Vinyl or Canvas: Which Banner Material Is Best?

January 15, 2015


Vinyl banner by By Laura Designs for Agrothermal Systems

Your choice of banner material has a direct impact on banner performance in terms of aesthetics, longevity, and, ultimately, return on investment. We’ve already covered how banner marketing can be a powerful  way to promote your products and services; now, let’s take a look at which type of banner material is best: vinyl or canvas.

How banner material affects aesthetics

Your choice of banner material impacts design aesthetics. Canvas banners, for example, are printed on white woven polyester fabric that features a non-reflective finish for a flat, matte look. This look works well in upscale environments with plenty of lighting, whether natural or artificial. You have more options when it comes to large banner printing. White matte vinyl banners feature high-grade frontlit vinyl with PVC coating. Don’t be fooled by the matte finish; these banners can promote bright, attention-getting designs on their smooth surfaces. White mesh vinyl banners feature a rugged texture due to their mesh makeups, which can lend itself to rugged designs. Biodegradable vinyl banners are similar to white matte vinyl banners, with the added eco-friendly benefit of being compostable in landfills. Despite their differences, just about any design can look fantastic on any of these banner materials. That said, banners printed for trade shows and conferences – particularly in which viewers will be up-close – should avoid mesh material because it’s easy to see through from short distances. Banners viewed from a distance of more than a few feet, however, can look great printed on either vinyl or canvas. As you’re about to see, environment is far more important to banner material selection.

Indoor or outdoor use

Both vinyl and canvas banners are great for indoor use (though, as mentioned, vinyl banners are see-through up-close), and both perform well in fair outdoor weather. If your banners will be outdoors for long periods or placed in harsh, windy, rainy weather conditions, however, mesh vinyl is the top-performer. Its mesh composition allows wind to pass through banners without tearing and it won’t be weakened by rain. However, mesh banners do not perform well in extreme cold, which can make the material brittle. White matte vinyl, biodegradable vinyl, and canvas banners can withstand cold conditions but not other harsh weather. If you plan to use your banner for a long time, especially outdoors, biodegradable vinyl should be avoided as it will eventually break down (though the process takes three to five years).

Which is the best banner material?

The best banner material depends on how and where you’ll place your banners. Canvas, biodegradable vinyl, and white matte vinyl are excellent choices for indoor banners. Canvas and white matte vinyl are great for cold outdoor conditions – but not wind and rain. White mesh vinyl is best for windy, rainy, harsh outdoor weather. The best banner material, then, is the one that looks great and lasts a long time in its environment; longevity increases ROI, whether you’re leaving a banner outside for months or reusing your banner for speaking engagements and trade shows. Use the information in this post to make an informed banner material choice that will help your business grow and profit.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

Vinyl is the Best Material for Banners.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

Hi Nishant, thanks for your comment! Vinyl is a great banner material, certainly, but there are some applications for which canvas is better-suited.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

I too agree with Nishant, vinyl banners are the best. I have recently got one fro my local business and its looks great.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

Glad to hear it, Tina! I'm certain your new vinyl banner will help you drive more customers to your local business!

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.