If you have ever seen celebrities photographed on the red carpet, chances are you’ve seen a “step and repeat” banner. These banners are abundant at such events as celebs “step” in front of the banner, are photographed, and then leave as following person “repeats.” These banners add a slick and professional ambiance, and give fans a great opportunity to snag photos of their favorite A-listers.
For companies, though, the banners are a perfect publicity opportunity for their business because such photos will be circulated and garner attention, which will lead to more advertising on social media. This is why these banners can be seen at fashion galas or Hollywood events, showcasing sponsors. They’re also used at wedding venues, grand openings, trade shows, business expos, conventions, etc.
Despite the platform, though, companies and their designers often face a similar conundrum: how do I display my logo so that it adheres to the format, but is big enough to recognize and remember?
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On average, step and repeat banners are 8′ x 8′ or 8′ x 10′.
Of course, every situation is unique. Average dimensions may not always suffice for each event. When such scenarios arise, it’s important to shift and consider other properties that influence your logo size. This includes: group size, banner size, number of logos, and camera proximity.
Among these properties, group size is perhaps the most important. This is because the other elements (banner size, logos, and camera proximity) all depend on how many people may participate. Knowing this information may require some research about the event and its timeline. In addition, it requires critically thinking about aspects such as the purpose of the event, how much time will be allotted for photos, and how many participants will be attending, and other factors.
For instance, group size helps to determine not only the type of camera shot that is possible, but also the banner size that is needed. This will help to determine the amount of design space available for your logo and how many people can fit within the photograph.
For banner size, the general rule is to allot 2 feet per person. This equates to about 1-2 people for an 8′ x 5′ banner, 1-6 people for an 8′ x 12′, 1-10 people for an 8′ x 20′ banner, etc. This rule helps to gauge how much banner is needed to fit your intended subjects. It’s also a rule that helps to organize your photographers (2 feet/photographer) so that there is an adequate spacing to get the perfect shot.
You may think the bigger the group, the bigger the banner, and bigger space to fill, resulting in one or two massive logos. However, a big group usually warrants a large banner, but smaller, repeated logos with generous spacing. On the other hand, a small group may require a smaller banner, which provides more space for one or two big logos.
The size of your logo depends on the number of logos on the banner, too. For reference, logos are typically between 9 to 11 inches wide and 5-7 inches tall. Since there needs to be space between the logos, an average banner usually has 2 to 6 of them. Banners with more than six can be too “noisy” and may confuse viewers.
The logo’s proximity to the camera is another major factor that determines its size on a step and repeat. Since the purpose behind this backdrop is to provide a background for a photo, it’s important to think about camera angles and distance. A full-body shot of an outfit or a wide-shot of a large group may be great for a photo, but ultimately can lose your logo if it’s too small. Similarly, a close-up head shot can lend to some beautiful photos, and yet obscure your logo if it’s too large.
Understanding that camera’s proximity will provide you with some direction of available design space. It will also help to understand the photographer’s line of sight as well as the aspect ratio—the relationship between width and height—which will help to determine an appropriate logo size.
As the company creating the banner, knowing how these four properties affect logo size is invaluable. It identifies potential ways to manipulate your “step and repeat” banner’s design, so that you can improve your logo. Likewise, if you have a number of sponsors, it helps you to better understand how to fairly display a number of logos all at once and maintain good networking relationships. By knowing the constraints of a step and repeat, you can better create a top-notch, eye-catching logo design that anyone can instantly recognize anywhere—whether on or off the red carpet.