How do I create my own roller banner?

How do I create my own roller banner?

30th Jan 2018

If you fancy designing your own roller banner artwork you needn’t worry about it looking the biz. Thanks to the wide choice of design and graphics programmes available, even the least creative among us can achieve quite stunning results. Adobe Illustrator (AI) is a popular choice as it is user friendly and compatible with any system.

Dubbed “any designer’s best friend” this vector based drawing programme uses maths equations to draw shapes which means the graphics can be scaled to any proportion without losing resolution. This is essential when producing high quality print material.

If you are a complete AI novice read on for some useful tips on how to create your professional roller banner in Adobe Illustrator.

To set up Adobe Illustrator prior to design.

Step 1: Open a new document. Click File and then New. For Mac users, Click File and select New and then click More Settings underneath Preset Details. Enter the name of your new file in the Name box. This can be changed later if you need to when you come to save the document. Enter the dimensions of your banner in the Width and Height boxes. Remember to set the Units you have chosen to work in (usually Millimetres) to ensure consistency. There is no need to set any figure for the Bleed measurement as it is possible to print up to the edge of roller banners.

Illustrator Set Up

However, as a note of caution, it is important to leave a 100mm area at the bottom of the panel to be treated as ‘bleed’ as this part of the panel will remain in the roller mechanism. It’s also advisable to start your design 30mm clear of the logo or header at the top of the banner.

Roller Banners come in a variety of sizes to suit any budget. Check out this list.

Click OK. For mac users, click Create Document. A new screen with a blank artboard will appear. You are now ready to start designing your artwork.

At this stage it is helpful if you can see the frame in which you are working to avoid crossing over any ‘bleed’ areas. To add rulers to your blank page, click View at the top, scroll down to Rulers and release on Show Rulers. Place your cursor on the top ruler, click, hold and drag it down over your artboard. Release the ruler at any point and go to X/Y references, where you can enter the cut-off point of your banner. For example, if your banner measures 2000mm in height enter this figure in the X option (horizontal axis). A line will appear across your page indicating the bottom parameter of your design.

Illustrator Preview with Guides

Step 2: It’s over to you!

You’re ready to let those creative juices flow and transfer your ideas onto the screen. If you need a little more technical help here, go to Adobe for tutorials on how to …

  • Create and edit shapes
  • Transform and edit artwork
  • Change colour and strokes
  • Add text to design
  • Design a logo
  • Create a Web Icon/ Monograms

It’s advisable to save your work as you go along, but once you are happy with the completed design click File and scroll to Save as. First save the work in Standard Illustrator (AI) format so you have a complete back up. You will need to forward your file to the printers/design studio in PDF format to achieve the highest possible print quality.

Step 3: Saving your file as a PDF

Click on File again, Save as. You will see a pop up box enabling you to change the name or format of your file. Scroll down and choose Adobe PDF format. Then click Save in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

This will take you to another screen with a pre-set Adobe PDF box at the top . Change this default (Illustrator default) to High Quality Print. Drop down to the options box and tick Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities so any necessary alterations can be made and Save Pre-set by clicking the icon next to Adobe PDF Preset… if you are doing more than one roller banner design.

Finally, click Save PDF button and your work is now printer ready, but before you send it off …

PDF Save

Just to remind you:

  1. Check spelling and grammar
  2. Ensure you have permission to use any logos or images. You don’t want to breach any copyright regulations!
  3. Images should be 300dpi at finished print size to ensure good quality print reproduction
  4. All fonts used should be embedded (select embed fonts in distiller options) or converted to curves
  5. Colour palette should be supplied as a CMYK pdf not RGB. The latter can cause faults with images or printing of incorrect colours.


Of course, this is all great fun and very character building, but there is always the easy option! Call our Design Studio today for help or advice about anything Roller banner design related on 02380 700111 or visit  rollerbannersuk.com.