Retractable Banner Design Tips

Retractable Banner Design Tips & Ideas

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Retractable banners, also referred to as pop-up or pull-up banners, are a great option for creating an effective display. They pull out of and retract into a stand or base, are simple to set up, and don’t require any hanging which makes them portable and easy to use at events. With their sleek and professional appearance, these banners are suitable for a variety of settings, from various events to offices.

Designing a retractable banner is a fun and rewarding experience. In this article, we’ve prepared 12 expert tips and 14 free customizable design templates to help you create a banner that perfectly conveys your brand and message. We’ve also included retractable banner ideas and examples that will inspire you to get started.

Where are Retractable Banners Used?

Retractable banners are versatile and portable, making them perfect for any indoor and outdoor space. They can be used in trade shows, exhibits, conferences, retail spaces, events, lobbies, and more.

Retractable Banner Materials

Before designing a retractable banner, it’s important to know which material suits your needs best. At, we offer two (2) types of banner material:

  • Vinyl – lightweight, printed with durable UV ink, easy to clean, and has a glossier finish than fabric.
  • UV Fabric – lightweight, printed using a dye-sublimation process, washable, and has a smooth matte finish.

When choosing the material for your retractable banner, ensure that it aligns with your design goals, environmental factors, and practical considerations to effectively convey your message while meeting the demands of its intended use. Considering these factors will not only help your banner to stand out but also perform well.

1 . Sketch the Design

Sketching something can mean a few things. For some designers, drafting a design can be done on paper or whiteboard. Others prefer to use digital sketch programs like Google Drawings or Adobe XD. Whatever you decide to use, getting a general outline and feel of the design is the most important part of this step. You can also search for ideas online and use them as inspiration for your retractable banner design. Using Google search is a good place to start.

2. Focus on Your Brand

Brand Focused Retractable Banner

When designing your retractable banner, make sure that the logo of your brand is prominent and noticeable. Many banners use the logo as the focal point of the entire design, and most customers will recognize the logo quickly and know it is you. Put emphasis on your brand colors, and use them with complementing ones. The banner can also be an extension of your website, store, or any other promotional materials you create so consider giving them a unified look.

Retractable banner design template

Click the template to use on

Retractable banner design template

Click the template to use on

3. Use the Brand to Focus on a Theme

Retractable Banner With a Brand and Theme

Most companies have branding guidelines that include the logo display, the hex color codes of their brand colors, and the brand-approved fonts. If you have a brand guide, use it to correctly get the logo file, style, colors, and fonts you’ll use in your designs. But if you don’t a have brand book, you can use the same logo, font, and color scheme featured in your store and website. Remember to note the color codes and fonts so you use them consistently in future designs. This will help establish a strong brand identity and make it easier for customers to recognize your brand.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

4. Use Colors and Styles That Make the Banner Pop

Retractable Banner with Colors That Pop

While it’s common practice to use brand colors on marketing materials, there are cases when brands go off book when they want to announce a milestone like a big sale event or a launch of a new product. If this is something you’re looking into, read on.

Take your retractable banner design ideas to the next level by understanding the way that colors work in design. There are two types of colors: warm colors and cool colors.

Warm colors are your reds, yellows, oranges, and all similar colors. They evoke feelings of warmth and passion.

Cool colors are a little different — they are your blues, purples, greens. These colors evoke feelings of calm and can be soothing or refreshing. Use cool colors to give your customers a sense of calm when looking at your banner. Take advantage of the right colors with the right feel to make your banner pop.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

5. Approach the Design With Balance

Balanced design on a Retractable Banner

When designing a retractable banner, make sure to keep balance in mind. People read and view everything from left to right and top to bottom, so avoid designs that go against this. However, that doesn’t mean everything needs to be left aligned. Centering your design or headline can work great with some designs, especially with retractable banners. Their long and vertical shape allows you to use bold fonts and all caps in a strategic way.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

6. White Space (or Blank Space) is Not Your Enemy

Retractable Banner Design With Spacing

White space is not your enemy and is an essential when it comes to design. Use it to achieve balance between design elements. A design with 10 images that have no borders or space between them will never look as clean and balanced as one that has 2 or 3 evenly-spaced images. Keep the same in mind with text. Avoid using long paragraphs and consider breaking them up and shortening them. Spacing and staying away from the top and side edges of the design are important in conserving white space.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

7. Consider Different Banner Sizes and Types

Different retractable banner sizes

There are many different size options available for retractable banner. Before deciding on a size, you may want to decide first on a type. offers four different types of retractable banners: standard, deluxe, premium, and tabletop. Each type is different than the other and provides pros and cons.

Retractable Banner Comparison Chart

  Standard Premium Deluxe Table Top
Sizes 24″x81″, 33″x81″ 36″x92, 48″x92, 60″x92 33″x81″ 8.25″x11.5″, 11.75″x17.5″
Base Normal Base Premium Chrome Deluxe Chrome Aluminum
Double sided? Single Sided Single Sided Double Sided Single Sided
Material Fabric or Vinyl Fabric or Vinyl Fabric or Vinyl Vinyl
Carrying Case? Carrying Case Rigid Carrying Case Carrying Case N/A
LED Light? 1 LED Light Option 1 (36″x92″) or 2 LED Light 2 LED Light Option N/A

The standard retractable banner is an affordable large retractable banner; deluxe is even taller and sturdier than the standard one. Both standard and deluxe only offer singleside designs. The premium retractable banner is large, durable, and offers a doublesided option, while the tabletop retractable banner is a small banner that fits on a table. It is the most different of the four, as it is a smaller format and less expensive. Your retractable banner design size can then be determined by considering the sizes on our retractable banner page and our tabletop retractable banner page.   

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

8. Use High-Quality Images

High quality vs low quality images on a retractable banner

One of the most important pieces of designing a pop-up banner is determining what images to put in your design. Choose high-quality images including your logos. Using low-quality images results in blurry and pixelated designs.

The metric used for digital resolution of your image files is PPI (pixels per inch). PPI is calculated by dividing the number of pixels in your image by the number of inches in your design. For more information on understanding dimensions and image quality please check out our guide on resolution. With most retractable banners, we recommend a minimum of 70 ppi and 300 ppi for table top retractable banners. Keeping correct dimensions and PPI in mind will ensure that your image files are suitable for signs of any size.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

9. Try More Than One Design 

Retractable banners can be double-sided and will allow you to print different designs on each side, making it easy to test which one works best. Another way to accomplish this would be to order multiple signs and test them out at various events over time. Regardless of how you decide to do it, using various sizes and different displays will help you achieve the best results.

10. Use Complementary Signs in Your Display 

Tradeshow display with various signs

A banner design doesn’t have to be used exclusively for a retractable banner. When creating displays for a business trade show or a large educational or medical event, it’s important to use different signages that complement each other. Signs that pair well with retractable banners include tension fabric displays, X banners, step and repeat banners, table covers and table runners. All of these products can be found and designed on our trade show page. Choose complementary signs that help build the perfect display for your event, and make sure to use the same design themes, colors and logos.

11. Measure Success and Evaluate

Measure the success and evaluate how things went in your campaign to determine your ROI. Find out if the retractable banner you designed and displayed helped bring more leads or sales by setting goals based on activities you would like to see happen at the event you display your banner. Once you determine your conversion criteria, make sure to track it in any way you can, and take time to review and evaluate after the event.

Invite the people that need to be present to a 30-minute meeting, have a post mortem, and go over what worked and what didn’t. Use the data you’ve gathered to plan for the next event accordingly.

12. Contact Our Free Design Services at

If designing is not your forte, take advantage of’s free design services. Our professional designers will create the banner artwork for you while keeping all best practices in mind. For more information about and how we can help with designing your retractable banner, fill out the form on our website. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you succeed with your designs.


Retractable Banner Examples

Not sure how to kickstart your design? Check out these retractable ideas to spark your creativity:

Complementary Banners

Mix and match retractable banners by using various sizes and shapes to create a 3D effect.

Switched Up Layouts

Displaying retractable banners with the same colors but distinct layouts will look more visually engaging and impactful. Additionally, using the same layout but contrasting colors will make your audience look from one retractable banner to the other.

Bold Imagery

Maximize visibility by printing one bold image that is as big as the retractable banner. This will draw more attention to your banner and make your sign pop.

Diptychs and Triptychs

Increase your display impact by two or even three retractable banners of the same size. This allows you to showcase a single large image with information spread across the design. This is an effective way to capture the eye of your audience and passersby.


Retractable Banner Designs

 Single-sided Retractable Banners

Our single-sided retractable banners may be the most affordable option, but they still do the job well. These are eye-catching and are sure to make any message stand out.  

Double-sided Retractable Banners

If you want to make the most out of your retractable banner, our double-sided option is a great choice. These are perfect for receptions, tradeshows, hallways, or any area needing visibility from both directions.

Deluxe Retractable Banners

Deluxe retractable banners feature a sturdy base with sleek chrome end caps that stabilize on their own. This type of banner is the best option for showing your brand and offerings because of its professional look.

Premium Retractable Banners

Premium retractable banners come with a base that adds sophistication to any display. Unlike other banners, this banner has two support poles for added stability.


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