Step and repeat banners, also known as step and repeat backdrops, are those backdrops you see behind the celebrities at red carpet events. Since photographers at these events typically have to photograph many people, backdrops help consolidate all press photography to one place. As many red carpet events focus on fashion, designated areas make it easier to get the celebrity’s full outfit in the shot. Since the backgrounds to these photos are widely distributed in the press, covering them with logos is a good move for event sponsors.
Creative Banner Materials
Typically, step and repeat banners are made from vinyl, heavy paper or fabric. Since it’s necessary to print sponsor logos on the banner in a regular pattern, these standard materials are the most common choices. On the other hand, for a truly original banner, you don’t need to limit your imagination to these materials. For unusual events, take your cue from the evening’s theme.
At the MOMA 2011 film benefit, the film director Pedro Almodovar was guest of honor. To complement the director’s aesthetic, a brilliant red banner of red roses was used. For a creative look that addresses corporate sponsors’ needs, you can overlay an unusual material with company logos. For the premiere party of 21 and Over, plastic cups formed an unusual backdrop and brand logos were mounted in front of the eye-catching wall.
Even if you restrict your brain-storming to basic materials, you can still turn out unique step and repeat backdrops by focusing on the patterns you create. Naturally, your basic design will be constrained by the logos of the event sponsors. How you arrange these logos, though, is an opportunity for creative thinking.
The AT&T Best of Washington Happy Hour at STK featured an example of boldly graphic step and repeat banners, with a checkered pattern of black and white diamonds. The overall effect was sophisticated and whimsical. The pattern also placed each company logo in the middle of an individual diamond, avoiding the fussy or littered effect of too many small logos. Another small way of tweaking the overall design is simply to place logo names on the diagonal. At an event promoting the Kate Young for Target collection, the brand name was repeated on a simple white background, but the diagonal pattern added some interest to what could otherwise have been a somewhat “vanilla” banner.
Selecting the Right Color Palette
The colors of your banner can be just a crucial to its success as the design. Naturally, the overall color palette of red carpet backdrops need to work around any brand logos. Depending on the companies, the exact colors used may or may not be fixed.
One example of a color palette working well is at the Bethesda Row’s Front Row Fashion Event. At the event, the headlining guest, Maria Menounos, was promoting a new book, and she was the primary figure posing in front of the backdrop, often while holding the new book. The banner featured images of the book cover as well as other corporate sponsors. As a result, the photos had a unified look, with the pinks and purples of the book cover continuing both throughout the background and on the book in Menounos’ hands.
Creating Your Own Step and Repeat Backdrops
For the most creative leeway, you can design and create your own red carpet backdrops. Plan for the full backdrop to be at least 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide, using the material of your choosing. If you commission the step and repeat backdrop through us, we provide many options for material and sizing. We provide all the material you need to display the backdrop as well. Even more creatively, you can hang the backdrop on pipes or some other material that fits into the vibe of your event. Other key considerations include the printing quality. If you get creative with materials, make sure that the logos are still easy to recognize from far away. If possible, opt for matte materials instead of glossy ones to avoid bothersome glare in any photographs.