Have you ever wondered what the display is behind celebrities when they take photoshoots during award events? If so, then you’ve seen what a step-and-repeat is. This is a type of promotional board that displays different logos. It’s used as a backdrop to remind everyone that someone is paying to get their brand name and logo out there.
The standard step-and-repeat will measure 5 × 8 feet or 8 × 8 feet. However, you can find different step-and-repeat sizes based on how many people will stand in front of it. The largest size you will typically come across is 8 × 20 feet and can accommodate up to 10 people at once.
In this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about step-and-repeat sizes, as well as how to choose the right backdrop size for an upcoming event.
If you want to promote a product or brand at a highly publicized event, one way you can do it is to print out a step-and-repeat. It serves as a backdrop for photo sessions, where celebrities and other popular figures stop for a quick photo op, with the images being published all over the internet and in print.
At the end of the day, you would have invested a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to get your name out there to millions of potential consumers.
The following table will describe the various step-and-repeat sizes, as well as how many people it can accommodate at the same time.
|Dimensions (H × W in feet)||Description|
|5 × 8||Up to 2 people|
|8 × 8||Up to 4 people|
|8 × 10||Up to 5 people|
|8 × 12||Up to 6 people|
|8 × 15||Up to 8 people|
|8 × 20||Up to 10 people|
Note: The dimensions shown above do not include the added height of poles, stands, risers, etc.
The main reason that step-and-repeat banners are so tall is to accommodate the heights of freakishly tall people. I’m talking about professional volleyball, basketball, and football players, whose heights make ordinary 5-foot-9 people look like dwarfs. So, an 8-foot-tall step-and-repeat banner will leave roughly 11 to 12 inches of vertical display space above the athlete’s head.
Why Does Size Matter?
At first, you might think that the reason step-and-repeat banners are so wide is to display a brand’s logo multiple times. However, this is only half the reason.
You will want to choose the size of the banner based on how many people you want to snap in one shot. In addition, it’s important to note that multiple photographers working at the same time will take up quite a lot of space. As such, you might want to get a step-and-repeat that is larger than normal.
Not only that, but if your step-and-repeat banner is too narrow, you might end up having to use multiple banners placed side by side, and achieving a seamless look while using multiple banners is nearly impossible. So, it’s better to go one level larger than you think you would need, just to be on the safe side.
How to Choose the Right Step-and-Repeat Banner Size?
The rule of thumb suggests that for every person you want to photograph, allow for two feet of lateral space. That means two people will need four feet or an 8 × 5-foot banner, 6 people will need an 8 × 12-foot banner, and 10 people should stand in front of an 8 × 20-foot banner.
However, I would like to reiterate that it’s a good idea to pick a step-and-repeat banner that is one size larger than you think you’ll need. For instance, if you plan on snapping a picture of only two people at a time, then you should choose an 8 × 8-foot banner, which is made for four people.
Please note that the larger the banner is, the costlier it becomes to print, but the more logos you can fit onto the display area.
What Are Step-and-Repeats Banners Made of?
If you take a look at these banners during award shows, you’ll find that they either have a solid-white look (except for the colors used to print logos) or be an off-white color.
Regardless of what color the banner is, it will most likely be made of vinyl, which is a type of plastic that is commonly used for printing promotional banners, posters, and billboards. However, when looking for a step-and-repeat, you will have to consider the types of vinyl available.
For the most part, you have two options—13-ounce vinyl or 18-ounce vinyl. While they are made of the same material, the weight of the vinyl will play a role in determining how high-quality the banner looks in person.
The weight of the vinyl is determined by how much a square yard of the vinyl weighs. 13-ounce vinyl weighs 13 ounces per square yard, while 18-ounce vinyl is 18 ounces per square yard. While the difference might feel minute, if you scale it up to 8 × 8 feet, you’re looking at a 2-plus-pound difference. When looking at the largest banner size (8 × 20 feet), the difference goes up to about 5.5 pounds.
How to Hang Up a Step and Repeat?
There are two general ways to hang up a step-and-repeat banner—using a stand or tying it up to a vertical surface.
The traditional way of hanging a step-and-repeat banner is by sliding a stand’s poles through the integrated pole pockets. This method ensures that the banner will be stretched to the sides as far as ir can go to eliminate creases and folds in the vinyl.
However, if you don’t want to invest more in purchasing or renting stands, you can ask the printer to include grommets on the outer edge of the banner instead. Using zip ties, ropes, or anchors, you can stretch the sides of the banner as far as they can go. However, you will also have to take into account how much margin space to include when adding grommets to keep them out of view.