Outdoor Displays Buying Guide

This handy guide will help you to find the right outdoor display for your needs as well as give you tips on designing for outdoor displays and what makes an outdoor display weather-friendly.

Outdoor Displays Buying Guide


  1. What is an outdoor display?
  2. Which outdoor display is right for me?
  3. How to adapt your design for outdoor displays
  4. Why you need a quality weatherproof outdoor display

1.What is an outdoor display?

Outdoor advertising displays are weatherproof branded signs and displays that allow businesses, event organisers and charities to draw attention to themselves in any outdoor space.

They can include anything from PVC banners and flags to branded gazebos.

When buying outdoor displays, there are considerations that need to be made to make sure your displays will be up to the challenge of coping with the weather.

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2. Which outdoor display is right for me?

The type of outdoor display that you need will vary depending on where you want to use it – below are examples of locations where outdoor displays are commonly used as well as products that can be used in these situations.

Cafe BarriersOutside a business premises

If you are looking to advertise your premises through the medium of latest offers and promotions, then there are a number of options available to help grab the attention of passers-by.

Pavement A-boards

Typically found directly outside shops, they can contain the latest deals with graphics that can be changed on a regular basis.

Banner A-frames

On a bigger scale, if you have a larger area to advertise – perhaps a grassy knoll, or a garage forecourt with drivers that pass by, then a larger Banner A-frame would be more suitable. Again, the banner graphic can be changed on a regular basis to suit your needs.

PVC Banners

If you have railings nearby, a wall, or other surface that you have permission to attach banners to, then you could use a PVC banner – which can be customised to your exact size requirements.

Café barriers

Great for coffee shop areas outdoors to corner off outdoor seating.

Outdoor exhibiting/ sampling stand

PopUp-Tent-branded-blue-fullIf you’re exhibiting outdoors, or sampling outdoors then you’ll be given a set space for your stall. Dependent on space, here are a few common options to create a complete exhibition stand package:

Pop up tent

A branded pop up tent allows you to create a shelter from the rain, wind and sunshine, making you prepared for any eventuality.

Outdoor banners

Outdoor banner stands are different from indoor banner stands. That is because they are specifically designed with the outdoors in mind with weighted bases or longer feet to provide more stability.

Although it can be tempting to use indoor banners outdoors, they are not designed to cope with all weather conditions. Even a gentle gust of wind could topple an indoor banner over, causing permanent damage.


Flags are great for drawing attention to your outdoor display stand as they can be over 5 metres tall, drawing in the eye from afar.

They come in a variety of shapes and have a number of base options available.

Outdoor counterStreetflag-Feather-min

Great as a space to display and give out your samples and act as the ‘hub’ on your stand.

Charity awareness

Charity awareness is all about the flags. They’re great to make sure you’re seen from afar and can even be made portable.

Street flags

These nifty bags have an integral flag attached, which makes them portable to be seen while on the move in crowded areas at marathons and other events.

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3. How to adapt your design for outdoor displays

There is sometimes confusion about what to put on outdoor graphics. There’s a temptation to simply repeat the same graphics that you would use on your existing indoor banners in order to save costs on new artwork.

This can be detrimental to the impact of your display.

Unlike the plain painted walls of an indoor event, with outside environments you have to compete with often very complex and colourful landscapes as well as your competitors!

For tall displays such as flags, using light blue (or let’s be honest… grey) can often get your message lost in the colour of the sky. As much as you want to keep continuity with your branding, it is important to make sure that the brand stands against the background. Reds and deep colours are always a recommendation while natural greens and browns are ones to avoid. The more vibrant the better!

As well as colour, your message, text and the size are important considerations. On large displays or those targeted at fast moving traffic, the message needs to be short, concise and include an ‘attraction’, a ‘convincer’ and a ‘call to action’. This might be an offer with a limited time period combined with a telephone number or website link. Too much information may not be read due to either the text being too small or simply too much to absorb when passing the display.

If using images on your display ensure they are of a high enough resolution. There is nothing worse than a display containing pixelated images. To avoid poor quality images, we recommend searching for a similar image on photo stock websites that hold professional photographs specially sized for large display printing

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4. Why you need a quality weatherproof display

Making sure your display is waterproof is essential as there is nothing worse than a stand with wet or run graphics.

Suppliers should recommend a waterproof substrate and print process, however it is always best to check that this is included in your purchase. Water can also affect the display structure so you should ensure that the material is not only durable but also rust proof.

Blustery weather is probably more of a hazard for outdoor displays than rain. Wind can often damage displays, especially marquees and banners that act like a sail in the wind, and if not weighted correctly they can easily be knocked over. Most outdoor flags and banners come with a weighted base unit that can be filled with sand or water before the event to ensure stability.

The quality of your outdoor display is the most important feature to consider when purchasing. Enquire into the level of guarantee your display comes with and what materials the main structure is made of. This will ensure value for money and confidence in your supplier. To stand the test of time, your display will need to withstand all of the elements, not just the wind and rain. The sun can fade graphics if the correct material isn’t used and frost can crack plastics and laminate finishes.

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