Buying Guides > Outdoor Displays buying guide

Outdoor Displays Buying Guide

What to look for when buying outdoor displaysoutdoor displays buying guide

Choosing the right outdoor advertising display can be tricky at times. Luckily, our handy guide will help you find the best display for your needs.

Read on to find out about the different outdoor displays on offer, as well as picking up some tips on designing, caring and choosing the right weather-friendly display.


  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
  5. Caring for your outdoor displays

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 custom printed PVC banners and flags to pop up tents and pavement signs.

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 and how frequently you want to use it – below are examples of locations where they are commonly used as well as products that can be used in these situations.

Outside shops and forecourt areas

If you are looking to advertise outside your shop or in a forecourt area using latest offers and promotions, the following options are sure to grab attention of passers-by:

Pavement Signs

Typically found directly outside shops, they can contain the latest deals with graphics that can be changed on a regular basis at minimal cost. Featuring easy changing snap rail systems or magnetic poster pockets for quick graphic replacement, pavement signs are a firm favourite for many shop owners.


Chalk A Boards

Chalkboards are similar to pavement signs, but allow for more creative designs and images to be drawn with chalk or liquid chalk pens. They are ideal for businesses such as restaurants and cafes to promote fast changing messages such as latest offers, opening times or ‘special of the day’. The great thing about chalkboards, is you can updated these messages at no cost at all. All that's required is a bit of creativity and neat handwriting!


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.

Advertising Flags

Flags are becoming increasingly popular to use in forecourt areas. Ideally used to display your logo, they're great for attracting attention from afar. There are a variety of hard ground bases, including weighted or water fillable options.

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. PVC banners are inexpensive and ideal for advertising or promoting specific events.


Café barriers

Great for coffee shop areas outdoors to corner off outdoor seating areas with a static branded message. As standard, we print on PVC, but a mesh material is available on request.

Outdoor notice boards

External notice boards are purpose built for outdoor use. They are usually found on the outer walls of retail shops, restaurants and pubs. Most units can have the header panel branded with your logo. As well as this, messages can be changed simply and easily on a regular basis. Menu cases also have LED lit options which are perfect for displaying your menus and poster material during the night.

Outdoor exhibiting and event stands

If you’re exhibiting or running an event outdoors, you’ll be given a set space for your stall. Dependent on space, here are a few options to create a complete event 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. There are plenty of options to brand your tent, from printed sidewalls to a custom canopy.


Outdoor banners

Outdoor banner stands are different from indoor pop up banners. 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. These outdoor banners are more than suitable to be used indoors if needed.



Flags are great for drawing attention to your outdoor display stand or venue. They can range from 2 to 5 metres in height, drawing in the eye from afar. They come in a variety of shapes with feather flags proving the most popular and have a number of base options available to suit soft or hard surfaces.

Outdoor counter

Great as a space to display and give out your samples and act as the ‘hub’ on your stand. Outdoor counters are portable, robust and fully branded. Ideal for regular use outdoors. While these counters are designed for outdoor use, they can be used indoors if required.


Inflatable displays

Inflatable displays are large, attention grabbing displays that can be set up in minutes. They’re also lightweight once packed down allowing for hassle free and easy transportation to different venues.

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.

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! Artwork that incorporates logos only are becoming increasingly popular with flags.  

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.

4. Why you need a quality weatherproof outdoor 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 advertising flags and banners come with a weighted base unit that can be filled with sand or water before the event to ensure stability. We would advise not to keep your displays outdoors if wind speeds exceed 18mph.

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.

5. Caring for your outdoor displays

To help maximise the life span of your displays, general care guidance rules and advice should be considered.

Fabric flag graphics are expected to last six months if kept outside for the whole duration. We recommend keeping your flags dry and neatly stored away when not in use. If dirty, our flags are cool wash and iron friendly, keeping your display looking as good as new for longer. No need to worry about your artwork peeling or fading – as our fabric graphics are printed using a dye-sublimation process, meaning the ink is pressed into the material.

For other outdoor signage such as pavement signs, acetate sheets cover most sign graphics for added protection. These signs along with chalkboard panels can be cleaned with a dry cloth. 

The key to prolonging the longevity of every outdoor display is making sure they are dry and stored away safely when not in use.

For any additional information or custom outdoor advertising requirements, give us a call today on 0808 149 4652.