IF YOU CAN’T PAINT: CHEAT!
To make your banners crisp and professional try sticking your banner to a wall then shining a projector onto it. That way you can design the slogan or image on your computer and then trace the result with pencil onto the banner. Then simply take it down, and paint within the lines!
A banner drop is an effective way to frame or contextualize your event or protest. Banner hangs can function as public service announcements to alert the public of an injustice or a dangerous situation. Banner hangs can be low-tech and low-risk events, but the ones that really have a wow moment many times involve large pieces of cloth or netting and used at great heights, held by experienced climbers.
All effective banner hangs need to have a clear goal! The goals are divided to 2 categories: communicative (concise protest statements) or concrete (blockade elements that directly disrupt business as usual). Be creative and find your own way how to use your banner. And use the banner painting as a team building moment.
- Location, Location, Location. placing a banner in the right place sends the right message. E.g a banner outside a secret corporate meeting draws attention to what they are doing. A big banner during a march amplifies the message of the crowd standing behind it. If you want to put the banner up someplace you aren’t allowed to be, please take the legal consequences into consideration.
- Timing is everything, when you show a banner is as important as where. If you are interrupting a conference and you show the banner too soon, it will be taken away by security. If you show it the day after the big event, the media won’t care. Make sure your banner gets the attention it deserves and time it perfectly so both your target and the media can see it!
- Don’t get stuck on a specific idea of what a banner can be. Is it made of cloth, projected light, people or paper mache? Sharing your story can be more powerful if it is delivered in a way that people don’t expect. Use your supporters to create a giant message out of people or use a strong projector to light up your target’s headquarters at night. There are many ways to get your message across.
- Brainstorm your slogan: A good slogan must be simple and understandable. Your audience needs to understand the slogan at a glance, regardless of the subject, often the shorter messages are much better than long sentences. Be bold, and playful with your banner! But clear wording and correct spelling is particularly important as well.
- Test your message: In order to find the optimal wording you can ask your friends for brainstorming or testing. Spontaneously collect ideas from your group and jot them down but don’t make a final decision. After some time read them back out loud and select the one that has the best reaction considering who will be your banner’s target!
- Size matters. A small banner hung from a massive building will not be easily seen or very impressive. A human banner can’t be done without enough people. Consider your target location and resources to make sure you make the most of it! Similarly, a small handheld banner in the background of your targets big event makes more of a buzz than a giant banner where nobody sees it!
- Spread the word: Pictures, video, live-streams are all key. Your banner will only be seen by a handful of people unless you make sure it spreads. Take photos and send out press-releases with them attached to give the media a newsworthy story or invite media to take their own pictures. Livestream your banner drop on your social media page or borrow a drone to film from above as your supporters form a giant human message, the sky’s the limit!