Simple Steps To Use Vector Graphics For Store Display Banners!

1Creating great retail banners or trade show displays can be easy without having to spend a fortune. With vector graphics you can create a fabulous, cohesive image for large displays, tiny coupons or social media posts. Best of all, by using the same image throughout you create a strong brand awareness by using the same image over and over. Vector graphics make that easy.

The wonderful thing about vector graphics is that they’re scalable and versatile. You can count on a high quality image no matter the size or medium. (Some media, such as blogs or social media, will require you convert the image to a PNG or JPEG format.) This offers a great deal of flexibility for your next trade show or retail store, as well as helping you promote a cohesive message.

With the spooky season approaching, I thought it would be fun to design some sample Halloween in-store displays using vector graphics. This article will show how vector graphics work very well for large displays, as well as smaller online ads with similar processes in place. Scroll below to see the trade show examples I created from other graphics on StockUnlimited.com. For the Halloween retail banners and graphics, I used three vector designs, and a couple of basic spooky novelty fonts.

Since StockUnlimited offers simplified vector images, even more complex illustrations can be manipulated and changed, making it much easier to use these graphics for a wide variety of media, from super large graphics, to tiny coupons.

21. For this project, use the image of your choice (in this example I chose image 1488084.eps and 1522082.eps)

2. Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or other vector image editing program.

3. Templates or measurements for whatever you’re laying out – display, banner, coupons, blog or social media post or ad.

When looking at the image you can tell it’s easy to put together, even for a complex illustration like this one. If you’re unfamiliar with Illustrator, this is a great way to take advantage of blends, highlights and other effects used in the software.

3Step 1: Separate the “Halloween” word from the image

First I wanted to use the word “Halloween” as a separate image. This will allow me to stack the image if I need to use a horizontal format. Using Adobe Illustrator I first ungrouped the image (Shift+Command+G on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+G on a PC) so I can move the Halloween to another area on the artboard. Once ungrouped, you can manipulate the other elements in the illustration to fit a banner display, or other types of art, such as coupons, ads, online banner ads, postcards and much more – thanks to the ability to enlarge or reduce the vector art to any size you need.

4Step 2: Create the dimensions of your banner

Using the dimensions of a retractable banner from a vendor online, place the “Halloween” text from StockUnlimited.com’s stock art, shown at left in the layout.

Step 3: Select the blue background from the stock art

Move the blue background and stretch it to fit the dimensions of the banner dimensions.

5Step 4: Change the gradient to place the highlight in the middle of the banner

Using the gradient tool, place the highlight midway on the banner.

6Step 5: Select the rest of the graphic, including the Halloween house, moon and trees Group the house, moon, trees, stars and other elements, then resize to fit the banner width.

7Step 6: Position the house toward the bottom of the banner

Be sure to leave ample room on the bottom of the banner according to the manufacturer’s grid lines, as some of the banner will remain in the base (for retractable displays).

8Step 7: Create a diagonal banner with your pen tool

Create a diagonal banner by either drawing one with your pen tool, or creating a rectangle and adding a “Warp – Rise” Effect to get the slant you prefer. (Generally, once I apply the effect the way I want it, I’ll select “Object – Expand Appearance” so the shape is a vector without the effect.)

10Step 8: Find an interesting typeface and select colors for the banner and “SALE” headline

I found a great typeface for the “SALE” and “All Costumes” (the font is called “Squeaky Chalk Sound”) to keep the fun, creepy Halloween look. I used the eyedropper tool on the “Halloween” letters to get the color of orange I wanted for the diagonal banner, then selected an orangish-yellow for the word “SALE”. (The CYMK values are: C=0 M=31 Y=99 K=0)

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Step 9: Center your text allow for bleed, trim, and live areas.

Your finished design is now ready to be saved as a PDF, Adobe Illustrator file, or exported at the resolution suggested by your banner manufacturer as a PSD or JPG file.

10-2Step 10: Adapt your design for other media

With vectors you can easily change your design around to fit different media, such as ads, social media posts, web sites and more. To change this banner to fit the area of an ad or social media post, I can easily change the vectors around for a horizontal layout. For this one, I opted to add some pumpkins, shown at the bottom of this StockUnlimited.com vector:

10-3Step 11: Ungroup the illustration and select the pumpkins

In some cases you’ll need to individually select shapes in an illustration, since elements may not be grouped individually within the illustration. This is the case with the second illustration. I just toggled to the preview (rather than wireframe view – which is “Command-H” or “Ctrl-H” if on a PC).

11Step 12: Enlarge or reduce the pumpkins (or any other vector element)

Once you’ve selected the pumpkins, you can also enlarge or reduce them. Select which you’d like to enlarge (or select all three by holding the shift key down). Then still holding the “Shift” key, drag one of the corners of the bounding box until you scale the pumpkins the side you want.

12Step 13: Adjust the size of your graphics to your layout.

Change the sizes of the items you need, such as the “Halloween” text or pumpkins to fit your ad layout or social media-sized graphic. When done, you can use the same are for dual purposes, such as saving as a PDF or Adobe Illustrator file for printing, or exporting as a PNG or JPEG for using with social media.

14finished adHere’s another example of trade show display design using the same templates, but different vector artwork from StockUnlimited.com. The examples below used three vector files shown below to create all new artwork by resizing graphics and manipulating transparent gradients.

15With the right artwork you can create truly professional and captivating posters, online graphics, PowerPoint presentations, and more – and keep your message recognizable and consistent. So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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