Banners with Pole Pockets

Pole pockets on banners are something that can cause a bit of confusion. This is compounded by the fact that some companies do things differently when producing banners with pole pockets.

Macy's Lamp Post Banners
Macy’s lamp post banners with wind-slits

What is a Pole Pocket?

A pole pocket is, as you would imagine, a pocket to slide a pole through. These can be on any side of the banner but is most commonly on the top and bottom so that it can be suspended between two horizontal poles.

A typical use for banners with pole pockets would be for lamp post banners or banners used on scaffolding.

Ordering Banners with Pole Pockets

The most common problem with pole pockets arises when ordering. Some people think that the pole pocket is going to be ‘added on’ to the size of the banner. However, this is not the case as the pole pockets needs to be included with the finished size of the banner – this makes things easier from the customer’s point of view if a banner is to bridge two poles.

Banner with pole pockets measurements
Measurements on a banner with pole pockets

As you can see by this example the final size of the banner includes the pole pockets. The pole pockets are inclusive of the banner’s size and not an addition to.

One thing that you have to bear in mind is that there may be minor fluctuations in the dimensions of the banner. This is due to the pole pocket being able to ‘squash’ its shape from circle to oval and even flat – this isn’t usually a problem on 99% of banners but if you think this may cause an issue please do speak to us.

Pole pocket diameter
The diameter of a pole

 

 

The size of a Pole Pocket

We will calculate the size of a pole pocket, required for each banner, all we require from you when ordering is the diameter of the pole going into the pocket. From this measurement we can then calculate the size of the pole pocket required.

How a pole pocket should look
How a pole pocket should look

The pole pocket should always have a bit of ‘wiggle’ (the very technical term we like to use), so that the pole can move freely within the pocket. This not only allows for easy fitting, but more importantly it distributes the stresses of the banner more evenly across the pocket and does not focus them on the join, increasing the life span of your banner.

How Pole Pockets Affect Artwork

Because of the un-flat nature of pole pockets it is best not to include any important information on the artwork where a pole pocket will be. Flat colour and imagery are fine, but you should steer clear of using any logos or text that you want readable in this area.

Another element to take into conisderation is the ‘weld line’. This is the transparent line that welds the banner to itself to produce the pocket. Although the weld line is transparent it does have a different appearance to the rest of the banner and if text crosses into this area it can hinder legibility.

The width of the weld line is typically 30mm in thickness.

Below are some example pole pocket sizes (based on the diameter of the pole) and how much clearance you need to give the text on your artwork. Please remember that plain colour and background imagery are fine within the clearance area.

Artwork clearance for pole pockets
Artwork clearance for pole pockets

These values work no matter which edge of the banner the pole pocket is situated.

The Summary

When ordering banners with pole pockets remember the following:

  • Provide us with the diameter of the pole going into the pocket
  • Give your artwork enough clearance
  • This applies whether it is a single or double-sided banner

This is only meant as a guide to help you when ordering banners with pole pockets and we are always at the end of a phone should you have any issues, on 0845 604 1030.

It’s Been A While

How have you been keeping? We’ve taken our sweet time in getting this latest post up and for that we can only apologise, but we have good reason… honest.

Way back in March we announced that we had moved down the road from Chelmsford to Witham. Well, the main reason for this was to house the latest addition to our printer-family and to have it located closer to home (traditionally the majority of our print was handled further north).

This purchase and subsequent move has proven to be quite timely with us having our most productive year to date. Thanks to the team at CMYUK our new printer has hit the ground running and with only a few blips, has been invaluable to the business. Because of this we have had to change the way we process orders behind the scenes.

We develop all of our systems in-house which meant re-writing the admin system used to process our orders from the ground up. We finished the first stage and started trialling the new system in early December, and we’ve been debugging, fine-tuning and crying ourselves to sleep ever since.

This new system has come with added benefits to our customers, most notably the dispatch notifications and tracking now available on 90% of our orders.

This, combined with the VB Media websites we’ve developed, took up nearly all of last year, hence our slack approach to the blog.

Well, it’s a new year and we are still looking to expand our material and product range. We are looking into large-format paper/poster printing and the products that come with this. Exhibition displays and forecourt signage are other products due for release. These should be available to our trade customers soon, and although they will not be on the current retail site, they should still be available if required.

So, as we move into the new year you shall be hearing even more from us.

Fingers crossed for 2013.

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

Let me start by saying “Happy New Year everyone”.

Welcome to 2012, the year of the Olympics, UEFA European Championships and, if you believe the Mayan Long Count Calendar, the End of the World. Well, at Venture Banners we are going to have to continue under the assumption that the World is not going to end any time soon and look to what we can do in the large format print industry this year.

Last year saw us make some additions to our product range, including foamex and correx, flags and the Teardrop and Feather Flag stands (trade only).

This coming year we have even more developments ahead. These include:

  • Soft signage – The demand for single sided printed flag-esque material is increasing and is widely seen as the next ‘big thing’ in the industry. The benefits of soft signage are easy installation and reduced delivery costs. Indoor use only.
  • A fast turnaround service – We hope to implement an ‘I need it, like NOW!’ service in the coming months. We always get asked if we can turnaround a banner in the space of 12 hours, but because of our strict print-queue system this hasn’t been possible. However, with new machinery arriving this year we may now be able to offer this for a limited number of orders.
  • Consignment numbers for deliveries – We hope to be trialing this soon with some test orders, and then rolling out across 95% of the orders we fulfill. This will be provided in the form of a ‘Dispatched’ email notification.
  • Pop-Up display systems – One planned for later on in the year, but exhibition display systems are on the cards.
  • Brand refresh – A simple freshening up of the Venture brand.
  • New website – For the trade side of our business, giving increased functionality.
  • Website development service – We are developing a service which will give our customers (specifically print-trade) the opportunity to have a fully-controllable and professional, large-format print website. More to come on this in the very near future.

With these developments in mind (plus a few others we have up our sleeves), we are hoping that 2012 turns into the year we are planning for.

What are the best type of images to use on my banners?

The advancement of large format printing over the last decade has given us banner printers the ability to print more creative and ‘whizz-bangy’ banners. Gone are the days when vinyl letters were cut out and stuck onto a plain vinyl background, now we can print a whole rainbow of colours.

With this in mind I thought I would just write a short post on the best types of images to use on your banner, whether created by yourselves or to be sent through to us so we can do the design work for you.

Artifacts on JPG Images
Artifacts on JPG Images

JPG (or JPEG) Images

Probably the most popular file format on most people’s PCs, the JPG or JPEG format is a great file format for digital imagery as it allows for easy scaling down of images.

Beware though, this scaling down is not in size but in quality – ever noticed those ‘artifacts’ around parts of a photo, particularly around smooth contrasting areas like text.

If these artifacts are on an image used for a banner then they will also be printed. But please do also bear in mind that this may not affect the overall look of the banner when viewed from a distance.

TIFF Images

TIFF imagery is probably my preferred format for bitmap imagery (photographic imagery as opposed to illustrative imagery). It does also have it’s own compression as well (more commonly LZW) which is lossless – this means that the image quality remains the same but the file size is reduced. This makes TIFF images ideal for banners so that the entire image is preserved.

With TIFF and JPG imagery, it now just comes down to resolution, for further information on this, check out one of our previous posts on the best resolution for banner imagery.

Vector Images

Vector imagery is perfect for ANY size of print. Vector images are infinitely scalable so no matter what size artwork you have they will always appear as they were intended. If you have had a logo done by a professional company/individual then a vector version of the logo should have been provided. This will be in an .ai, .eps or maybe a .pdf format (although these may contain bitmap imagery and are not guaranteed to be vector-based), and ensures your logo looks perfect on all printed materials (although colour representation is another issue altogether).

This vector graphics article on Wikipedia may help to explain things further.

 

Hopefully this information will help the next time you come to order your Vinyl PVC Banners.

If you are looking to create your own artwork for banners, why not have a read through of the following:

Why Customer Service Is Important

In pretty much any industry, customer service has to be important for any business to stand a chance of surviving for any length of time. If you look after your customers and provide a good service, they will then return and hopefully tell their friends. However, provide a bad service and you will lose that customer and you can bet they will definitely tell their freinds.

This is why that when someone has been displeased with our service, I get a little knotted up inside. As a company, we at Venture Banners take great pride in our approach to customer service, we try very hard to meet the customer’s requirements, and to ensure that their experience with us is as pleasureable as buying a banner can be.

But once in a while, you will get a customer that you can do nothing to please. Whether it be because a series of mistakes have been made or that they do not like the way that you operate your business, but either way you have left someone with an unhappy experience.

Now to compound the matter, not only have you more than likely lost any chance of doing business with that person in the future but it appears that people that have a bad experience are much more vociferous. This means that you will more than likely hear from them, indirectly, through their postings over the internet.

Now, having thought about this long and hard, I realised that one bad customer experience shouldn’t necessarily be cause for alarm, especially when we have a history of happy customers (the reviews can be found below the material description). However, as a company and as a duty of customer service to our customers, we cannot sit back on our laurels thinking that what we do is right regardless of an unhappy customer. We must always learn from these experiences and hope that in the future, those unhappy customers are even fewer and even farther between.

We welcome any views you have on the service that we provide, good or bad. There will be some issues that we will not be able to change but we will always do our best to explain why – our business has evolved with our customers so there will always be a reason for what we do.

I hope to follow up this post with another, highlighting the good, the bad and the answerable in the near future so please do leave a reply below.

Wot! No Banner Blog Posts?

You may have noticed that we haven’t placed many posts recently – this is because we are now well and truly in ‘Banner Season’. We have just had our busiest month ever, whilst we are also in the midst of expanding our team.

We also have something new in the pipeline which is due to be launched soon, adding another string to our bow, as it were.

So our apologies if you have missed our inane ramblings of late, but we should be back to our keyboard-happy selves soon, regaling you with banner related musings and information.

With regards to the new bow string… watch this space!

Banners and Car Sales

We supply the banners for a few large car dealer groups across the country and having ran a Marketing Dept. for one of those dealer groups I know how valuable banners are to car sales.

Ford Sales Event Banner
Ford Sales Event Banner

Our main marketing medium was definitely newspaper advertising. This provided the mainstay of the car sales business. However, when it came to events, banners were the corner-stone of our marketing. Banners on the front of the dealership had a dual-purpose. Firstly, they went up prior to an event which, as the dealerships were in prominent locations, helped to advertise the event to the passing traffic. Secondly, the banners also helped people know they were in the right place – there was a time that events were advertised but nothing changed in the dealership, this confused people as they were unsure as to whether there was actually an event on. Now, it is standard practice to banner, balloon, bunting and sticker the site – the banner being the main indicator as they are usually rather large and right on the front of the dealership.

These marketing methods helped to increase the success of the events that we held and made us one of the most valuable dealer groups in the country.

Mecedes-Benz Banner
Mecedes-Benz Banner

We were a large county-wide dealership group, who eventually became part of an even larger UK-wide group so our marketing was helped with the sheer quantity of marketing materials and bulk-buy discounts. But, it is the smaller/independent dealerships that can benefit from banners as much as the large dealer groups. Banners are a very cost-effective means of marketing and are also re-useable for repeat events – provided they are looked after.

Basically, banners are a must for any car dealership, more so when hosting an event. When the cost is a lot less than the profit in one car and can be used for multiple events, they act more as an investment than an expense… and with a banner from Venture Banners you can’t go far wrong.

 

Banners for Family Events… cont.

In an update to my previous post on Banners for Family Events, I thought a list of events that you could use banners for would be a good idea as means of inspiration. So here goes:

  • Any Birthday – I would say the more people attending the better. I also found that the kids really enjoyed having big photos of themselves on their birthday
  • Anniversarys – again better for bigger parties/get-togethers
  • Christenings
  • Communions – not entirely sure what this involves, but I attended a Post-Communion BBQ at the weekend and just thought, ‘a banner would look good here’
  • Welcome Home
  • Weddings – embarrassing photos of the bride and groom, anyone?
  • Retirement
  • Sorry You’re Leaving
  • Congratulations – covers a multitude of events

These are just ideas for events you could use a banner for. If also you would like any inspiration on banner design we do have a banner template section on the Venture Banners website, which you are free to look at – remember we can personal photos to these templates and produce them at any size/dimensions (as long as it is a banner and not wanted on an A4 piece of paper).

You’re welcome to get in touch and let us know of any other events you have used a banner for, and any photos would be great.

Banners For Family Events

Happy Birthday Banner
A Happy Birthday Banner

When it comes to family events, many people will go out and buy those cheap thin plastic banners you can get from High Street card shops. These are great and do a job of providing a generic message to everyone who visits – brilliant!

But, what if you wanted a more bespoke banner? One which had photos of the relevant person? Where on earth would you go for something like that???… err, hello!

Two Happy Birthday Banners
Two Happy Birthday Banners

We have been producing an increasing amount of banners for family events, predominantly birthdays, but a few anniversary and some ‘welcome home’ banners for troops returning home from duty. I think the popularity has been down to the fact that they are designed and personalised for the individual which implies more thought and can be kept after the event.

It doesn’t hurt to put on some embarrassing photos either, just to add a bit of light-hearted fun to the occassion.

Because of the 440gsm PVC material the banners are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use so that weather does not have to be an issue – they will be just as comfortable in the scorching sun as they will be in the pouring rain.

The material and print is also durable so that it can be used year after year, so long as they are looked after and stored correctly – see my previous article on storing your banner.

Happy Birthday Mummy
Happy Birthday Mummy

For those romantics out there we have also printed a rather large banner with “Kate Will You Marry Me?”* and then he flew over it whilst on a helicopter ride with his potential bride-to-be – as far as I’m aware, she said ‘yes’… poor bloke… I mean lucky fellow! Sorry dear!

For those of you interested in having a banner for a family event then this should help; place an order through the website and enter the following code into the voucher box:

Voucher Code: XQHZS9

This will give you a free artwork service for the designing of your banner. Please note that this code can only be used for banners that will be used for family event and will not be accepted for any other artwork requests, sorry – however, keep your eyes peeled as there may be something in the pipeline shortly.

*The names may have been changed to protect the innocent

Bank Holiday Banners

Due to the massive increase in demand for banners over the past couple of weeks, combined with four Bank Holidays, we have been a little swamped with requests for urgent banners.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to turn banners around in such a short period, for which we apologise. However, we are still on for our three to four day turnaround, it just so happens that with the double Bank Holiday two weeks on the trot, it means our turnaround is effectively five to six working days.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a Bank Holiday as much as the next guy, but from a business point-of-view, they do tend to scupper things somewhat and a double one even more so. Place another one the following weekend and we have some, now very grey-haired people in production, working very hard to get your banners out on time.

After the May Bank Holiday (2nd May) we should be back to normal service… until the next one.