AKA Rock & Roll-up or The QPS Guide to Roller Banners
Pop up banners, roller banners, roll-up banners or cassette banners…
Whatever you call them, roller banners are one of the most popular ways to promote your brand and push out your message.
From office receptions to motorway service-station entrances, I’ll guarantee printed roller banners are seen more each day than most other types of display print.
And that’s even before we take the exhibition halls into account.
With them being everywhere, you’d think roller banners all use pretty much the same material and same cassette mechanisms….wrong!
Different media can perform very differently in these pop-up banner units and with this guide, I look at how to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Polyester films for roller banners
Roller banners printed using a printed polyester (PET) film are usually the most stable. Stability when talked about with pop-up banners just means the film stays flat and the vertical edges don’t curl.
A number of reasons can cause edge curl. If the film isn’t completely straight within the cassette units the bar behind the graphic can cause the print to twist. The top (or bottom) bar not being fitted properly and being skew can also be a culprit.
You’ll also see it when the film has been overlaminated for scratch protection or to make the system that bit more durable. Too much pressure on the laminator’s rollers will cause tension in the media and this tension will lead to curling. Too little can also cause issues and it shows with the edges either pulling in or pushing out.
This is where our expert on the laminator proves super valuable. His job is to make sure your prints are flat first time, every time.
Polyester is more expensive than the other options. DuPont makes most of the base material and it comes with a premium price tag for the stability and the possible slight edge in print quality.
Perfect for long-term promotions or for units that will be daily taken down and rollered back up but if you’ve got a timed event, polyester may be a little overkill.
PVC roller banner media
The first of the more cost-effective options is a PVC film. Still relatively flat and stable, it can be more susceptible to curl when left up for a long period of time.
PVC will still have the ability to take on plenty of ink and create a hi-definition result.
In fact, almost all of the media we have tested over the years have given acceptable results – some we have had to profile the printer to, some have worked well out of the box.
When you’re using roller banners to promote your brand, making sure your corporate colours appear exactly as they should is probably the most important aspect. To ensure colours are consistent, we calibrate all our machines individually.
Polypropylene roll up media
Another option for roller banners is a high-quality polypropylene film. Strong, tear resistant and with excellent lay-flat properties, PP is also the most cost-effective of the three options.
If eco-credentials are important to your campaign, polypropylene is recyclable. Important when you have a couple of hundred of these to dispose of after the event.
Depending on how long you need the units to last and also what price point you need to hit, all of these films will do the same job equally well with only a few differences between each media type.
Banner PVC for roll-ups
Keep an eye out for this one. We’ve seen a number of roller banners being offered at knockdown cheap prices because they use a standard banner PVC.
Don’t get me wrong, banner PVC has its unique place when cable tied to railings or festooned over buildings but in a roller banner unit, no thanks.
No matter how thick the grade used, it will suffer curl badly especially when under the stress of being up all day.
If the price looks too good to be true, check what media the printer is using. You only get one chance to make that first impression – don’t let your brand down by racing for the low-end.
Laminated versus unlaminated?
Back in the mists of time, all roller banners were laminated. In this previous age, they were also about four times the cost they are now…
Usually overlaminated with a ‘sandtex’ or textured finish, the laminate was there to stop the image being scratched or damaged.
To be competitive, many of the display films available now offer anti-scratch protection without the need for a laminate.
Inks are also a lot more durable than they were previously. Technology has changed form water-based printers to solvent, latex and UV curable. With each generation, the need to laminate for scratch purposes at least becomes less necessary.
We print all our roller banners on our Fuji UV curable printers. These inks are pretty much bulletproof and the finished roll-ups laugh in the face of the laminator.
Our experienced bod on the laminator may not be needed too often for roller banners but rest assured, we’ve got him busy with many other products we produce.
Grey-back versus white backed roller banner films?
You’ll see many options out there for roller banners. It’s not just about the media or whether its anti-scratch or not.
Another element to keep check of is the backing of the product. OK, so everyone is hopefully looking at the front of our graphic and not even concerned with the reverse.
But what if the sun behind causes a shadow of the pole that holds up the film to show right through your most important message?
You’d be surprised how often this can happen. It’s the main reason we standardised on a grey-back film.
We can’t control every eventuality but we can limit the potential issues wherever we can.
So, more to roller banners than you thought?
Make sure to read and memorise this post next time you’re looking to update your displays. Or to make it simple, give us a call on 01782 413789.
We’ll make sure you get the right roller banner for your requirements.