Affordable, Eco-friendly Banners and Yard Signs

Promotions

  • Summer Time Banners - With Free Features!

    Oh my goodness. Graduations are over, the sun is shining, and I just bought a new bottle of sunscreen. You know what that means? Yup, it’s gonna be sun-shiney summertime after all.

    We’ve got the beach, the trails, the fair, the backyard BBQ, and some outdoor concerts on my to-do list this summer. With all this wind and sun picking up, there’s still plenty of opportunities to advertise. But you better put down that poster and puffy paint, mister, ‘cause that ain’t gonna fly in this weather!

    I know we’ve rattled on about outdoor banners before, but today I wanted to highlight a little tidbit that you may not have known about: FREE FEATURES.

    That’s right...free stuff. Such as grommets, wind slits, and pole pockets.

    And what are these magical features? Well, let me give you the lowdown.

    Grommets

    At each corner of the banner (or throughout, depending on the size...), a hole is punched through and reinforced with a metal ring. With these, you can thread string, rope, etc. through the holes in order to hang the banner. It’s pretty easy of an applicator, and if you’re thinking of hanging something from a wall or outside your window, grommets would be the way to go.

    Wind Slits

    For high-flying banners, another thing that’s a helpful feature, besides the grommets, are wind slits! These are exactly what they sound like: light slits carved into the banner, but don’t interrupt the design or make the art look all slashed. These slits around for better air flow, so your banner doesn’t get too pocketed with air and blows right off it’s supports!

    Where I live, we get quite a few gusty days, so unless you want your banner to fly off like Winnie the Pooh on his balloon, strap it down with some grommets and wind slits.

    Pole Pockets

    Exactly what it sounds like. These pockets are made for using PVC, or other kind of piping, to display your banner rather than hanging it. These are good for outdoor affairs, such as weddings, family reunions, summer fairs, or soccer games.

    So there you have it! These are three FREE features that we can add to any Outdoor Vinyl Banner that you order. Just make sure to add them during the checkout process, and you’re good. Now, go out and enjoy the summer!

  • Smart Product Placement and Learning When to Say No

    Branding. There's a lot of fun stuff that goes into it: timeless logos, a catchy a slogan, some product placement. But that's where we reach the core of a dilemma here.

    I recently saw Roberto Vergati Santos' collection of branded superheroes. Santos, an Italian artist, decided to reimagine a world where the superhero was sponsored, and how that would reflect on their image. Check out Batman and that familiar logo:

    It's an interesting concept, and the art is spot-on, but I've also seen this before.

    Over across the Pacific, in Japan there is an anime show called Tiger & Bunny. Silly show title aside, it's set in a futuristic, Gotham City type of landscape. Nearly every character in the show has some sort of superpower. However, they can't become full-fledged heroes unless they have a sponsor and earn a stint on the city's hit reality show "Hero TV". If you've got some time, check out the series on Hulu.

    Like I said, both Santos' work and Tiger & Bunny are fascinating takes on the idea of advertising to the extreme. Personally, I love them both. But it brings up a interesting issue: where do we draw the line at branding and product placement?

    Television

    There's Coca-Cola cups on American Idol. iPhones are in every character's hand. Some even sport Starbucks mugs and Adidas. It's everywhere, but usually, it's pretty subtle. Then there's something I call the "Hyundai Effect".

    On The Walking Dead season 2, Hyundai decided to throw in their sponsorship for the show. This is all fine and dandy, of course. But then the characters in the show find a Hyundai SUV that's magically in working order, and are now using. Okay, that's cool.

    Then Hyundai decided to throw a contest where fans could win the Hyundai they found on the show. Say what? That's a little too much Hyundai in my opinion.

    In Hollywood shows, they tend to have more generic cars for their characters, or even go so far as to rip off nameplates and hood ornaments, so that you can't identify the car. Some manufacturers can create unidentifiable vehicles to make their show less about the cars and more about the characters. This may have been just me, but I found the whole Hyundai business a little distracting from The Walking Dead. It was a nice car that stood our garishly from the other rundown cars in the caravan of zombie survivors, and all I could think of was product placement, product placement.

    If you plan to venture down a path similar to this, you may want to rethink your strategy. It could go two ways: people will love your product and actually pay attention to it, or they might not care and think it's distracting. Trust me, some people will love it! We just don't want to be hit over the head with it.

    Extent of Product Placement

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to sponsor someone or something and getting your name out there. But just like Santos'  pieces and Tiger & Bunny, we don't want to see your logos on things we revere and cherish, like our superheroes.

    Make sure that your product fits the style and tone of the show. We aren't going to see a Ferrari on The Walking Dead , unless it makes sense to the story (like they robbed a wealthy house, or something).

    If you're going to put your product in a TV show or a film, aspire to the immortal words of Tim Gunn and "Make it work." Tune in next time, when I'll explore a few options for you to choose from, when it comes to smarter ways to marketing your brand.

  • Promotional Booklets and Banners

    Whether you're an avid reader or not, chances are you like to thumb through highly intricate and heavily illustrated pages. If you've got a business to promote on top of that, then you're in luck, for I've got a solution for you. Ever heard of a Promotional Booklet?

    A Promotional Booklet is pretty much a more thorough (and cooler!) way of advertising yourself or whichever new product is out. When I say cooler, I mean that it's much nicer to flip through than a brochure. You've got more room for pictures, text, and diagrams, than any standard brochure space.

    In lieu of trade show events and conventions, these handouts are much more engaging to an attendee, and potential customer, than a brochure. Meeting with clients or have a waiting area in your office? Have these available for customers to thumb through to get them more interested. Perhaps it will already answer surface questions they had, so that when you meet face to face you can talk on equal standing.

    Consider this type of promotional item/giveaway for your next event. Couple it with a smashing banner and booth design and you're ready to tackle any trade show thrown at you.

    Like what you see? Then head on over to Noupe for an amazing list they've gathered of over 50 other kinds of promotional booklets. You can find the article HERE.

  • December Deals on Vinyl Banners!

    Up to 30% in Savings!

    All throughout December, we've got great discounts on our Vinyl Banners! Customize these babies to your event or sale, from vinyl wall banners to outdoor banners and hanging/standing banners. It's our gift from us to you: providing you with superb quality banners for all your event needs and, for this December only, at a discounted price! So, take a look below at the exclusive coupon codes below for the sale:

    Here's what you can do to get the discount

    1) Re-register here on our new site

    2) Place your order, and use the following coupon codes a checkout:

    Get 30% off all fixed size banners! Use the following coupon code for all vinyl banner products: DC30

    Get 10% off all custom size banners! Use the following coupon code for all vinyl banner products: CUSTOM10

  • Beyond the Banner: "Too Many Choices"

    We are fickle humans. We like having a say in what we buy or don't buy, use or don't use, who we vote for, etc. We like choices, but we also believe in the saying that there can be "too much of a good thing", and this can be applied to your business as well.

    Too many choices within a single product can be "too much of a good thing". For example, with Apple products like the iPod: you only get a choice of a few colors, instead of the whole rainbow spectrum. Why? It simply makes choosing easier, and when you spend less time choosing a color, you spend more time selecting and making your purchase.

    To quote Paul Scrivens, from the Smashing Magazine article, Easier is Better Than Better:

    "... in reality humans usually choose the one that is easiest for them to understand and evaluate. Very often we do so because we don’t have the time to put in the research necessary to make an informed decision."

    You don't want this ^. Perhaps you won't mind competing products between businesses, but having too many choices among the same product wihtin your own business? Well, that might be a shot to the foot. It's all about the time. Or as the ol' businessmen with the fancy canes and monacles once said, "Time is Money!"

    So, when considering your latest and greatest product, limit the choices of color, texture, features, etc. that it comes with. Make it simple, make it smart, and it'll sell.

    For a more in-depth discussion about this topic, swing on over to Smashing Magazine and read Paul Scriven's article HERE.

  • Beyond the Banner: Design for Booklets & Brochures

    We talk a lot about banners and signs, designs, and inspiration ideas for your next ad. But let's take a step back and get a look at some other common forms of marketing, such as.....

    THE BROCHURE!

    They're everywhere. In the airport, at the universities, in the front lobbies of hospitals and businesses. Brochures are like interviews: it's the first impression of a service or place that you'll be paying for, and you want to see it's worth. But like the airport brochure racks, these little booklets have to compete for your attention! So, you may be thinking: what kind of designs are we talking about here?

    Brochure Design Ideas

    Similar to an earlier post about business card design, you are not limited by an 8 x 11 piece of paper. Just take a look at TVNZ's triangle brochure below:

    The full brochure actually unfolds about 6 times. That might be a little too much information (not to mention, kind of bulky), but the idea is still pretty stellar. So, you see, you aren't hindered by standard printing. We have the technology!

    The Front Cover

    So, what to put on the front...

    Start with your company name, your logo, perhaps a slogan. Include a title about what your  brochure is all about, and a picture would be nice.

    With comparing the two above, notice how the tone of each brochure's approach differs right away from the front cover. Fruitylicious is more fun with bright colors, and wanted their logo (which clearly states it's purpose: fruit products!) up front and center on that brochure.

    Reynolda Village has a more classy, vintage look. With dark colors like black and olive, they retain that sense of elegance, and an enviable lifestyle. In short, you want to shop there!

    The Content Pages

    Of course, this section of a brochure is going to be vastly different for everyone. Information brochures include tons of text and statistics; entertainment brochures would most likely include images of the place or service with minimal text. Image is everything.

    In recent trends, brochures are starting to mimic Infographics, with large cartoonish images that illustrate the statistics that the company is trying to convey. Consider the water company brochure above.

    The above brochure is for a spa. With the large images, and minimal text, it definitely conveys the cool and calm of a peaceful spa. There is beauty in the images and the choice of typography for the text: the fancy design has been stripped away.

    Not all brochures are created equal. They are distinct to each individual business, and should be designed in the same way. To grab a customer's attention, make your brochure stand out: the same technique that you apply to every branch of your company.

  • The Seven Deadly Sins and Advertising: Techniques to Draw New Customers

    Alright, this is fascinating to me. Over at Smashing Magazine, a group of designers and writers known as ZURB, submitted an article about utilizing the legendary Seven Deadly Sins to turn site visitors into customers. This is a clever article about legitimate marketing techniques, and it's a fun and easy way to really think about how you want to sell your product. Not only can this be applied to banner and sign design, but in any other media of advertising that you're leaning towards.

    I'll summarize the gist of the article below, but if you'd like to read the whole enchilada, cruise on over HERE.

    Pride

    Pretty simple. By showcasing the pride you have in your products, especially with sales numbers, etc.  a customer can fall in love with the legitimacy. Another way is to showcase brand names and well-known companies associated with your business or who have used your product. Big names like FaceBook, Costco, or AT&T...you get the picture. Their names will hold up yours on a higher pedestal above your competitors, and for some customers, success like that is attractive.

    Gluttony

    Everyone is thrifty: we like it cheap, we like it packaged, we like it instant. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. This technique is all about putting your best offers up front: sign up and get "this", here's a new 2-for-1 package, etc. Giving visitors an instant opportunity to catch a good deal can guarantee returning customers down the road. Don't be ashamed to exploit that new deal you've got going. Make it loud, make it awesome, make it once-in-a-lifetime and we will come flocking.

    Sloth

    This one is kind of difficult, but it's more to the effect of the opposite of laziness: constantly updating blogs, Twitter and RSS feeds, a solid stream of updates, anything to make you look like you're constantly on the move and updating new things.  You appear cultured, in tune with news of the day, and knowledgable with what you're trying to sell. A technique like this is especially great for websites.

    Envy

    Over in the original article, ZURB used FourSquare as an example of making others envious of your status. When checking-in, players can earn points and eventually become "mayor" or a real location. As mayor, you can get special offers and considerations. Other businesses create response sections that showcase customers' appreciation: "I love my new [blank], and I lost 35 lbs!", "Can't get enough of this!", or "Thanks to [insert name] for being an awesome customer! You've just won [blank]". Sentences like these can make visitors eager to try and win or gain that appreciation that others have been showered with.

    Lust

    Usually though of as something sexual, it can actually stand for something extremely attractive (like shiny or sexy), but is only attainable at a high cost. You see it on ads and websites all the time: glamor shots of that brand new iPad, new car models, or a fancy perfume or watch. So shiny....

    Greed

    This more aimed at services that require collecting something. For FourSquare, it's points, for Twitter it's followers, for Pinterest, it's that urge to pin as much as possible (of which I am guilty). It's a seemingly simple marketing technique that makes the customer come back for more and more of whatever is the goal, even if it's free. No play, no gain.

    Wrath

    Mostly used by review sites like Amazon or Best Buy, customers can rank their reviews on products and what hurts is that businesses can't delete these comments. Sometimes, "flamers" will pit two products against each other: "[blank company] makes a MUCH better tablet than [blank company]", "[blank] has terrible service, try [blank] instead". Vengeful and a little back-stabby, this less kind technique is to be used with caution. Bashing on other companies that you share competition with is not recommended (unless it's subtle...)

  • Branding Banners: Tips on Logos, Types, and More

    You're a brand new business, or at least thinking of re-branding to get more followers. Well, don't feel too overwhelmed by the flood of prospective ideas, or you'll drive yourself crazy with the possibilities! Instead, here's a few tips to get you started on the right path to brand new business.

    Doing Your Homework

    It seems silly right now, but do some research into your company or your most well-known products. What's the story behind the founding? What is it about your product that customers love so much? By taking what you learn and spinning it, you not only create a new sense of purpose, but you can take that history and transform it into a new logo or slogan. Say you found out that you're business was originally founded in Minnesota. You can say "Born in Minnesota, Raised in Success". Alright, that might have been cheesy, but you get the picture. It's all about the history.

    Loco for Logos

    So, after you've done your homework, it's time to think of a logo! This is the fun part. You keep what you have, or take all that research you've done and channel it into something creative. Remember, it should reflect who you are as a company and the level of professionalism you expect. Don't be a corporation with a logo of a penguin riding a skateboard. Make it fun, but make it relevant. You also don't to add too much detail: a logo should be simple enough that anyone can distinguish it from another's.

    Typography Troubles

    For those who don't know, "types" refers to the style of text you use for messages, like Arial or Times New Roman. There is a humongous plethora of types out there, or sometimes called fonts, and in most cases you can download ones you like for free. BUT, if you want a completely unique type just for your business, it's going to cost you some coin. For the most part, however, you can stick with what you have or download the freebies online.  Choosing a font is a lot like choosing a logo: make it fun, but make it relevant and above all, LEGIBLE. I can't even begin to tell you how illegible types can turn away customers.

  • Banner Giveaway! Jeff Soto & the Seeker Friends

    Candy Eaters Banner Banner4Sale has partnered with Prints on Wood to bring you some great work from artist, Jeff Soto. We are offering free banners of his next work in the Seeker Friends print series!

    Currently at Prints on Wood, Jeff Soto is selling a series of unique prints featuring cute creatures doing various activities: gardening, guitar, painting, etc. Each new Seeker Friend is released once a month, and the next one is coming up real soon!

    So, here's the 411!

    We are giving away four 5' x 5' banners featuring the new Seeker Friend, "The Candy Eaters", just in time for Halloween! There will be two opportunities to win:

    1. Go to www.banner4sale.com and "Like" BOTH Facebook buttons on the home page beneath the scrolling images. If you do this between Thursday October 4th at noon (PST) and Friday October 5th, noon (PST), you'll  be automatically entered. Two people will be chosen at random to win.
    2. If you've already got a couple of Seeker Friends at home, then try the Instagram win! We want to see your Seeker Friend in the *wild*. Are they on your bookshelf, by your computer? In the kitchen? On your desk at work? As a paperweight...(I hope not!). Take some lovely pictures and post them on Instagram between Thursday October 4th, noon (PST) and Friday October 5th, noon (PST). Use the hashtag #seekerfriends and Jeff Soto will pick his two favorites.
    Since we are giving away four banners, obviously there will be four winners! So, what are you waiting for?? Grab your camera or the nearest computer and start "liking" our page, or take wonderful glamor shots of your beloved Seeker Friends. Don't forget the hashtag!
  • Taste-Buds & Banners: Food Photography to Drool Over

    Oh, honey, we know what you're doing at lunch and dinner. Don't pretend like you don't take pictures of your food and then post it on Instagram. But don't worry, we aren't here to tease. In fact, we encourage it!

    Banners with images of food are great for:

    • Restaurant promotions
    • Food Fairs!
    • Festivals
    • Culinary School
    Take a look below, then grab your camera! It's about to get hot in this kitchen.

    Hungry yet? Me too *sigh*.

    And they all look so good, don't they? It's too bad professional food photographers often use substitutes like motor oil, blowtorches, hairspray, shoe polish and glue to make those tasty food photos look shiny, steaming, and appealing. But hey! They do what they're supposed to: make us want all those dang good foods so bad, we want to jump through the screen to get it.

    Carving Out a New Design

    Glamorous shots of your platefuls of plenty are nice and all, but what I especially like are the fruit & veggie carvers. They can turn any mundane-lookin' fruit and turn it into a masterpiece, like the watermelon below. I love this one, because take a look inside: it's not the outside of the melon that got a makeover!

    Juicy and artistic. Not bad. Here's a couple of other carvings that tickled my fancy.

    Now that those are all done, please excuse me while I go in search of sustenance. All of this food talk has made me hungry beyond belief.

    For more amazing food carvings, check out this article.

    For more professional food photography, here's an article just for you!

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