Banners have been around for hundreds of years, even the word comes from the Latin word bandum - meaning a cloth from which a military standard or flag is made. They've been around so long that most western European countries have evolved the word into their language, for example the Portuguese word for a banner is bandeira.
So who uses them?
If you go back a few hundred years they were used to display a coat of arms and in the Christian church they were and still are used in processions. Back in the 1840's the trade unions started to use banners during the May Day parades and still do to this day.
In the age we live in now they are used by almost all sporting teams and their supporters and nearly every business that does some form of advertising.
If you think the about the last time you walked down a busy high street, you can probably remember seeing them, but there are hundreds of different types of banners, from ones attached to lampposts and walls to ones in shop windows, you'll be surprised if you start looking for them how many there actually are.
These days most external advertising ones are made from PVC so they can last longer without the colours fading in external weather conditions. But they can be made from almost any material, some from no material at all! If you look on most websites they will have advertising web banners on them either at the top, side or bottom of the page, in fact have a look at the page you're on now and you'll see at least one I'm sure.
One advancement in the types available is the new advertising light banners, they work by shining a light on buildings creating adverts, the evolution continues.
So why are outdoor banners so popular?
Well it's quite simple actually, if you think of the cost of other forms of advertising compared with the cost of a large banner, well, it's a lot cheaper, not only that but professional outdoor advertising banners can be used over and over again and last for years, which makes their return on investment extremely good, a no brainer if you will.
So what does the future hold?
Well as time has moved on, banners have evolved from cloth to PVC to digital and now to light, so one would have to say they're going to be around in some format for many years to come.