This article originally appeared as “How long do vinyl banners last” on the blog of One Source Media.
“How long do vinyl banners last?” is a common query. You want reassurance that the funds you spend on printing your banners will prove a smart choice and be a positive ROI of your marketing and advertising money over the long term.
In reality, there’s no hard-and-fast expiration date. There are a lot of factors that play into signage longevity. These factors range from environmental conditions to storage decisions to the type of fabric or material it’s printed on (for example, whether it’s on mesh, PVC, scrim, or flex fabric).
What are vinyl banners?
Banners are a specific type of vinyl signage that gets printed onto some sort of flexible material such as flex, mesh, PVC, or scrim. This type of signage is great for indoor and outdoor applications!
Durability of vinyl banners
A high-quality banner, on average can last anywhere from 2-12 years. We know that’s a pretty big range. However, it’s really difficult to narrow down a more precise life expectancy, due to the variety of factors that come into play.
Let’s take a look at the things that affect a vinyl banner’s lifespan and what you can do to make your banner last longer.
Custom banners may be short-term weapons in your arsenal, or perhaps you rely on them long term. Either way, you definitely want to forecast how long a banner should be expected to last so you can plan ahead.
Factors that influence banner longevity
While many negative factors decrease the life of a banner, a few of them are under your control. Being forewarned of these in advance will permit you to get the most from your investment.
Let’s discuss the factors you can control.
Is your banner for outdoors or indoors?
Indoor banners usually last much longer than outdoor banners. UV radiation from the sun, as well as wind speed up the deterioration of on banners used outside.
Even so, banners used outside can last much longer when you take them down and store them while not in use, and by choosing an appropriate fabric type for how much wind the Banner will endure.
Sun exposure on banners
A high sun exposure area will degrade banners more quickly than a shady location, so make sure you select a banner material with solar-resistant treatment for sunny locations (and make sure not to leave the banner up when it’s not needed).
When ordering a vinyl banner, research the number of UV inhibitors that may be in the vinyl. More UV inhibitors allows the banner to last longer and handle direct sunlight better.
Wind and vinyl banners
Wind can likewise destroy outdoor signs very fast if they are not designed for a high-wind environment. If your banner will be used in a windy place, you’ll need to go with mesh material or have wind slits in your banner.
Mesh banners for outdoors
A mesh banner work well for windy areas, since they permit gusts to pass right through. Like PVC or canvas, mesh banners can be printed upon with lettering and graphics. Unlike other banner options, the holes in the mesh give a slightly different appearance than if the material were solid.
Wind slits allow air to pass through
Even regular banners can have wind slits to let wind pass through them. As a matter of fact, if your outdoor banner is not mesh, wind slits are basically necessary to prevent wind damage.
Scrim banners for outdoors
Scrim is printable PVC material that has a reinforcing mesh inside the PVC coating. The reinforcing mesh makes a scrim banner sturdier and helps it last longer in windy environments.
Types of vinyl banner materials
A banner’s material matters a lot in terms of its longevity. Vinyl, also known as PVC, happens to be one of the most common materials for banners.
You might be surprised to know that there are different types of PVC, as well as several other banner materials. Each banner material has its own designated use case and expected lifespan. Let’s run through the options.
Calendered vinyl typically lasts from 3 to 6 years depending on all the various other factors discussed in this article. Calendered vinyl is the commonest PVC material used by companies that don’t foresee using their banner very frequently.
Metalized polyester banners
Fluorescent and metalized polyester lasts around 2 years. These types of signs are intended to function more like a temporary decoration and aren’t expected to continue functioning much longer than 2 years.
Cast PVC is a higher-quality material that lasts anywhere between 5a nd 12 years. This is one of the most durable vinyls for signs and banners.
While you are designing a banner and selecting a material on which to print it, it’s key to reflect on where and how you intend to deploy it. Deciding on the wrong banner fabric may result in a sign that looks worn and damaged far too early.
Printing and ink application procedures
Long ago, vinyl letters were cut out individually and moved onto a vinyl banner, but this technique happens to be horrifically time-consuming.
One reason banner shops still occasionally use this approach is because it vastly extends the life of your banner.
However, using this technique greatly limits your color and design.
These days, large format printers are the trend. They produce truer color matching and higher-quality pictures.
Of highest priority is the quality of the ink that a commercial print company uses in its printers.
A higher quality ink will extend your sign’s life. In most cases, a high-quality ink, for example eco-solvent, UV resistant, or fade resistant inks, will extend your sign’s life span as long as vinyl plot cut lettering would!
Installation and mounting of vinyl banners
Designing a proper mounting system for your sign is almost as vital as other aspects. Is it mounted on a building, on a fence, or hung between two poles?
Grommets also matter, if it has them. How many grommets are in it? How far apart are the grommets spaced?
How secure is the banner or how much “flap” is in it? For outdoor installations, especially, proper mounting is crucial for signage longevity.
Your local sign shop ensuring a proper mounting system is vital and will enable you get the longest usage out of your sign.
Especially outdoors, the size of a banner, as well as other design elements, will have an effect on lifespan. The larger the size, the larger the surface area for wind to act upon. That being said, wind slits (or mesh banners) mitigate this effect.
Given all these factors of signage lifespan, the choice is yours. Most importantly of all, vinyl signs ought to be designed for the end use in mind. Here at One Source Media, we get you the correct size, mounting system, and material for your needs so that your custom banners last as long as possible! We can also tell you about proper care for your vinyl banners so that your investment lasts for many years!
About One Source Media
One Source Media
3100 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11101
One Source Media is a custom banners, large format printing, and vinyl graphics company in Long Island City, NY! One Source Media has cemented our reputation as the top Queens banner printing and custom Signage shop through fast delivery, customer service, and quality! We do all types of custom Vinyl banners, Wrap advertising, Decal, and Window film on all sorts of commercial vehicles, and a full range of architectural wall wraps, window wraps, and vinyl graphics for buildings! If you need Vinyl vehicle wraps, vehicle graphics, commercial printed Wallpaper, a Wall decal or vinyl Mural, or perf window film graphics, call One Source Media today! We work with companies of all sizes across NYC, including Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan!