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Signs Express Ltd - Soft signage

Promotional banner hanging outside the York Dungeons Feather shaped flags for the council standing along a path

Rebecca Dack, Marketing & PR Manager with Signs Express Ltd., has seen the range of applications for banners vary significantly over recent years.
Retailers and events have traditionally utilised banners and continue to do so, but there are a number of other sectors that are now choosing this method of promotion.

“Local authorities and the public sector are using this medium more than ever before to promote their initiatives, and even as a more permanent form of branding,” says Rebecca. “Many local councils have recognised the advertising opportunity available by dressing the lamp posts on the high street with soft signage as forms of sponsorship for festivals, ‘in bloom’ competitions and city of culture.” In addition to demand from local councils, Signs Express franchises have reported demand from construction companies, retail parks as well as exhibition and conference centres across the UK.

So why are so many sectors branching out? Perhaps one reason is the improvements made in the substrates used to create the banners themselves. No longer relegated to exclusively indoor use, banners and flags can be created on a wide number of materials including those lightweight enough to create temporary hoardings, scaffolding wraps as well as portable displays used for short term promotions and events. “The development of die sublimation materials has given a new dynamic to soft signage, making it more attractive to the customer,” says Rebecca.

Another factor could be attributed to market research, as an increasing number of clients are realising the potential of inexpensive, temporary signage. “Customers recognise that movement attracts attention, and so are utilising temporary solutions to attract business,” says Rebecca, revealing that many customers are also choosing soft signage as a way to dress their premises through the selection of more ornate and decorative fixing methods.

Choosing the right soft signage

While more and more banners and flags can be found on lampposts and hanging elsewhere outdoors, not all substrates are suited to these conditions. Sign makers should be sure to clarify with the client whether the banner is intended for indoor or outdoor use, as well as what it is going to be fixed to. Having a clear idea of the fixing system will help keep maintenance to a minimum, even when changing the signage. “Once a tensioning system is in place, the sign maker only needs to replace the skin for each new message, keeping overall costs down but ensuring that the temporary messages are securely fixed,” says Rebecca. “Getting a clear understanding of the customer’s needs is vital, as a short-term promotion will affect the material choice and cost accordingly. “

To manage client expectations and price the project accurately, Rebecca recommends asking a number of key questions to ensure the job is done right and to increase the chances of repeat business:

 ·    How long is the campaign? This is what will determine the material and methods used.
 ·    Where and when this will be installed? Establish the fixing methods required for adequate tensioning.
 ·    Is it free moving (eg. a flag)? The anchor points need to be correct to ensure secure fixing and to avoid uneven wear and tear.  

Sign makers also need to ask the customer if they have the necessary permissions to install the signage – otherwise the job will be rendered useless!  
To learn more, visit www.signsexpress.co.uk.

Promotional teardrop flags standing on a pathwayPromotional banner hanging from the side of an art gallery


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