Vinyl, Mesh, and Fabric Banner Comparison

Signage 101 – Banner Material Comparison

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The versatility of banners is mostly due to the materials they’re made of — they can be created from vinyl, fabric, or mesh — all of which are known for their durability and printer compatibility. However, it can be tricky to determine which banner material is suitable for your needs. Choosing the right banner material is important so you can maximize the quality of your display and your money, too. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the three most popular banner types, the materials they’re made of, and what makes each one unique.

While you’re exploring banners, check out our blog posts on how to hang your banner or the different banner finishing options available.

Vinyl Banners

Vinyl banners are the most durable and commonly used banners for outdoor display. You can choose between the standard 13 oz. or the thicker 18 oz. vinyl to print on, depending on your intended use. Typically, the heavier the material, the greater the durability.

The 13 oz. vinyl is your best bet for everyday display. This banner is impressively durable and versatile, and it is the same material used for billboards. On the other hand, 18 oz. vinyl is meant for heavy-duty display like at construction sites. Regardless of weight, vinyl banners offer exceptional image quality and display versatility.

Vinyl comes with a semi-gloss appearance, which can be noticeable when light shines on it. Avoid placing banners in direct light to reduce visible glare; the less glare there is, the better readability your vinyl banner will have.

Since vinyl banners are heavier than fabric or mesh, place grommets around the edges of your banner in addition to the four corners to ensure it is pulled taut when displayed. Another way to display a vinyl banner is by using pole pockets, which help you suspend the banner from a pole or from rope.


Fabric Banners

Fabric banners are designed for both function and aesthetics by presenting beautifully printed images on a high-quality canvas. Their lightweight polyester material allows them to be easily transported and displayed, making decorating for events a breeze.

Fabric banners are slightly transparent, which means displaying them in front of windows or light sources will allow light to illuminate through the material. They’re also meant for indoor use, though displaying outside is possible as long as you avoid doing so in heavy rain or wind. Fabric banners are typically displayed by hanging them from a ceiling or awning; you can use grommets or pole pockets to hang your banner.


Mesh Banners

Functionality is the name of the game for mesh banners, and they perform especially well when used outdoors as they boast wind resistance and a semi-transparent effect.

Mesh allows wind and light to pass through without compromising the quality of the printed design. It’s important to note that the colors and graphics on these banners are often described as “lighter” or “muted” compared to their vinyl and fabric counterparts. Mesh banners are also best viewed from a distance, an important consideration when creating your artwork.

The 8 oz. PVC mesh offers exceptional tensile strength while preserving its lightweight form. The mesh pattern on these banners has a ratio of 70:30, meaning that 70% of the banner is actual material, whereas 30% is made of tiny holes. Mesh banners also come with hemmed edges to ensure the material does not tear when pulled taut during display.

Mesh banners work great on chain-link fences; they help emphasize the semi-transparent nature of the mesh pattern and allows you to display a design without completely blocking out the surface and the background. To install your mesh banner on a chain-link fence, use grommets, short ropes, or zip ties, as they make it easy to attach your banner to the fence at multiple points.


What is the Best Material for Outdoor Banners?

Vinyl banners are perfect for outdoor banners and signage. They are versatile, weather-proof, and UV-resistant, which means they last longer outdoors without fading or getting ripped or torn. You can hang them anywhere, making them the best option for outdoor signage. But if you’re installing banners in windy locations or for the purpose of maintaining privacy, use mesh banners.


What is the Best Material for Indoor Banners?

Fabric banners are designed for indoor display. We can’t praise enough the impressive color and details of printed designs on fabric banners. Pictures don’t do them justice but here’s a few examples of fabric banners in their natural habitat to show you how brilliant they are.



Which Banner Material Should I Choose?

We put together a simple chart below to get a quick comparison of each of our banners and a summary of the information we have discussed.

Banner material comparison chart

A Custom Choice

Regardless of your banner choice, all banner types are customizable; your design will be printed to impress! Need help making that eye-catching design? Our free design services can help you realize your vision! If you still need some assistance in choosing the right banner for your needs, give us a call at 888-222-4929.


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