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Buying a roller banner online – beware of the pitfalls

The roller banner market is huge. A quick google search on roller banners (also known as pop-up banners, or pull up banners), comes back with over 1 million results! The list of available sellers are pretty extensive, and even on 3rd party sites like eBay and Amazon you can pick up a roller banner for under £30.

£30 for a roller banner is unbelieveably cheap – we deal with suppliers who can’t get near this price based on the material costs alone!

How are other people selling roller banners at this price?

The answer is low quality banner PVC.  Roller banner frames can be mass produced for really cheap, the extra cost is in the graphics. This is where banner PVC comes in, because it’s a cheap media for print that’s used for a variety of promotional displays.

Sound great right?! But be wary of banner PVC roller banners. If someone sells you a roller banner with a graphic made from banner PVC, chances are you’re misguided or misled, as it’s not a quality roller banner material.

Problems with banner PVC…

There are a number of problems with roller banners that use graphics made from this material. If you’re considering buying a banner PVC roller banner, you might want to think twice. Here’s why:

  • Banner PVC frays. We get so many people contact with us who have purchased a PVC roller banner from someone else that’s unhappy with how the edges have frayed – making it no longer usable. Banner PVC should always be folded over on the edges to avoid fraying (see photo), but as it’s a roller banner – this isn’t possible.
  • Banner PVC curves & folds easily. This means that the banner is likely to lose shape (almost looking baggy & worn), making it more difficult to read your message.
  • Banner PVC is slightly transparent. Daylight can pass through it, which can cause colours to look different and images to become more transparent.
  • Banner PVC is heat sensitive. If you’re exhibiting outside, or somewhere where sunlight will directly touch the PVC it’ll be much more likely to lose it’s shape.
  • Banner PVC is a pitted surface, not smooth (see picture). This can make prints look uneven and generally less-defined.
PVC media. You can see the uneven surface it has, the sides should be folded to avoid fraying but this isn't possible with a roller banner stand.
Banner PVC media. You can see the uneven surface it has, the sides should be folded to avoid fraying but this isn’t possible with a roller banner stand.

What material should a roller banner graphic be made from?

Roller banner graphics should be made from a Stay-Flat media (see photo), this usually has a grey-back and is made from an anti-curl material so it stays flat, meaning people can easily read your message. This media will not curve or lose its shape, even in hot temperatures – so your graphic stays easily visible. Stay-flat media is also completely opaque and smooth – so prints look perfect on it, plus they can be used over-and-over, unlike banner PVC.

Stay flat roller banner media
A stay-flat media ideal for roller banners. As you can see, the surface is completely smooth, making prints look great.

People are substituting banner PVC because it’s a cheaper option. This is an example where you really do get what you pay for, so unless you’re only going use the banner once, then throw it away – don’t bother with banner PVC.

As you’d expect, Stay-flat medias are more expensive – but not by a huge amount, especially as you can use it at multiple exhibitions. Next time you’re buying a roller banner, be sure to ask the seller what media they are printing onto, if they say banner PVC – look elsewhere.

We sell roller banners, printed onto a quality stay-flat media with a carry case starting from only £50 get in touch for a full quote. Also, if you already haven’t, check out our 100% cardboard, fully recyclable eco banner.





Roller Banner

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Posted in: Displays, Exhibitions & Events

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