How to Make a Step and Repeat Banner

In today’s world where everyone constantly posts pictures and video online, one of the items you might want to consider including in your next event is a step and repeat banner. Also referred to as a press wall, a step and repeat banner is a backdrop commonly used for photography at an event. The banner has a repeating pattern printed on it, such as company logos, emblems, or the name of the event. A step and repeat banners are easy to make and is a great investment, since it can be reused at future events.

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How to Make a Step and Repeat Banner

While including a step and repeat banner at your event might be a great idea, creating it can seem like a daunting task. If you have it in your budget, hire a professional company to make the step and repeat for you. However, if you can, create the banner yourself. It is not as difficult as it sounds; you just need to follow a few important steps.

1. Decide the Size of Your Banner

The first thing to do is decide upon the size banner you want, but the ideal size is at least 8 feet tall. This ensures the top of the banner will be tall enough to show behind the subjects who pose in front for pictures. Make sure you know where your banner will be displayed so you can determine the best width for your purposes and for the space provided. Some things to keep in mind:

  • 10’ x 8’ is a popular choice. A group (4 to 8 people) can fit in one photo.
  • 8’ x 8’ is more suitable for small groups. Photos of 2 to 4 people work well with this size banner.
  • 8’ x 5’ is the best width for events with limited space or where only photos of 1 to 2 people will be taken, such as photo booths.

2. Decide on the Number of Logos

Once you know what size banner you want to create, you need to decide how many logos you want printed on the banner. Since you are using the banner to build your clients’ brand, you need to make sure their logos are legible and will show around the subjects being photographed in front of the banner. Some important tips:

  • Using 2 to 4 logos tends to look best.
  • Including more than 6 logos can make your banner look crowded.
  • Keep the number of different logos to a minimum so your message is clear and the banner isn’t cluttered.

3. Choose Your Colors

Selecting the colors you want to use on your step and repeat banner is an important step in the design process. Does your company have their own signature colors you need to use? Does their logo only come in specific colors? Try to select what works best for the brand image you are creating and make sure you choose colors that help reflect the mood of the event. See the section titled, “8. Specify a Non-Glare Material” for some more tips on colors.

4. Decide on the Pattern

Once you have your logos and colors selected, you need to determine the pattern or layout of the logos on your banner. You don’t want to clump all of the logos together; you want to have them spaced evenly across the background so they are legible and easily visible on the banner. Depending upon the number of logos you are using, their shapes, and colors, choose a pattern that is easy on the eye and displays your logos in a manner that will best promote your brand.

Some examples of patterns are: tiled, alternating big and small logos, or diagonal lines of logos across the banner.

5. Create the Size and Spacing of the Logos in Your Design Software of Choice

As noted above, you want to make sure you have proper spacing and a good combination of background and logos. In addition, you need to select the right size for your logos. Most design software will help you with settings for logos and image patterns – you just choose what you like and input your image files. But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your logo is small enough to be seen in pictures, no matter how many people are being photographed.
  • The typical size for a logo on a step and repeat banner is 9 to 11 inches wide and 5 to 7 inches tall, set in a pattern across the banner.
  • Don’t go smaller than 5 inches tall, or your logo will not show well in the photos.
  • It is usually best to use the biggest logo you can so it will not be completely obscured by the people standing in front of it for pictures.

6. Ensure Your Logos Aren’t Blurry

Another step in the process of creating a step and repeat banner is to make sure you use crisp, clear images for your logos. You don’t want to have a banner with blurry logos! To ensure well defined images, you need to use the proper size picture files in whatever design software you choose to create your banner. If the logo files are the wrong size, you will get pixelation and a less-than-clear image. Most design software will print a sharp, clear logo if set to 100 dpi, or dots per inch.

7. Choose a Printer for Your Backdrop

Select a printer who is experienced in printing banners. You want to make sure you use someone who knows how to create a good-looking, durable banner. If you choose an inexperienced printer, you may receive an unprofessional looking product that doesn’t last very long.

8. Specify a Non-Glare Material

Since your step and repeat banner will be used as a backdrop for photographers, you need to make sure camera flashes and other lights at your event will not cause a glare in the pictures taken. Using a non-glare material can help with this issue. A few things to keep in mind are:

  • Banners created on vinyl have brighter colors; fabric gives a more weathered look.
  • A white background on your banner will make your logos really stand out. (Most “white” banners actually have a slight gray tint so the white doesn’t create a glare in photos.)
  • Ink tends to be more reflective than white, so if your banner is going to be vinyl, leave more white space around your logos to cut down on glare.
  • If you plan to use a lot of color, use fabric for your banner. This will help fight glare from reflective ink.

With the growing popularity of photo booth setups at events, step and repeat banners are a smart investment for event planners. Also, since everyone likes to take pictures and post them on their social media, using a well-designed banner will ensure your event gets the recognition it deserves. Once you know how to properly set up and utilize a step and repeat banner, you can be sure your client or company will be front and center on the red carpet – surrounding the attendees in all of their pictures.