Like many youth ministries, the662 has an extremely limited budget. In fact, for about the past 5 years we have had a $0.00 budget, up until around February when we started getting the small but extremely appreciated sum of $80 per month. Anything else we spend has to come from fundraising, which we are thankfully pretty awesome at (don't worry, we'll cover in another post).
Recently, I've been in need of a variety of different printing jobs, and with the slim budget I've been forced to really shop things around. I've been fortunate enough to find plenty of quality at what I feel are very reasonable prices that I'm sure would benefit others in ministry, not to mention those in business. Over the next couple of weeks I will run a series on different types of print projects that I've recently had done, with some examples of what I have had printed, who printed it and what it cost me. Keep in mind I did all my own design work for these - if you need a project designed and printed it will obviously run you quite a bit more.
Perhaps no type of signage is both as versatile and universal as vinyl banners. I think vinyl is often overused, and prefer other materials such as coroplast for many outdoor jobs that are more permanent in nature and foamboard for the more permanent indoor jobs, since nothing looks worse than a vinyl banner that is not fully stretched out and is caving in on itself. That said, for signs that you can't leave up all week long you can't beat vinyl's ability to minimize required storage space, not to mention it's portability. I've recently ordered three vinyl banners from my overall favorite print company, splatprint.com, and have been very happy with each of them.
Project One: Two 1' x 2' Check In Desk Banners
For our Check In Desks, I ordered two of SplatPrint's Indoor Banners. I chose the 15oz. Super Smooth Scrim Vinyl Banner material. Since I used two different designs for the banners they were treated as two different projects. I suspend these from the ceiling grid with small bungee cords, so I had grommets put in the top corners of each banner. Splat put the grommets in for no extra charge.
Pricing Breakdown: $6.87 for the printed banner, $5 PDF upload, $9.20 standard shipping = $21.07 total cost (each)
Recommendation level: High
Project Two: One 8' x 8' 662 Front Entrance Banner
Our CityChurch front entrance banner is suspended on a pole that runs through the top and supported by a pole that runs through the bottom. To add some 662 branding to our Wednesday night experience we decided to get a 662 banner to put in that place for Wednesdays as well. I was so happy with the Check In banners that I wanted to order the same material for the Front Banner, but unfortunately Splat won't put Pole Pockets in their indoor banners, so, with some hesitation, I ordered Splat's 13oz Vinyl Matte Banner . Not to worry, the printing and material is excellent. I honestly can't see a difference in quality between this and and the 15oz indoor ones.
Pricing breakdown: $125.54 for the printed banner, plus $5 PDF upload, plus $10 for top/bottom pole pockets, plus $13.59 for standard shipping = 154.53 total cost
I cannot express how thrilled I have been with Splat's banners. I have seen banner printing as high as $8 per square foot, and we have typically paid around $4 per square foot in the past. Even if you include the extra expenses (pole pockets, upload and shipping) the 8 x 8 banner breaks down to $2.41 per square foot. When you're dealing with 64 square feet, that's a savings of over $100 over anything we've ever ordered before.
Obviously, price isn't the only consideration, but when you factor in how thrilled I am with the quality, I cannot recommend splatprint.com for your banner needs enough.
I would love to hear from those who have had experiences, good or bad, with printing vinyl banners. Who do you use? How well has it worked for you?