Action guide – organising a banner drop

Action guide – organising a banner drop

Banners have a key role in activism. As well as being useful on demonstrations or at events, banners can in fact be the centre-piece of creative actions when displayed in public places – off bridges, large buildings or major landmarks. Here’s our guide to organising a banner action.  

First, have a discussion in your group about the kind of banner that you’d like to make. You’ll need to think about:

  1. Where you’re going to use the banner – are you going to be carrying it on a march or dropping it from the side of the bridge? This will determine how big your banner will need as well as how you’ll attach it. If you’re going to use it on a protest we’d recommend metal poles attached at each end and something that’d no bigger than 5 meters. If you’re going to do something from a bridge you’ll want something that’s at least quarter of the length of the bridge attached using cable ties and rope.
  2. What message you want to put on your banner – check out these pictures from recent Trump protests for a bit of inspiration.
  3. What materials you’ll need  – there are two ways that you could go about making your banner:
    1. Make your banner out of scaffolding mesh, using rip stock fabric to cut out your letters and use strong spray on adhesive to attach. You might need to put a few stitches in to be sure the letters will stay in position. You’ll also need cable ties and some strong rope to attach the banner. Recommended for bridges drops.
    2. Make your banner out of cotton fabric using paint or spray to write on your message. You can easily pick up these from fabric and craft shops. You’ll also need a needle and thread to create loops at either end of the banner to insert some poles in to make it easier to carry.
  4. Where you are going to make the banner – you’ll need a large space where you’ll be able to get a bit messy!
  5. Check legal restrictions – if you are planning on doing a banner drop off a bridge read bridges not wall’s legal advice document to check that you know everything that you need.

Let us know

Email us to let us know that you’re interested in creating a banner with your groups along with a short description of your plan and how much it will cost. We have £50 per group for each banner.

Make your banner

  1. Create a facebook group for the event to get as many people along to help out with the session.
  2. Buy everything that you need for your banner making sure that you keep hold of the receipts to send through to us.
  3. We’d recommend drawing out your banner design first to get a sense of spacing and positioning. You may wish to project your design on to the banner so that you can sketch around your design. If you’re cutting and sticking on letters make sure you figure out how big each letter can be before you start drawing.
  4. It’s worthwhile getting someone to film you whilst you are making the banner to add to your social media content. If films beyond you make sure you get some good snaps at least.