Why is it called a Step and Repeat?

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Why is it called a Step and Repeat?

This term has two origins. The first origin starts in Hollywood with the action of stars “Stepping” up to have their photo taken, then stepping down and having the next star “Repeat” the same action for their photo.

The second, is from the technical term “step and repeat” used in the graphic design industry that describes taking a graphic element and repeating it over and over again across a medium. Primarily this was to create copies of a printed item like business cards that could be arranged across a large sheet (like how the logos are repeated across the step and repeat backdrop) for printing and later cut down to the individual card.

Where did Step and Repeat Backdrops come from?

Step and Repeat backdrops have been used for decades, originating in Hollywood as a way to promote the underwriter of events. Once marketeers realized photo’s of events were being shared long after events had come to an end, the idea to put a Step and Repeat Backdrop in the photo area of a high profile event was conceived.  They could then charge companies and organizations to have their logos on the backdrop as a promotional service. As you’ve probably noticed this was a great success. Whenever you see a photo of any red carpet event circulating on the internet, logos fill the background. For organizations that paid for the exposure, their logo’s are now being passed around with famous faces all across the internet.

How are Step and Repeats made?

There are many ways to achieve a step and repeat photo backdrop. The simplest way is to purchase a custom printed step and repeat backdrop banner and a banner stand. This will come on a roll(vinyl) or folded up in a bag(fabric), depending on if you ordered a vinyl or fabric backdrop. The backdrop itself will have a top and usually a bottom pole pocket that you can slide the banner stands horizontal bars through and attach to the banner stand’s vertical bars. Then just extend and tighten up the telescoping bars to deploy the backdrop.Here’s a video showing how to set up a banner stand.

Fabric Banner Step and Repeat

Another way is called a Hop-Up Display. This is engineered to be put and taken down quickly and to be reused may times so the cost is usually more than a banner stand. It come’s in a plastic or canvas case with wheels. To set this up you simply remove the hop up from its case and set it face up on the floor. Then pull on two opposing corners until the fabric on the face is stretched tight. At this point it can be easily pushed back to it’s compact size, so you’ll need to secure the connectors around the edges. Then you can stand it up and finished securing the connectors around the middle area. Here’s a video explaining a Hop-Up in detail.

LIfe Size Cutouts

If you have an existing wall,  or even windows, and you just need to turn it into a step and repeat backdrop there’s an option for that. Wall wraps or wall murals is a great way to do this. This is achieved by having a printing company like Heritage Printing design and print wall wrap vinyl and install it directly to your wall. This is not a portable option and it is a single use product but the end result looks great and you can leave it on the wall as long as you like.

Step and Repeat wall wrap

A few other options are rigid substrates that connect together. This can be anything from a heavy duty prebuilt wall to direct printed foam-boards or similar material that are held up by floor stands commonly referred to as Might Mounts. A reputable sign company can provide these and the direct printed substrates to assembly on site.

Direct Printed Rigid Substrate Backdrop

What’s the difference?

The biggest difference in these are the portability and  reusability, and greatly influenced by these factors, the price. If you need something that will be used one time for one event the Mighty Mounts and rigid substrates are probably your best option. Given you can transport the rigid substrates to the destination or are nearby your sign vendor for them to deliver and install them for you.

If you are nearby the sign company and have an existing wall, the wall wrap is probably best. Its the most durable of all of the options listed. If it is temporary there is specific vinyl we use with an adhesive designed to be removed after a short time,  with little to no damage to the existing wall.

If you plan to reuse it several times and will need to move it from one location to another, you should go with a Step and Repeat Banner Stand or a Hop-UP display. The Hop-Up is more expensive but will last much longer and is easier to setup and take down. So consider how many times you’ll be using it before you decide on either. Both the banner stand and the Hop-Up Display can have the graphic replaced so you can update your logo’s or design without having to buy a new standing system.

If you need help deciding on what option is best for your event, or you need to get an order placed, Heritage Printing does all the above and some. Give us a call and we’ll help you make the very best of your next event!







A Perfect Client

Jerry Hyatt, Project Coordinator at Heritage Custom Signs in Charlotte, had the privilege to work with Zach Williamson at RDH Tire & Retread on a large retractable banner order.

“Zach is phenomenal, he responds professionally and promptly, a perfect client” Jerry Hyatt.

From the world wide web at Founded in Cleveland, North Carolina, in 1987, RDH Tire & Retread Co. is the largest retreading operation in the United States. Our successful growth over the past 30 years is a testament to the solid partnerships we’ve forged with our customers. Those relationships have been built on the consistent integrity of our products and services and our constant commitment to excellent customer service and support.

Utilizing a fleet of tractor trailers that services the Eastern half of the United States, RDH predominately serves dealer clients throughout the Atlantic states, including urban and rural sites from Miami to Boston. We have the capabilities for retreading and repairing all sizes tires up to 60/80R57 and 59/80R63.

Retractable Banners

Retractable Banners

RDH was founded on the belief that “Being courteous, efficient and timely will produce the best products in the industry.” Over the years, that commitment has proven correct, and we’ve been consistently rewarded with the opportunity to expand our capabilities and capacity to better serve our clients.

When it was time for us to update our display, I had a rough concept in mind and at least knew the type of display stands I wanted. Looking online I found Heritage and several other companies in the Charlotte area, all had good reviews, but Heritage was the only one that had a showroom and invited me to visit that day with no appointment! That was great considering we had a tight schedule to work with.

When I showed up I met Jerry Hyatt took me right around to show me what they could do, and I was extremely impressed. After the tour we sat-down to discuss the project and what I was looking for. What I thought I had well thought out, really wound up being some pictures and a layout idea with very little else. This did not phase Jerry a bit, and he went right in to throwing out some ideas and thoughts on color and graphics that could be used. He really was able to make me feel at ease with the process and get it moving. When I left that day Jerry still had very little from me to work with and I was nervous about how this was going to go with our timeline.

5 days later I get an email from Jerry with his first draft and all I could say was WOW! I couldn’t believe what he had done with very little information to work with. After a few tweaks, we were approved and ready for print. All said from start to finish the whole process was 3 weeks, which was outstanding turnaround. The displays themselves were amazing! They turned out so much better than we had ever conceived of having. That was all thanks to Jerry Hyatt and his great vision and work.

Since then we have done 7 trade shows and have been complimented every time on these displays. I would recommend Jerry and Heritage to everyone for their needs. I look forward to working Jerry again on our next project for RDH & BR Retreading.” Zach Williamson.


Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners

Grand format printing is what we do best! Our abilities to print up to 10′ wide provides immaculate fabric banners, mesh banners and vinyl banners.

Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners

We are proud of our Charlotte Sign Shop, we encourage all our customers to visit and take a tour of our facility, it’s loaded with incredible examples of our printing capabilities!

Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners

Displaying your fabric banners are never an issue, we provide:

Fabric banners are easily transported, the banners will fold without creasing.

Super-Fast production and shipping available on request. Call today for a great price on custom printed fabric banners.

Veteran Owned Small Business

Heritage is a Verified Veteran owned & operated sign company in Charlotte. We are celebrating our 40th year in business in 2017.

Customer Review via Google+

Heritage did an AMAZING job for us. After contacting 6 different printing companies, Heritage got back to me the same day– most of the companies did not even respond to my inquiry (why are you making it so hard for me to give you my money??) We worked with James Zambrano and he worked to design and produce beautiful graphics. He was very responsive during the entire process and his follow up was great. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone!     Elizabeth Brigham

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Kevin Smith
Marketing Manager
Heritage Printing