

Depending on where your banner is being used, there may be a legal fire rating requirement. This is especially important for any indoor applications where there is a high concentration of people in an area.

Arlon offers a wide variety of banner for your specific purpose. Considering all of the above will help any sign shops make an informed decision to provide the best service to your customer.

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