A few of the most commonly used industry terms.
A method of flag and banner production in which a fabric is sewn to another base fabric, and the surrounding excess fabric is then cut away, leaving sewn details.
A layer of material added to the back of a single-sided banner in order to give the finished banner greater opacity and/or greater body or thickness.
See Also: "interliner"
A strip of cloth or vinyl used for advertising a person, idea, organization or business. Banners differ from flags in that they are expected to hang open and be readable with or without the benefit of wind.
See Also: "flag"
Strips of fabric, usually colored, that are used to decorate a large area or stage. Bunting is often used at political events and rallies. Bunting can be laid flat, or can be 'swagged' around a stage.
Cord and Tassel
A gold-toned braided rope with decorative tassels on the end, used to decorate a formal indoor flag setup, or parade flag.
A fabric sometimes used as backing for banners.
A metal loop in the shape of the letter "D" used to finish the corners large flags and banners. Snap hooks attach to "D"-rings.
DPI or 'dots-per-inch'
DPI is a way of expressing a bitmap or raster image's resolution. An image that has a higher DPI uses more (and smaller) 'dots' (or pixels) to create the image, and so can be enlarged without breaking down. If an image of insufficient DPI is enlarged too far, it may pixelate.
A banner manufacturing method in which special inks are used to put four color process images and photographs directly into the weave of a fabric.
Fine needlework that creates shapes and images on fabric using tightly stitched areas thread.
A pole ornament that appears on the end of a flag or banner pole. Finials can take simple shapes like a ball or a spear, but can be specialized for specific flags. The Israeli flag, for example, should be displayed using the 'Star of David' finial, and the U.S. flag typically has an eagle-shaped ornament.
A strip of cloth used for advertising a person, idea, organization or business. Flags differ from banners in that they are expected to catch the wind and are usually single-reversed.
See Also: "single-reverse"
Some fabrics and vinyls are specially treated to resist catching fire, in accordance with fire codes. This can often be an issue in event halls and convention centers. Always check with your convention center to check their flame-retardant policies. Some convention centers will not allow fabric displays to be used unless they meet certain flame-retardant standards.
The trailing edge of a flag, farthest from the flag pole. The fly-end of a flag is the part of the flag that often endures the greatest stress from wind. When a flag whips in the wind the fly-end receives most of the energy. For this reason the fly-end of a flag gets some extra reinforcing.
Formal Flag Setup
Flags meant to be used in either parades, in offices, or on stages. These flags differ from conventional outdoor flags because they are usually fringed and have pole sleeves. A typical formal flag setup includes the fringed flag, decorative cord and tassel, an oak pole, and a gold-toned base so that the entire assembly can stand vertically.
Four Color Process
A way of describing a color gamut through four "CMYK" color values (Cyan Magenta Yellow BlacK). This term is sometimes used to refer to any imaging process used to render a photographic image.
A decorative trim that is sometimes put on the edges of flags and banners. Fringe is usually a yellow-gold color, but other colors are available. Fringe is not meant to withstand weather, and should be kept dry.
Every color combination that is possible to produce with a given set of colorants on a given device or system. When a color is said to be 'within' a printing machine's 'gamut', it means that the color can be reproduced by the printer. Colors described as 'outside the gamut' cannot be reproduced.
A small, metal, reinforced ring placed in the corners and/or edges of banners and flags. A banner or flag can be attached to nearly anything with a grommet. For very large flags or banners that will be subjected to great wind or weather, "D"-rings can be used. Grommets also appear on the cotton headers of outdoor flags.
The rope used to raise or lower a flag or banner.
A thick strip of cotton or other strong material attached to the end of a flag, to reinforce the edge of the flag. Grommets are placed in the corners of the header, which are used to attach the flag to a halyard.
To reinforce the edges of a banner, the material is turned over on itself once or multiple times, and then sewn.
A method of large format printing where a 'print head' move across a substrate, laying down small dots of ink, which, when viewed together create an image.
An additional layer (or layers) of fabric placed between the two sides of a double-sided banner. The interliner is added so that the two sides of the banner will not 'show through' when sunlight hits the banner.
A thin film of protective material usually laid on top of the final image to protect it from ultraviolet radiation, grit and other damaging forces. Signs mounted to foamcore, vehicle graphics and floor graphics usually get some form of lamination.
Temporary or one-time use signs usually don't require lamination.
A term used to refer to any 'large-sized' digital printing. It usually refers to inkjet or solvent printing technologies.
A type of vinyl substrate typically used for very large outdoor wall banners. Printing an onto mesh cuts down on the banner's weight significantly, making them easier to install. Also, the open weave of the mesh allows wind to pass through the banner more easily.
A metal rod attached to the bottom edge of a flag, used to help prevent a flag from wrapping around a flagpole and reducing some of their movement due to wind.
A synthetic fabric substrate.
A way of installing an outdoor banner pole. A single pole is installed onto the face of the building, and the top of the banner is attached to the pole. The bottom end of the banner is allowed hang free.
A color-matching method invented by Pantone, a company which publishes books with colored tiles. This system allows people to discuss color in a objective way. Also called 'PMS colors' (Pantone Matching System).
A style of banner used in parades.
A parade banner is typically horizontal, with a pole sleeve along the top. A pole is inserted across the top of the banner, and marchers can hold the pole (and the banner) and march comfortably. Parade style banners are usually 30 inches in height, and their width can vary.
A parade flag is very similar to a formal flag setup, but without the base that allows it to be stood upright. A parade marcher will typically use a belt with a special cup in which the butt of the pole can be rested.
A triangular shaped flag.
A string of pennants, attached to line, used as retail decoration.
When a bitmap or raster graphic is enlarged beyond what it's resolution can handle, the individual 'dots' or 'pixels' can be seen, making the image unattractive and seem 'blocky'.
A type of small banner attached to the front of a podium or lectern, to identify the organization hosting the event, or to indicate who the speaker represents.
Pole Hem / Pole Sleeve
A way of finishing a banner where the edge of the banner it turned over itself in order to create a sleeve through which a pole can pass.
A synthetic fabric that can be used to make banners. Polyester fabrics are useful in the dye sublimation process because they are uniform and can be made to simulate the appearance of other fabrics.
Raster or Bitmap Graphics
A type of graphic file that stores visual information in the form of pixels, discrete squares of color. Raster images that are intended for reproduction on banners or flags must be of a sufficiently high resolution or pixelation may occur after the graphic is enlarged.
A lustrous, shiny fabric, suitable for making indoor banners.
A method of finishing banners where the edges of the banners are cut using a straight edge and a razor-knife.
A method of manufacturing banners in which a frame is built. The frame has a mesh stretched across the frame. By blocking out certain areas of the screen and leaving others open, inks can be passed through the mesh screen, forming a pattern on a substrate underneath the frame.
Most flags are designed to be single-reverse, which means that the image or message on the flag reads correctly on only one side, and is 'reversed' on the other side.
A spring-loaded metal hook attached to halyards that is used to attach flags and banners.
A kind of printing that uses solvent inks. Solvent inks are chemically aggressive, which work their way down into the substrate. Solvent inks can be used to create durable outdoor banners.
A tool used to draw ink across a silk screen.
Step-and-repeat banners are large banners used as backdrops against which celebrities and event attendees can be photographed. They're called step-and-repeat banners because a logo or logos are repeated on them, usually staggered. In this way, no matter how people are photographed, the event sponsor's logo is always present somewhere in the photo.
A type of banner installed on the lamp posts. To see some examples of this kind of banner, please visit our gallery page.
Any material that receives an image. Substrates can be soft materials like fabrics and vinyls, or harder surfaces like Sintra, glass, or foamcore. The substrate is whatever 'receives' the design or image.
A specific kind of flag shape in which the fly-end of the flag tapers to two points.
Any banner that is meant to cover or adorn a table. Often used at trade shows or other events, a table banner can take on many different forms. Some table banners are attached just to the forward edge of the table surface and hang over the front. Others can drape over the entire top of the table and the front. Others can completely cover a table on all four sides.
A bunch of cords gathered at one end. Tassels are used to decorate formal flag setups.
A way of fastening an outdoor banner back to a building. A tie-back allows a banner to move (as it should, in order to catch the eyes of people passing by) but lessens the chance that it could wrap around its pole.
Some banners are installed with two poles, one on the top and one on the bottom. These kinds of banners are typically very narrow. This sort of banner installation usually requires that the banners receive wind vents.
A vector image is one of the two major types of graphic formats (see also: raster or bitmap graphics). Vector graphics create an image by using many individual objects. Each of these objects can be defined by mathematical statements and has individual properties assigned to it such as color, fill, and outline. Vector graphics are resolution independent because they can be output to the highest quality at any scale.
The scholarly study of flags.
A substrate made of extruded plastic material, often used to make outdoor banners.
Pressure-sensitive (adhesive-backed) vinyl material can be machine cut to add window graphics.
A kind of banner, almost always single-sided, that is attached flat against a wall, or other vertical barrier.
Wind Slits or Wind Vents
Small openings cut into a banner (and rarely, flags) to allow the wind to pass through the banner. A large banner without wind vents is really more of a sail. Without vents to reduce some of the wind force on a banner, the banner could rip.