Retractable Banner for ALT

retractable banner design

ALT Retractable Banner

This is a vinyl retractable banner, 33.75″ W x 85″ H. When in use, the feet unfold and a telescoping arm slides tall enough to hold the banner at the top, and the banner unreels like a window blind, but in the opposite direction, up instead of down. This was designed full size.

For all its size, this banner is a quick and simple message, just to let people at an event know that ALT exists. They can find out more easily since there would be staff nearby.

I created a collage of several photos I had taken of one of the Allegheny Land Trust’s conservation areas, Wingfield Pines. I followed several red-wing blackbirds around and also took some photos of the surrounding greenery just to have on file. A storm had just passed before I got there and though it had cleared the light was very unusual, resulting in the intense green of the trees.

That enabled me to create a background area that would work well with type over the image, and one of the photos conveniently had a hazy, misty image of trees in the background just over some closer treetops.The text may appear white here, but it’s actually two different shades, 10% and 20%, of the tan in the logo.

Aside from the quote and logo, I needed to add the accreditation logo somewhere on it, but that organization has strict standards for the use of their logo. It can only be solid colors, and only certain colors, it can’t be placed on a patterned background, and it must be darker than the background. But that solved the dilemma of one of the design specifications from the manufacturer—they required an extra 10″ of design at the bottom for the area that wrapped around the bracket. I really didn’t want to make the photo any larger, especially if it wasn’t to be seen anyway, so I used the tan as a solid area.

I love to design big things. Many years ago I painted signs, before the convenience of digital printing and even before personal computers. I mean big signs—full sheets of plywood, 3′ x 30′ street banners, the side panels for trucks in landscaping and construction trades, I even painted on the side of a building. That’s often what being a freelance artist meant in the days before personal computers and graphic design software. I truly enjoyed it, but it’s not the sort of thing I’d want to do all the time, even then.

But it gives me an entirely different perspective from the sorts of things I typically design today, where even a website is really only the size of a sheet of paper, and sometimes smaller.

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