Step and Repeat Design Tips

Step and Repeat Design Tips for New Business Owners

One of the best ways to promote a new business is through the use of step-and-repeat banners. To help small business owners meet this high standard for their events, open houses, appearances at special occasions, they can take these step and repeat design tips to heart as they design a fabulous backdrop.

At their core, step and repeat banners are just a series of logos arranged in a certain pattern. These glamorous backdrops can be seen at all manners of sponsored social events, from charity balls to red carpet walks. Over the years, these patterns coupled with some excellent design choices have ensured that the backdrops look great in photos and come across as elegant rather than self-promotional, cementing them as shorthand for “a fancy event” in others’ minds.

Make Sure the Logos Are “Just Right” Sized

Ideally, your logo will repeat several times without the background seeming too “busy.” Aim for a typical photo to have two to four completely visible logos or a maximum of five to six. A good size for each rectangular logo is 9” to 11” wide, whereas a square or round logo may look better in the 5” to 8” range.

Tiny logos are hard to read and can come across garbled in photos, but the real danger is in making your logo too big. If a photo has three-quarters of a giant logo concealed by the subject’s arm and half of a logo barely poking out of the corner, no one will be able to learn about your business. Likewise, logos that are too large detract from the photo itself, creating an awkward look.

You can test your design by scaling it down and superimposing a figure in front of it, or you can print out a test banner.

Don’t Make the Colors or Design Too Gaudy

While your logo designs should be legible and look elegant, you should avoid colors that are too bright or poorly contrasted with each other. You can always tone down the official colors to a more muted hue; otherwise, the deep or gaudy colors may “bleed” in a photo.

Also, remember that fabric step and repeat banners tend to make colors look more weathered, whereas vinyl step and repeats can make them even brighter.

Use a High-Quality jpeg for Photo Files

The biggest mistake we see with banners of all types is a small file size, which inevitably leads to a blurry or pixelated image. Shoot for a file photo resolution (300 pixels per inch) roughly equivalent to your display, so a 9” x 4” logo will have a 9” x 4” file size, equaling roughly 2,700 x 1,200 pixels.

Note that you can also use a vector graphics program like Adobe Illustrator or the free Inkscape to redraw your logo and have it scale to any size.

Make Sure Your Logos Repeat in the Proper Order

The last thing you want is a pattern that clusters logos rather than having them repeat smoothly and evenly. You can test this by creating a small sample swatch of your intended pattern and then applying it as your desktop background using the “tiled” setting.

Choose the Best Banner Material for Glare-Free Results

Every photo taken at your event is an opportunity to be seen by hundreds or even thousands online and in print. Help your brand show in the best way possible by making sure your banner doesn’t cause a glare under the bright lights of the cameras.

If your budget allows, go with a non-glare or matte banner fabric for your event. Glossy banner material can cause a glare under the lights, which will affect the quality of the pictures taken. Fabric step and repeat banners provide a lightweight, no-glare option that will show well in photos.

If you go with a vinyl banner, consider adding white space between the logos to cut down on glare.

You can also reduce the glare of a bright white background by going with a very subtle gray instead. It will still look white and allow your logos to pop, but it will cut down on glare.

Pick the Right Banner Size

People love taking selfies and group shots in front of step and repeat banners at gatherings, launches, trade shows, red carpet and other special events. With this in mind, consider the best banner width for your situation based on the amount of space you have to work with. You will want one wide enough so groups of people can be photographed without the edges of your banner showing in the picture.

Find the Best Printer for Your Step and Repeat Banner

Not all printers are the same. Choose a company with a proven track record of customer satisfaction and high production standards. Look for a printer with strict quality standards for an attractive finished product free of defects and accurate to your designs and color scheme. It’s also helpful if the printing company you work with has design professionals who will work with you to create amazing results in case you get stuck or want a second opinion on your design.

If you encounter difficulties or have any questions about making your step and repeat banner, work with a quality step and repeat print house in Phoenix AZ for tailored advice and attentive service to deliver the absolute best banner for your needs.


Do you need a step and repeat banner for your next promotional event? Contact the fabric & vinyl banner experts at AZ Banners to discuss your project today! Request a quote online or call 480-718-0544 now!

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