Sunday, May 12, 2013

There's a science to Banner Day

Banner Day 2013 was fun. I entered 2 banners, which I posted on Saturday, neither of which was selected as a finalist, which I think I'll learn to accept. Seriously though, I don't disagree with the finalists. There were a lot of great banners. Almost 100 of them, down from nearly 300 last year. Everyone who came out under the threatening skies of springtime did a great job, and there was a small contingent of fans down the foul lines and with cameras in the upper reaches of the stadium taking pictures (see my photo album).

Now, my banner didn't fare well in the parade or in the stadium afterwards. And this is part of what I call the "science" of Banner Day. I had 2 banners, both roughly 22x28, both basically a thin poster board (one was packaged as poster board that came in a package of 3, the other on paper of a similar context, but from the printer at Staples). But they weren't exactly the same size. The paper from Staples was slightly bigger, and I was using the packaging from the poster board as a cover. It was skin tight to the poster board, so the slightly larger paper didn't fit. So thought number 1, either trim down the larger banner to fit the covering better, or find a larger covering. Of course, I was really only concerned with the covering because of the rain. The covering ripped a bit because of trying to jam in the larger banner, and I placed it down in a puddle by my seat by accident, with the exposed corner down, and it got wet.

That was just a small problem after the parade. The poser board wasn't very sturdy. It's good for doing something on an easel, and the brand that I used has an invisible grid which helped me line things up, which was good (except it was really hard to see, even up close, to take advantage of). The printed paper was basically the same context. It was easy to hold up with two hands, but it was hard to commit to giving two hands to my banners (even the two packaged together), so how do I try to roll it or hold it with one hand to work a camera in the other? I did have two extra sets of hands for the parade to help me show off both banners. And then it was windy. The banners, when out of the covering, were really hard to contain in the wind. Either it would try to escape my hands, or it would blow right into my body and cling to me. Next time, I definitely wouldn't use this material. Maybe if I secure it to a larger more sturdy poster board (last year, I used a foam poster board that needed two people to carry that might work here). I had thought about that, but just didn't have time to make it happen. There needs to be an all-(reasonable) weather parade test for the banner(s) to make sure they stand up to anything. I didn't see anyone else having that sort of problem.

Next, in the design of the banner. All of my banners have been made with drawings or tracings on printer paper that are cut out and assembled onto the poster board. I've done that because it gives me the ability to have a do-over in case of problems in the drawing, and in the case of last year's banner, I didn't know exactly how it would lay out until I had made all of the pieces. I could have everything there, move it around, and then decide on a final layout. Also, since I like tracing off the computer screen, i need a medium that fits on my computer screen, and printer paper, or pieces of printer paper work, while a large poster board wouldn't. I don't think that's a bad way of doing it, but looking at most of the other banners, they have computer printouts, bedsheets, and more sturdy things. I need to figure that out for next year.

And the last thing. The winner had a moving part. The banner had Shea Stadium next to Citi Field with the Shea Home Run Apple in the middle, and the apple was controlled to go up and down.

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