Final Four Printing – Branding Venues

event signs

Hospitality Suite Entry

The NCAA Final Four came to Dallas, Texas to celebrate before the college basketball championship. The games seem to be a sideline to many of the events proceeding the finals. The Graphic Edge was hired to work with Turner Broadcasting System to assist in the printing for their events. Unlike printing for Super Bowl XLV where most of the printing was similar basically direct print to coroplast, these events were unique, and although smaller in scale proved to be just as intense.

 Branding venues has become a huge business. The motto seems to be if there is a surface to cover with a logo – lets do it. It becomes tricky to avoid overkill but then it is so hard not to add a logo to a table or a bench and then not cover a wall or window with another one.  Vinyl wraps have become very popular, you can cover existing art, or walls with lo tac adhesive and not damage the surface.  Clear cling is fun too because you can attach it to any window or door and still see thru to the other side. This might be considered subtle branding.

Vinyl Wraps

Conan Party Vinyl Wraps

Using large format printing to brand an environment requires careful consideration of the venue. In the case of the Final Four printing, there were four sites they were holding parties in.  Each location required separate site surveys including measuring and sourcing materials that could be easily adhered and removed. In event branding, what goes up must come down. A site survey by the printing company you are working with is helpful, they can provide exact measurements and suggest materials. It is important to share the dimensions with your design team. For some reason, these events tend to be last minute, wrongly sized art can be costly and delay the printing process. Don’t make it the printer’s job to check all your files at the last minute or even worse the installers job to fix badly sized art.

Event Banners

House Of Blues Event Banners


 Installation is a big part of the branding process. Expect your installer to be a key component to successful branding. Make sure to have enough staff to handle all the unexpected delays that might occur. It is hard to foreshadow what might come up during a huge sporting event.


There are many layers to event printing, the client, the ad agency, the event company, the printer and the installer. If everyone is in sync it makes for a stress free, organized final product. But if any of you have ever printed for major sporting events, you know how uncommon it is for everyone to be in sync. I really don’t understand why that is, all the participants know the date and have previous similar events to draw from, but for some reason, there seems to be an element of panic surrounding the actual day.

Final Four Printing

Tailgate Tip Off Tent Headers

So remember when branding for an event avoid over exposure or saturation but still allow enough to build excitement. As I reflect on my second major sporting event, I have learned so much. If/when another comes around, I will be ready to take on the crazy that flies in with these strangers descending upon our city and try and remember to Be Calm and Print On.

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How To Order Custom Vinyl Banners

custom vinyl bannersBeing in the printing industry both buying and selling for the last 25 years has provided me an interesting perspective on ordering print. When I deal with designers, marketers or advertising agencies, they are pretty clear on what specs they want and often have a team of creative and account service people helping them make decisions. However, often times I work with the end user, who doesn’t necessarily know what they want. These requests are usually followed by a series of questions asked by me trying to determine what best suits their final application.

When you decide you need a vinyl banner, it is important to know what to order. The first question to consider is the size. Common sizes for either horizontal or vertical banners can be from 2’ x 6’ to 5’ x 20’ and anywhere in between. Vinyl comes on rolls, so there aren’t many limitations on size and for larger banners you can always seam them together.

A few things I’ve learned while ordering and printing banners – you do not need a big banner in a small room, it takes up space and is hard for the eye to take in. On the flip side, a small banner in a large room makes very little impact. Banners hung high are usually bigger than those at eye level. Measure the area the banner will be hung, are there space limitations on the wall or fence area your sign will be hung? Does your banner need to be seen from the street or across a stadium floor? If you have a banner with a lot of small type, you need to make sure the viewer can see it clearly so make sure to order a banner that will communicate your message effectively.

Banner SIZE Considerations

  • How big the room is
  • Where the banner will be hung
  • What is the viewing distance for the banner
  • How much content is on your banner
  • Do you have large photographs or small type
Outdoor Vinyl Banner

Outdoor Vinyl Banner

MATERIAL                                                                                                                                        The second question I always ask my clients is whether the banner is going to be hung indoor or outdoor. Vinyl comes in different weights and finishes. If your banner is for outdoor use, it needs to be printed on solvent digital material and equipment that protects the ink from bad weather or UV rays. Nobody wants to pay for a faded or smeared banner. Vinyl also comes in different finishes. Smooth or matte finishes are better for indoor applications, you might want to consider block out banner vinyl for two sided banners.  Vinyl also comes in various weights from 9oz to 22oz, the heavier weight the more durable the banner. We recommend a 13oz Scrim Vinyl for outdoor usage and a 10oz matte vinyl for indoor usage. If your banner is going to be hung for a long time, you might consider other vinyl options.

Banner MATERIAL Considerations

  • Indoor or outdoor usage
  • Length of time banner will be hung

Banner Printers Dallas

HANGING                                                                                                                                  Banners can be trimmed flush, have taped or sewn reinforced edges. Reinforcing the edges helps the banner stay stiff and not curl at the edges. Outdoor banners need to be hemmed if they are going to be hung for long periods of time. Webbing is also an option to reinforce your outdoor banner.  Banners are usually hung with grommets and rope or zip ties. Grommets are rings inserted through a hole in the vinyl to keep it from tearing when hung. Depending on the size of your banner, grommets can be every 2’ apart or if you have a smaller banner it is recommended to have 3 grommets on the top and 3 on the bottom. Some banners are hung from poles. Pole pockets need to be sewn or taped to accommodate the dimension of your pole.

Banner HANGING Considerations

  • Indoor – taped edges
  • Outdoor – hemmed edges
  • Grommets or Pole Pockets


When designing banners, my recommendation is to keep your message simple and easy to read. Outdoor banners are meant to be seen in a few moments, the image should be big enough to see from a distance and the message should be brief and concise. Indoor banners with photographs or illustrations and a small bit of type are most effective. Consider your audience when designing your banner, don’t over stimulate with shocking color, research shows relaxed designs with lighter color backgrounds allow the consumer to focus longer on your message. Whether you design the banner for The Graphic Edge to print or we design it, knowing what you need is a great place to start.

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