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Inexpensive Banners for your Booth

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The inexpensive solution
Banners printed on vinyl by a professional photo lab cost between $35 and $50 and can take up to a week to have printed and shipped to you. The advantage is that they are relatively durable and can be rolled up and stored in a shipping tube between shows. But there is an inexpensive 24 hour solution. Both Sam's Club and Costco offer 20x30 inkjet photographic prints in their one hour photo department. From either company, a 20x30 print only costs $9 and is usually printed the same day if ordered early enough.

20x30 print displayed on a 38.5 inch Pro Panel
using display materials provided by Frame Destination

Preparing files for 20x30 prints
I've had excellent results resizing up the files to 9000x6000 pixels at 300PPI and converting to the sRGB color space. Then I save it as a maximum quality standard JPEG. For some images, this will result in approximately a 15 megabyte file. I say approximately because JPEG file size is determined by the amount of detail in the image. Alternative upsizing dimensions can be 7200x4800 pixels at 240PPI. I suspect that there will be no visible difference in the two sizes as people seeing them would be standing a few feet away at minimum. If you add your name of web site URL, it makes the banner more personalized. Also, enlarging an image to 20x30 will amplify all the flaws in the image and background, though no one will see them from more than a few feet away. If you do add your name and web site to the print, make sure to take it down if you shoot your booth picture.

If you need help
If you need your files prepared and uploaded, it's one of the services I offer. Call me for more information at 412-401-8100. I can prepare your files and upload them to your local Costco or Sam's Club where you can pick them up, or mail them to you on a CD.

Displaying the prints in your booth
a quick and easy solution

I've worked with Mark Rogers of Frame Destination to provide an easy and inexpensive solution on how to hang the 20x30 prints in your booth. It will include a 20x30 clear archival resealable bag and a piece of 20x30 foam core. It will also include two types of hangers so it can either be hung or attached to your Pro Panels with Velcro. And it will ship in a box large enough to transport and store the prints between shows.

adhesive backed Velcro and adhesive backed hangers are included

Some tips

Call your local Sam's Club and Costco to see if they offer 20x30 prints in the store. My local Costco uses an Epson 7880.

If your artwork has a lot of background space around it, crop in before resizing so your art work appears larger in the prints.

If the image (cropped or uncropped) doesn't match the proportion of the 20x30 print, add borders so the image size will match the print size. I added think gray borders top and bottom in the example picture above.

You must save the file as a JPEG for the printer to be able to print it.

Converting to the sRGB color space will make your prints more accurate, just like it makes your jury images more accurate.

Sam's Club has a limit on how large a file can be uploaded through their web site interface. I've had better results taking my files to the store on a camera memory card or CD and handing it to the person behind the counter because the console has file size limitations also.

Larger files can be uploaded to the Costco web site without a problem.  Don't use the java uploader which requires installing software and potentially compresses images which degrades them. Choose to use the one-by-one uploader to upload the files.

Sam's Club and Costco give you the prints rolled up in a plastic bag. see picture below

Another advantage in working with Costco is that I can prepare the files, upload through their web site, and arrange for the artist to pick the large prints up at their local store in under 24 hours. And from my experience, you don't even have to be a member. Just bring a print out of the order that I e-mail you after uploading the files.

20x30 print from Sam's Club (and Costco) comes rolled in a plastic bag


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