Design Fundamentals

Project 2 - City Light Pole Banners

By CRAIG KUNCE

1. Introduction

Banners are a form of outdoor advertising that allows companies and organizations to expand the reach of their brand to more customers. City pole banners are an elegant way to showcase a city-wide event, or celebrate a holiday with festive seasonal designs. Many cities install banner poles and integrate them in the cities design and decor.

Larger cities use outdoor pole banners to showcase certain districts and neighborhoods. I remember a trip to Chicago and seeing several pole banners announcing new Broadway musicals in the theater district.

2. Examples

Behance
Behance Collection of Pole Banners: (view here)

Student Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More design samples to get your creativity flowing:

Photos

 

banners

 

banners

 

banners

 

banner samples

 

banners

3. Learn more

Great banner design includes:

  1. Visually delivering the message to the audience
  2. Begin with a base grid so your banner layouts are consistent and go together
  3. Features one empasized element to capture your viewer's attention
  4. Some supporting words, just not too many
  5. Choose a consistent and appropriate line style
  6. Choose a consistent and appropriate photo and/or illustration style
    (close ups, abstract, b/w line work, loose and swashy, neat and tidy, etc.)
  7. Make sure they are legible and look when viewed from a distance (like a viewer is walking or driving down the street)

Case Study: Seattle, Washington
In order to understand how pole banners might be used in real life, let's take a look at the city if Seattle, Washington and their official regulations regarding the use of pole banner advertising.

Do you want to increase the visibility of your organization and events? Consider using street pole banners as a marketing tool to advertise your public event. For civic or historical organizations, using banners can be a great way to promote cultural assets, local business districts, history and a sense of place.

Street Use Permits are required to place banners on City Utility poles. This site provides you with the resources you’ll need to choose locations for your banners and to obtain the permits you’ll need from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Street Use Division.

Guidelines: Determining Your Banner Type
There are two types of pole banners: Event Banners (permit 52 A) and Identification Banners (permit 52 B). Determine which type of banner best… (read more)

4. Apply it

Design Project
Apply your new knowledge with a real design project. You will design 3 outdoor banners to hang on a city's light poles, in their downtown area. All three banners will be different, but must look like they go together. Your banners should have art, type, colors, and design elements—working together—harmoniously.

OPTIONAL - Build and present your project on Behance.net - build it as you go through the design process. This is what your Behance presentation should look like: Example Behance Presentation

What's Due

  • 10 B/W Thumbnail Sketches of one banner design (marker or pencil)
    (2" tall each)
  • 2 Color Roughs of your 2 best thumbnails (in marker or Adobe Illustrator)
    (6-8" tall or wide)
  • 2 critiques in class
  • 3 Final Designs - 1 for each banner (in marker or Adobe Illustrator)
    (10-12" tall or wide)

 

Instructions
Potential Clients you may choose from (or choose your own)

  1. Zoo theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's zoo with all sorts of animals—targeting families and kids
  2. Aquarium theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's aquarium with all sorts of aquatic life— targeting families and kids
  3. Symphony Orchestra theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's sophisticated symphony orchestra and its musical influence— targeting adult men and women
  4. Public Library theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's public library and its literary influence— targeting families and children
  5. Outdoor Activities theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's recreation and outdoor activities— targeting families and children
  6. Theatre District theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's theatre district and its influence— targeting adult men and women
  7. Jazz Festival theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's sophisticated jazz festival and its musical influence— targeting adult men and women
  8. Fourth of July theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's Fourth of July festivities— targeting families and children
  9. Architectural theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's diverse architectural history and array of buildings— targeting adult men and women
  10. Organic Farming theme
    These 3 banner designs will promote the city's devotion to its rural organic farmers and gardeners— targeting families and children

5. Evaluate it

We'll evaluate your design work using these learning outcomes (also on this project's evaluation sheet):

  • Are you designing effective marketing and advertising material?
  • Are you appropriately using design software?
  • Are you following a design process?
  • Are you practicing legal & ethical standards?
  • Are you explaining and selling your creative solutions?