Design & Price: 4-by-12 printed banner

By signcraft

Posted on Saturday, June 17th, 2023

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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, 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:

A local furniture store is planning a summer sale for Independence Day weekend—they’re spending some money on radio and television ads, but they know how effective banners are. They’re looking for something flashy that will attract a lot of attention on the busy street where their store is located and ask you to come up with an eye-catching design similar to the one you produced for their “Fall Sale” banner last year.

 The banner will hang on the wall on the front of their building, less than 100 feet off a busy four-lane highway. Make a sketch of the design you might have designed for the customer and quote a price.

This appeared in the May/June 2011 issue of SignCraft. While the prices have been adjusted for inflation, they may not accurately reflect current pricing for such signage.

 Andy Stroh

ACS Graphics, Fremont, Indiana

I really enjoy banner work because the customer always seems to let me have a bit more design freedom. This banner will be installed fairly close to the road, but I still wanted to emphasize the “what and when” as much as possible.

The local parade route is also right on this road, so we went with a more patriotic theme to tie in with that. All of the design work is done in CorelDraw.

This would all be digitally printed onto a 13-oz. banner except for the dates 2, 3, and 4, which would be cut using an easy-remove vinyl. I always feel this is a nice option for the customer so that the banner can be brought back next year and have the dates changed. I charge $11 per sq. ft. for banners, so the price for this would be $528.

Neil Doherty

Mel’s Signs, Cavan, Ireland

This type of project is what we’d call a bread-n-butter job, since we handle them all the time. Normally a client comes in not knowing exactly what he or she wants regarding the design. When it comes to banners or the like, we’ll show the client photos of layouts from basic to complicated and find out what sort of budget they have for the project.

After a few quick sketches to determine panel size, shape, content and color, we collect a deposit and proceed. Since this project is for a repeat customer, they’re comfortable with leaving the layout to us—but we always email them prior to printing, just in case!

The banner will be printed using one of our three Roland printers, on reinforced PVC-coated banner material. The customer will also receive a storage tube and cable ties for installation.

Design A is priced at $11.50 per sq. ft.

Design cost: $162.50

PVC material, ink, tape, grommets: $100.00

Labor: $162.50

Markup: $126.23

Total: $551.23

Design B is priced at $15.29 per sq. ft. For this version, material and labor costs remain the same, but there is a little more design time.

Design cost: $238.10

PVC material, ink, tape, grommets: $100.00

Labor: $162.50

Markup: $233.32

Total: $733.92