Review – Vistaprint Banner

Disclaimer – Vistaprint did not endorse nor compensate me for this review. I’m reviewing this product as a benefit to other writers/etc looking to use the product for similar purposes.

As an independent author attempting to make my way in a world which is very new to me, I have been trying to attend at least one book fair, author event, signing, etc per month for the past year and a half. With each event, I find another product, tool, tip, or trick which another author used and I try to emulate to enhance my own presence. One of these items is a pop up banner.

A pop up banner creates an easy-to-carry manner to visually draw in prospective customers from afar at a larger event. It also adds a little more flair to your setup to help convince readers that you’re legit and deserving of their hard-earned cash. There are a lot of authors out there trying to peddle their books and you need to differentiate yourself somehow.

Through online research, reading some forums for good/bad/ugly reviews of many available products, and checking some out in real life from other authors, I decided to have one created by Vistaprint. Between quality, cost, and ease of printing concerns, their singled-sided 33″x86″ economy banner seemed like the best fit overall for me and my needs.

To begin, I needed to create the image file to use. Not being artistically talented enough to do the work myself, I relied on the continued services of Ellie at Creative Digital Studios. I highly recommend the work of her and her team and have used them for multiple projects so far. She took the cover art from my first novel, The Dragon in the Whites, and reformatted it to fit nicely on the chosen banner size. With a little finagling and tweaking of fonts, we ended up with this beauty!

Overall, I am very happy with how the banner came out. The printing job by Vistaprint is top notch and looks great. I have left it rolled/closed for upwards of two months and have found zero stickiness or transfer to the other side. The vinyl banner is strong yet holds the image well. The only trick with the vinyl is that you’re in charge of tracking as you roll it back into the base. A little practice and you’ll keep it dead-center every time.

Please see below for some key features of the banner that I’d like to point out:

The banner in my first setup with it included. I was in a small space so it needed to remain partially blocked, but it still looks good and adds a strong visual presence to my table.
The base of the economy version consists of two simple swing-out legs. Simple, straight-forward, and pretty sturdy for the money.
The side plates of the economy version are pretty basic and show you the ends of the fasteners. The premium version hides these, so you’ll get better visuals with the higher-grade version, if this bothers you. You can’t really see the base in my setup, so the economy is fine by me.
The three-part spring-out pole rests securely in the channel of the aluminum extrusion used to make the top bar of the banner. A little tricky to do if you’re short, but if you’re my height (5′-10″), you’ll have no problem getting this into place.
The pole mount on the base is my one and only gripe with the product. You take the aluminum pole and slide it through the aluminum hole of the extruded aluminum used to construct the base body. It goes over a rubber bung in the bottom to secure the system in place. Good hold overall, but the hole has started to gall since using it. A plastic or bronze bushing put into the hole would have been nicer to create a smooth pass-through, and I may modify this myself later.

All in all, this was a great purchase and I’m very happy with the result. I plan on using this for years to come, and if I ever want to make another or need to replace this one, I’ll definitely go back to Vistaprint for more. I hope that this helped in your search and decision making. Good luck and have fun! Tim

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