PVC vs Flag banners – and some exciting news!

When it comes to outdoor displays, the majority fall into two camps – traditional PVC or vinyl-based banners and the more lightweight fabric options.

The two are rarely interchangeable, but each has its own unique set of benefits that makes it perfect for the job at hand.  Let’s take a look at the differences and the applications for these two popular banner styles.


PVC and vinyl banners have long been a go-to option for outdoor displays, and it’s no wonder.  Available in a wide range of sizes and weights, there’s a vinyl banner to suit almost every application, from short-term advertising displays to long-term signage.

Using specialist printing and finishing techniques, vinyl and PVC banners can withstand even the most rugged conditions, which makes them ideal for outdoor events and business promotions, especially in demanding locations with extreme weather.

These banners are often attached to existing infrastructure such as railings and street poles, but they can be combined with freestanding hardware such as our Memphis A-frame, which allows you to attach your banner in minutes using bungee cords.

Drawbacks of PVC and vinyl include their weight – heavy duty banners that can cope with extreme conditions and long-term use also tend to be pretty heavy – and also the risk of tearing in windy conditions.  Of course, we do often see vinyl banners suspended at a height – across the street at a carnival for example – but these are usually short-term displays.  The material used to create these banners creates resistance to wind and over time can become brittle, increasing the risk of tearing.  PVC-based banners offer the greatest strength, but PVC-free vinyls are favoured by customers looking to reduce their eco footprint, since PVC is difficult to recycle.

Fabric/flag banners

Despite their name, fabric banners are not really made from fabric – at least not the kind of natural fibres that spring to mind when you hear the word.  Instead, they’re often manufactured using recycled material such as plastic drinks bottles.  These materials are recovered, melted down and extruded into fine ‘yarn’ that’s used to create woven materials that are strong and printable.

Fabric banners offer various benefits, the main one being their weight – they’re super lightweight and easy to fold, carry and store which makes them a popular option for portable displays such as teardrop and flag banners.  You’ll often see these tall banners used in outdoor leisure settings, whether as business advertising or to alert people to the location of important features, such as lifeguard stations on the beach or the first aid tent at a music festival.

Unlike their vinyl counterparts, as well as being lightweight, flag banners are air permeable – this means that air can pass through them and dramatically reduces the strain placed on these materials by wind.  As a result, they’re much less likely to tear, and they won’t whip around violently in the breeze – they just flutter gently, which also makes it much easier to read the information printed on them!

Although they are incredibly strong considering their lightweight, soft character, flag banners aren’t suitable for long-term outdoor applications and while they may be a permanent feature in some locations – such as vehicle dealerships and shopping mall parking lots – they do need to be replaced regularly.

The upside is that as well as being made from recycled materials, flag banner materials are also recyclable, so there’s no need to send them to landfill when they’ve served their useful life.

A new offering from Frontline

If you’re an existing Frontline customer, you’ll know that until now we’ve been a wholesaler of print hardware only – but we’re very excited to announce that as of 2021, we’re dipping our toe into the printing market.

The aim of this service, which we’ve called ‘Frontline Statement’ is to help our network of master distributors make their own statement with Frontline products, by having them printed up with their own logos and artwork to inspire the customer.

We’re starting small with our range of printed flag banners, made using strong fiberglass poles and vibrant banner fabric.  These can be printed with a logo, message or image and used in a whole variety of ways – they’re ideal for outdoor advertising in bustling city centres, but equally at home when making a statement off the beaten track.

Over the coming months we plan to expand this service to include more of our bestselling print hardware and displays – and of course our commitment to great service and excellent value for money will never change.

Watch this space for further details, and get ready to make a statement with Frontline Statement this summer!

To find out more, get in touch.