Retractable Banner Design Tips

Retractable Banner Design Tips & Ideas

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Designing your retractable banner can be a fun and rewarding part of creating the perfect display. We’ve had a large amount of customers ask us where to start with their retractable banner design. Retractable banners are banners that display themselves, so there is no need to hang them up. They pull out of and retract into a stand or base, which makes them very portable and easy to use at events. Retractable banners, pop up banners and pull up banners are all the same thing. Perfect for events or offices, they are easy to display and easy to store banners that have a highly professional look and feel to them. We have prepared 12 tips for designing the best retractable banner. We have also included 14 different templates that you can use to create the perfect retractable banner design.

1 . Sketch out a plan for the design

In the year 2020, sketching something out can mean a few different things. For some designers, sketching a draft of a design can be on paper or a 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 for the design is the most important part of this step. You can also search out ideas for your retractable banner design online. Using Google search is a good place to start. 

Also, one important note, if all of these design tips start to overwhelm you at any point while reading this, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have free design services for any design and banner. Our team of professional designers would be happy to help you with your retractable banner design. 

2. Focus on your brand

Brand Focused Retractable Banner

Once you have chosen your idea for the banner and where you would like to design it, it is time to create the design. Keep in mind while designing your retractable banner that your brand is your friend. The logo of your brand should be prominent and noticeable. Many banners use the logo as the focal point of the entire design. Most of your customers will recognize the logo quickly and know it is you. Prospective customers will remember your logo even better than your name sometimes. Be sure to feature it. The colors of your brand should be highlighted and only combined with colors that are either brand approved or match well with them. The banner should be an extension of your website, store or any other promotional materials you create. They should all flow from one to the other. 

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 specify the way for the logo to be displayed, the hex color codes of the brand colors and the fonts that are brand approved. If your company has created a brand guide, use it to your advantage. It will provide the logo file and style that should be used. It will also tell you the colors and fonts you can and should use. Those colors and fonts can give you the theme and design that you have always dreamed of, taking a lot of the guesswork out of it. 

If your brand does not have formal branding guidelines, make sure to use the same logos, fonts, and colors that are featured in your store and on your website. While working on the design, write down the color codes and fonts you use and make sure to stay consistent with future designs.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

4. Use color and styles that make the banner pop

Retractable Banner with Colors That Pop

Take your retractable banner design ideas to the next level by understanding the way that colors work in design. Using the correct color styles can do more than make your banner look pretty. It will evoke feelings and emotions from those that approach your design. Typically there are two types of colors. Warm colors and cool colors.

 Warm colors are your reds, yellows, oranges, and all similar colors. When using them with your pop up banner design, they evoke feelings of warmth and passion. Things like sunlight, heat and fire come to mind when comparing and contrasting warm colors. This can give the viewer of the design a sense of comfort or a sense of passion. 

Cool colors are a little different. They are your blues, purples, greens. These colors evoke feelings of calm and can be very soothing. Things like the sky and water come to mind. Use cool colors to give your customers a sense of calm and refreshing when viewing your brand. 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. One part of balancing a design is to understand the way that people read and view everything they consume. That is typically top down, left to right. Things tend to look odd when not based on the western world’s way of reading and viewing. That doesn’t mean everything needs to be left aligned though. Centering your design can work great with certain sign designs, especially retractable banners. This is because the retractable banner is a long and tall vertical sign. The way it is created lends itself to a centered design. Other ideas to balance your design include using bold fonts and all caps in a strategic way. Don’t throw everything into all caps or bold just because, only use it when it is a good fit for the balance of the design.

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

Most novice or non designers do not understand this design principle. It may be one of the most important ones. White space is not your enemy, and in many cases it can actually be your friend. Use blank space to achieve true balance of your designs. 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. If you have a long paragraph that takes up border to border of your design, consider breaking it up and shortening it. Keep in mind that spacing and staying away from the top and side edges of the design are vital in conserving your white space. Give it room to breathe.

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 options for sizes when it comes to designing your retractable banner. Before deciding on a size, you may want to decide on a type. offers four different types of retractable banners which are standard, deluxe, premium and table top. Each type is different than the other and provides pros and cons. 

Retractable Banner Comparison Chart

StandardPremiumDeluxeTable Top
Sizes24″x81″, 33″x81″36″x92, 48″x92, 60″x9233″x81″8.25″x11.5″, 11.75″x17.5″
BaseNormal Base Premium ChromeDeluxe ChromeAluminum
Double sided?Single SidedSingle Sided Double SidedSingle Sided
MaterialFabric or VinylFabric or VinylFabric or VinylVinyl
Carrying Case?Carrying Case Rigid Carrying CaseCarrying Case N/A
LED Light?1 LED Light Option1 (36″x92″) or 2 LED Light 2 LED Light OptionN/A

The standard is an affordable large retractable banner. Deluxe is even taller and more sturdy than the standard one. Both standard and deluxe only offer single side designs. The premium retractable banner is both large, durable and offers a double sided option. The table top retractable is a small banner that fits on a table. It is the most different of the four, as it is a smaller format and much more inexpensive. Your retractable banner design size can then be determined by considering the sizes on our retractable banner page and our table top retractable banner page. 

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

8. Use high-quality image files

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 feature on the banner. This includes logos and other image files that you wish to use. The most important consideration with using images on large signage like a retractable banner is using high-quality image files. Using low-quality image files results in blurry and pixelated designs. Make sure to use high-quality images in all of your 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 the subject. With most retractable banners we recommend a PPI minimum of 70. For table top retractable banners we recommend using a minimum PPI of 300. Keeping correct dimensions and PPI in mind will ensure that your image files are high quality and suitable for large or small signs.

Click the template to use on

Click the template to use on

9. Try more than one design

There is a make or break attitude towards creating marketing materials sometimes. I’ve talked to many marketers who feel that the perfect banner, webpage, or video is the only one that is worthy of putting up. This can be a fallacy. The nature of marketing is experimentation, testing and improvement. While this is at times easier to do on a website, it is something worth considering with your physical marketing materials as well. Testing which banner works best is a great way to achieve the best results. 

One way to do this is to order our premium retractable banners. Since they are double-sided, you can print different designs on each side and test which one works best at different events. 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, keep in mind that using various sizes and different displays will help you to achieve the best results.

10. Use complimentary signs in your display

Tradeshow display with various signs

A retractable banner design is not always simply for a retractable banner. It is often a complementary piece of an entire display. Whether for a business trade show or a large educational or medical event, using different signage to compliment each other is an important part of any display. Signs that pair well with retractable banners include tension fabric displays, X banners, step and repeat banners, table throws and table runners. All of these products can be found and designed on our trade show page. Pick the complimentary signs to build the perfect display for your event. Be sure to use the same design themes, colors and logos when adding signs. Make them all flow together in one beautiful display.

11. Measure success and evaluate

This tip is often the most forgotten step of any marketing and sales campaign. You must measure success and evaluate how things went to determine your ROI. If the retractable banner you designed and displayed helped bring more leads, sales or success however you measure it, you must know. Ways to measure success include 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 during the event. 

There may not be a perfect attribution model for something like a retractable banner design, but there are general things you can use to measure success and failure. Keep that in mind. Finally, make sure to schedule 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. Then you should plan for the next event accordingly. This might not all 100% tie into your retractable banner design, as there are many factors to consider. It is a worthwhile exercise though, and it will help you know what to design and purchase for future events.

12. Contact our free design services at

If you want to skip most of these steps, has free design services. This is something that many of our customers take advantage of for their own time and sanity. While our designers won’t do the evaluation step for you, they are very educated and experienced in the rest of the design tips mentioned here. Our professional designers will design the banner for you, keeping all best practices in mind. For more information about and 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 any and all of your designs. 

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