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How to make your own protest banner for the Algarve anti-oil campaign

Banners are a proven and well tested tool for raising attention. Be it from decision makers ... be it to inform other people unware of what is happening.  Over the years banners have been used by activists in many occasions - demonstrations, events, sessions ... on beaches, on the streets, in front of buildings ... you name it - you are sure to find a banner there. Banners can be used anywhere and at any time when needed.

The reason we've decided to create this mini-guide, is that the biggest challenge to have effective banners is to know how to make them, and what message should your banner have. As a result we created this guide and support attachments to help you, although it is just a basic guide for making quick and effective banners for actions, protests and other communications interventions.


The Banner Making Guide


Materials that you will need

  1. Fabric

    1. Cheapest: used bed sheets (if you don't have some, you can get them at any charity shop all over the Algarve)
    2. Strongest/long lasting: canvas, duck cotton & vinyl
  2. Paint

    1. Best and cheap: Acrylic works best and is quick to dry.
    2. Alternative: You can also use any house paint
    3. Other alternative - more costly: Spray paint (cans)
  3. Computer

    1. This is a good tool to help you design your banner graphic
    2. If you don't have a graphics software package - get hold of Glimp its an open source software.
    3. It is a good idea to print your design to be able to refer to it when you are painting your banner.
  4. Video Projector

    1. It helps you outline your image onto your banner material
    2. It helps you to get clean and consistent images outlined.
  5.  Other Materials

    1. Chalk or a pencil to outline your image
    2. Paint brushes
    3. Plastic table cloth, plastic sheet, cardboard or newspapers to prevent sipping paint onto floor, table or wall
    4. Markers for touch-ups
    5. Masking tape


Making your banner


1. Design


  1. Make sure that your message is simple. Write a slogan that will fit the size of the material that you are working with.
  2. Pick an image that represents your message. We have included some designs in the Power Point below that you can use - just scroll down to bottom of page.
  3. If you don't have a computer, buy yourself a USB drive (they cheap) and then use a public computer in a library or in an Internet Cafe.
  4. And if you can't get your hands on a computer, just print your image and then use the "grid method" to replicate it on your banner material


2. Designing the Outline


  1.  Attach the material to a wall with masking tape or pin it.
  2. Set-up your projector and connect it to a computer
  3. Line your image to match the size of your material
  4. Start outlining your image with chalk or with a pencil (you can use colour pencils as well)
  5. If you don't have a wall big enough, do it in sections.
  6. If your wall is rough tape card board under your material against the wall before you tape the material.


3. Paint


  1. Once you finished the design outline, remove it from the wall and you can then put it on the floor or on a table to start painting. Remember to put under your cloth, a plastic sheet or plastic table cloth, or even cardboard or newspaper sheets, as the paint will seep through (you don't want to have paint all over the surface you are using)
  2. Try and paint it somewhere well ventilated, outdoors if possible. Be careful of painting fumes which are toxic.
  3. Use a marker for touch ups where needed once your banner painting is finished and dried.


4. Deploy


  1.  There are many uses for banners. You can use them as hanging messages from buildings, bridges, used as flags, or just as a banner in a protest or demonstration.
  2. Depending on the size of your banner its always a good idea to cut some vertical slits to assist in preventing it being turned into a sail.
  3. You can use weights such as plastic bottles filled with water as weights for larger banners to be placed on buildings.
  4. For poles, you can use bamboo ... or just buy some cheap wooden dowells from a hardware store.



 We are sure that you will have loads of fun and enjoyment in making your banners, and you will love it when you use them. This is an activity that you can do with your family and friends, and if you have children, this is indeed an activity that they will love to take part in.



Scroll down for a Power Point presentation giving you various design examples of banners that you can make or adapt



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