Banner Text Dos and Don’ts

Most of my blog posts revolve around online marketing. With this post, I’m going “old school” and talking about physical banners. You know, the ones you see hanging at conferences, community festivals, conventions, and sporting events?

Many businesses – from large national retailers to small local service providers – see sponsorships as a way to both promote their company and show their support for an event or a community facility. Whether you are simply putting your logo on an event poster, or leasing a permanent sign as a sponsor for a local sports team, here are some things to consider.

1. Logo

Is your logo visually recognizable? If you use an acronym or simple graphic for your logo, you should consider including the full name of your company beneath or beside the logo so folks will be better able to recognize you. If your company logo consists of both your business name and a brief tag line, even better.

2. Taglines

A short and clear tagline indicates the company focuses on road and civil engineering.

How long is your tagline? If it is part of your logo, consider how space restrictions will affect the font size and readability. Each sponsor may receive an equal amount of space on a poster. A really long tagline will result in a shrinking of your entire logo to fit within the allotted sponsor space. You should probably have two versions of your logo for these types of instances: one with and one without a tagline.

3. Text amount and font size

In a hallway, where people can stop and read eye-level banners, font size can be smaller and you can include more text.

How much text will be on your banner? How big of a font will you need? This will be the most important thing to consider if you are paying for a stand-alone banner advertisement or even dasherboard and scoreboard ads at events or local sports facilities. Consider how people will see your banner.

  • Who will be most likely to see it?
  • Will people walk past it at eye-level?
  • Will it be up on a wall or scoreboard for sporting event spectators to view while they are sitting in the stands?
  • How far away will your target reader be from the ad?
  • How much time will they have to read it?

I’ve created a handy four-quadrant model to help you see the relationship between amount of text and font size to the distance and time considerations.



4. Clarity

Font type is very important on a banner. Elaborate or script-type fonts are difficult to read and process quickly.


Notice in the photo above, how the banner with the dark brown background (to the right of the press box windows) is unreadable from across the ice rink. Up close, it’s not much easier to read quickly – folks will see this banner up close only when they are walking up the stairs to leave their seats.

Also on the topic of clarity is whether the text you include on your banner will make it clear to readers what your company does. If you are sponsoring a community event, you want your sponsorship banner to make it clear whether you are a plumber, a real estate agent, or a construction company.

5. Branding

Finally, don’t forget to use the same font and colors your company uses on its website, logo, and other marketing materials. When a potential customer sees your sponsorship sign and then visits your website, it should be immediately obvious that it’s the same company. You can read more about how to create and maintain a brand image in my book, Branding for Beginners.

Have you sponsored a community event? What did you take into consideration when you were deciding what info to include in the sponsorship ad/banner?