Affordable, Eco-friendly Banners and Yard Signs

Marketing

  • Great Banner Images with Multiplicity Shots

    Crowd shots are fun, but what if you want the same person repeated over and over again?

    Lex Macho Inc.

    Never fear, it can be done! And what's more, you can do it at home with Photoshop. With just one actor/model, a camera, some Photoshop magic and sense of clever product placement, you can create humorous or thought-provoking banner ads while still saving money.

    These aren't just limited to the curious image either: use the same model in different pieces for a fashion spread; a before and after project; or a frightening Halloween-esque picture.

    "We Are One" by Dave Wares

    "Mac Blend" by R. Malayeri

    "Cynthia Venezuela Multiplicity" by Henry G. Anima

    So, for your next banner design, perhaps you can create a multiplicity shot with your newest product in different places around a room. If it's a multi-purpose device, then show  all of its functions at once! Or, as you've seen above with Henry G. Anima's piece, you can create a fashion spread for one look from several different angles.

    Regardless of how you use the technique, make it fun, make it informative, make it yours.

    Check out more than 50 brilliant multiplicity shots from topdesign mag HERE.

  • Minimalist Banners: A New Trend in Advertising

    It's sometimes easier to step back and keep your next banner design simple. Just the basic geometric shapes will do, or what's most important to your business or event.

    by Edgar Ascensao

    There's a trend circling around called "Minimalist Movie Posters". It's about designing a mock movie custom poster by taking what you think is the most symbolic aspect of the film and bringing it to the forefront. For example, the movie "Thor" might have a single picture of the famous hammer and absolutely nothing else. If it's done well, or if you've chosen the right symbol, you may not even need the film's title in the piece. The image itself will tell the whole story.

    by Daniel Keane

    This approach can ignite a curiosity within your customers: imagine a single image and a few words on a wide banner. If chosen right, you could spark a viral marketing campaign that will leave your customers eager to discover what's coming. And while this is mostly successful for Hollywood, big businesses like Apple and Amazon have utilized this technique. Not in banners, per se, but in the limited clues they release up to the big reveal event.

    by Jonny Eveson

    Have you enjoyed the examples? Well, here's a few more to whet your appetite:

    By Matt Owen

    by Maria Kaner

    by Robert Olah

    If you like what you see, then check out Minimal Movie Posters, a tumblr-based archive of some of the greatest designs out there.

  • A Guide to Using Banners and Other Advertising at Conventions: PART 3

    PART 3: Extra Tidbits to get you Started!

    We’ve talked about different styles of booths and now let’s talk about what you can put on your booth or advertise about it. These are just suggestions, so I don’t want to dictate what you put on display.

    “Free” is a word that everyone loves! These don’t have to be extravagant, but something small and versatile such as buttons, stickers, or patches. People will collect these, tell their friends and bring more people to your booth, where the rest of your beautiful art is displayed!

    You can also make postcards or business cards that have your websites, social media links, or other relevant information to showcase your art.

    Collectibles!

    Having collectible items would be beneficial to you as well. Such as art sets, button sets, etc. If you start a tradition of featuring some new item every time you go to a new convention, you’ll have plenty of visitors (including repeat visitors)!

    Label Your Prices

    There’s nothing like awkwardly walking up to your favorite artist and asking how much something is, only to find out it’s beyond what your wallet can handle. Avoid the awkwardness with your fans and make a display instead.

    Try not to use Post-it notes or sticker labels, but rather something more professional looking, like a small sign or a banner. Making a sign leaves more room for interaction with your fans and the fun questions that you can answer. It doesn’t have to be boring either! Spruce it up, decorate it and make it your own!

    Embrace Your Pop Culture

    To get the people’s attention, showing something familiar like pop culture characters could draw people to your booth. For example, when I went to Anime Expo, it was right after the “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” finale and I can’t even begin to tell you how much Korra fanart was in Artist Alley alone. Most of the artists were fans of the show, sure, but they strategically put the Korra fanart before some of their original pieces to draw the hardcore fans to their booth. This is a good strategy, and by no means demeans your artwork at all! It’s all about acknowledging the trends of the day. Not only will people come to see their favorite characters done in your style, but they are more likely to stay and look at your other art in the meantime. It’s the bait that draws them in!

    Advertise Ahead of Time!

    No doubt, most of you who are reading this have a website, a Facebook, DeviantArt, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogspot, etc.! Use them to your advantage, the closer you get to convention day. Talk about your freebies, your collectibles, or any other tidbits you plan on selling at your booth. Use a physical sign, like a banner or a flag, so your fans know what to look for when trying to find you in the Artist Alley!

     

    The End!

    So that’s it! That’s all I got to give. Above everything else: HAVE FUN. These people love you. Even if strangers only stop to look for a little while, the fact is that they stopped to see you. And that will speak volumes about your art.  

     

  • A Guide to Using Banners and Other Advertising at Conventions

    Although we always talk about how businesses can appeal to their fans during fairs and conventions with banners, giveaways, and promotions, we sometimes forget about that small section that’s been pushed to the corner over the years, but is slowly crawling back to the center stage: the Artist Alley! And never was there a more interesting place to research the latest and greatest art, along with how these artists are promoting themselves.

    PART 1: Anime Expo vs. San Diego Comic-Con

    I always frequent Artist Alley when I head to the entertainment conventions like Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con. This was my first year to Anime Expo, and I was blown away by how much self-marketing was going on in their Artists’ Alley: rows and rows of PVC pipe structures where artists hung their pieces and colorful displays like I’ve never seen before.

    See what I mean?

    In past years when I went to SD Comic-Con, I’d have to say that their Artist Alley was...well, more modest in comparison. There was definitely a difference in professionalism and the age demographic, but compare for a moment:

    Each Artist Alley is successful in its own way, and we shall examine why that is. Whether you’re a new artist trying to make a buck at a convention sometime soon, or an old-timer trying to jazz up your space, stay tuned for some helpful tips on how to stand out amongst your fellow artists. As someone who makes a hobby out of being a customer, let me help you find a way get the coveted attention of conventioneers who pass by your beloved art.

    We will continue next time with PART 2: Seize Your Space!

  • Running for Office: Campaign Yard Sign Ideas

    It's getting awfully close to campaign time. November. Just. Around. The. Corner. Are you panicking yet? You should be, because you know what that means? The campaign signs are coming!

    However, if you're running for a position yourself this fall, whether it's your college senate or your city council, it's time for some pretty nifty campaign signs that will get you noticed.

    We offer many kinds of banners for your traveling campaign needs, but you'll also want something small and versatile, that can be "planted" anywhere.

    See what I did there? ;)

    I'm talking about yard signs.

    Rockin' the Red, White, and Blue Yard Signs

    There's an obvious trend in signs, where the higher the position you're running for, the more patriotic you're advertising will be. Nary has there been a senator or city council sign without an homage to the stars and stripes. Some other symbols are the Constitution, the Statue of Liberty and the flag itself.

    There' no official reason why this, but it goes to show how politics and patriotism go hand in hand. Let's look at some other ideas, for those who might need a break from the proud colors for a while.

    This takes the "vote" and turns into a clever image, making the "v" into a check mark, like on a voting ballot.

    It's always a good idea to include your face on your sign. Voters want to see what you look like; not some drone that they've never heard of or seen.  In addition to that, your personality will shine a lot better through your facial expression, so be yourself.

  • Keep ‘em Coming Back for MORE: Banking on Collectible Giveaways

    We've talked about banner designs, and we've gone over the famed Scavenger Hunt idea. Today, let's talk about another marketing strategy to draw attention to your business during a convention or a fair.

    One idea to attract people to your booth is to give away promotional items. BUT an even better one that’ll keep them coming back is to have Collectible Giveaways!! Fans will seek you out year after year to get that new item for their collection, and you can use this opportunity to market your new stuff to them.

    The example I’ll draw from is Viz Media: a manga & anime merchandise business based in San Francisco. Every year at the San Diego Comic-Con (and other related conventions), they give away a new variance of a tote bag, such as this one from 2007:

    And here is one from 2006...

    I can’t tell you how many times my cousins and I made bets on what the next year’s bag color would be. It was always our first stop on the exhibit floor.

    Future Changes

    Although in these past few years Viz has changed to a more single-tone bag with cheaper material, the idea is still the same: give the fans something useful, while at the same time making it fun and collectible. This is a surefire way to keep your fans coming back for more and, even better, will bring their friends with them.

    Now, Viz used to give these bags away with purchases at their booth. Even though they don’t sell merchandise anymore (they just do informational stuff), they implemented a new technique this year: the SCAVENGER HUNT! Of which you can read more about here.

  • Scavenger Hunts: Make Them Work for it!

    We're always talking about how a smartly designed banner will attract attention, but there are other ideas out there besides print and ink. In addition to banners and other visual ads, here's another technique to help you attract new customers, as well as keep the repeat ones coming back for more: a scavenger hunt!

    The scavenger hunt is a new idea that recently started appearing at conventions and fairs: fill out a survey, go see some stations, collect stamps, and then you get a prize! I went through Viz Media’s scavenger hunt at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles. It was very easy, and a clever way for them to advertise their new online markets. I got a stamp at each station and voila! Received this year’s tote bag as a prize.

    This model is a smart and effective way to get the fans to interact more with the business. It was quick and painless too, no waiting in long lines to get to a station either. Even though Viz Media is already a well-known entertainment business, this model can still be implemented for other kinds of businesses as well.

    Recently at a county fair, I went to the Chevrolet booth, took a survey and got a free water bottle. Easy, right? Well, this model of survey = prize is pretty common, but for a more classy business like the automobile industry, a scavenger hunt can be used too. Have people go to each model on the floor and collect a stamp or a sticker, and when they collect them all they get a prize.

    Giving your fans and customers something to do at your booth is just as important as what you’re trying to market to them. Take these “stations” as opportunities to give them quick facts about what they’re looking at. Or, even better, play a small game, like ring toss or a matching game! The more that people are having fun, the more likely they’ll tell their friends or spread the word about it. And, hey! We're a banner company: purchase banners from us, designed to indicate each of your stations.

    However, heed my warning: your fans will be expecting a payoff after all that work. No gain or no prize = very unhappy fans.

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