Design & Price: 4-by-12-ft. banner

By signcraft

Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2022

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In every issue, SignCraft gives a few sign makers an imaginary project. We ask them to do a sketch of the sign they might have produced in this situation and to quote a price for the job. Most of the details are left to the designer’s imagination. The object is to see how different sign makers approach the same project. Here’s the scenario these sign makers were given:

The volunteer director of a local church’s summer youth program is in a hurry to hang a banner on the corner in front of the church hall. She says she’d like something fun and colorful, but stresses that they’re in a hurry and on a tight budget. Make a sketch of the sign you might have designed for the customer and quote a price.

This appeared in the May/June 2005 issue of SignCraft. The prices have been adjusted for inflation.

Wayne Bodley

The Mad Signtist,

Hendersonville, North Carolina

These two sketches are similar in terms of complexity, so I would price them at $13/sq. ft. for a total of $640, not including delivery.


Design A

Design B

Ryan Kid

Kid Signs, West Allis, Wisconsin

Even though cost is always a factor, we believe in giving the client a little extra. These 4-by-2-ft. banners need to attract attention, and they should serve that purpose first and foremost. We use 14-oz. vinyl awning material for all our outdoor banners, and we stock many colors besides white.

Design A: This banner uses dark blue stock with vinyl graphics. Bible Camp would have a quick fade done with Krylon spray paint before it was weeded. The graphic is vectorized clip art and is easy enough to cut.

Price: $518

Design B: This version uses gray stock with vinyl lettering, no paint. The graphic in this case would be a digital print, and the panel at the bottom would also add to the cost.

Price: $665


Kurt Schlaefer

Signs by Kurt, Tucson, Arizona

Businesses don’t like to pay much for banners, but a well-designed banner does a better job of attracting attention than the sometimes-boring banners out there. With modifications to the date, this banner could be used for years—a good selling feature when discussing price.

The cross is light turquoise and Bible Camp is yellow—both with black outlines. The bottom panel is black with white dates and grades. Vacation is red.


Banner $75

Design $60

Lettering $444

Total $579


Design A

Design B

Jack Keith

Keith Signs & Graphix, Cabool, Missouri

I normally charge a $220 design fee, but I would donate this fee as a gift to the church. I would justify the higher-than-expected price by pointing out that banners could be used year after year by simply changing the dates. To facilitate this, I would do the date panels in vinyl. Everything else would be hand painted.


Design A: $850

Design B: $990