designing a logo sticker

Which Backdrop Size Should You Get?

A custom backdrop is always high up on the list of every event organizer. Whether it’s for photography purposes or as background for the stage or the red carpet, this large swath of printed vinyl (or canvas) can easily transform the overall look of your venue.

Its versatility is also what stumps those ordering a backdrop for the first time. To accommodate a wide range of purposes, backdrops come in many sizes. Some printing shops even accept custom dimensions that can go as wide as 20 feet. If you’ve never bought one before, how do you know which size to choose?

That’s what we’re here for. Set the tape measure aside for a moment.

Different Uses of a Backdrop

First things first: let’s dive deep into the different settings that call for a custom backdrop. These can be combined into two main categories which we glossed over earlier – events and photography studios.

For events

It’s not surprising for an event to have more than one backdrop, sometimes with different designs. Aside from elevating the look of the venue, backdrops create a more impactful effect for branding. For recitals, concerts, or theater productions, the backdrop is what sets the scene and ties the whole performance together. Just imagine watching a classical play on a bare stage – it’ll feel lacking no matter how great the actors are.

Backdrops also play a major role in launches, press conferences, and talks. For presentation-type events like these, you must keep in mind that the design shouldn’t pull away the audience’s focus from the subject. Aside from the stage backdrop, you would also need a backdrop for the photobooth and the registration area. Seminars nowadays also use a backdrop as an idea or feedback wall, so that’s something to explore as well.

For photography studios

The backdrop requirements of photography studios greatly differ from events. Since they have their own space, studio owners can ditch the banner frame and hang their backdrops directly from the ceiling. However, this also means they require taller backdrops to obscure the background.

Another key difference between event and photography studio backdrops is the design. Unlike events which are usually one-off activities, photography studios aim to maximize their backdrops. The designs are either simple (think solid colors) or generic (like outdoor sceneries) so they’re easy to reuse.

What to Consider When Choosing a Backdrop Size

If you’re getting a custom backdrop for an event or the studio, these two factors are what will ultimately influence the size that you are getting – the location and the subject. Now’s the time to pick the tape measure back up!

Location. You’ll be asked for the width and height of the backdrop when placing an order. Printing shops usually have a list of popular sizes such as 5’ x 8’, 8’ x 8’, 12’ x 8’, and 20’ x 8’, but don’t just pick a size without measuring your space first. Too little and the photographer would have to compensate by shooting closer to the subject, too large and you’ll have to trim it down.

Subject. What’s the purpose of your backdrop? If you’re using it as a theater or red carpet backdrop, it has to seamlessly cover the whole stage or walkway. If it’s for a photo booth, take into consideration the maximum number of people you want to fit in a single picture. Use this as reference:

  • 5’ x 8’ can fit 2 to 3 persons
  • 8’ x 8’ can accommodate 4 to 5 persons
  • 12’ x 8’ is recommended for corporate events and large parties
  • 20’ x 8’ is PrintRunner’s maximum size offering

banner sizes
4.5’ x 3’ is PrintRunner’s smallest backdrop size. This is perfect for headshots, product shots, and baby photoshoots.

Ready to order your custom backdrop? Head over to our backdrop page where you can design your own using our built-in online tool. You can also get in touch with us if you’re unsure which size to get. Our backdrop experts would be more than happy to share their insights.