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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Banners on the Cheap!

Like several other OSR bloggers I was contacted by a representative of this company and given the opportunity to test out their product. I am just going to cut to the chase and tell you I am very impressed. My project was to make a double sided 2'x3' - 1” hex/1”square battlemat for miniatures while I game. I know a lot of people are doing their mega-dungeons and all, but I figured these are vinyl and a good battlemat is always a worthwhile investment. I ended up making two different mats because the website design process doesn't support printing a different image on each side, no biggie though, most of my battlemats have been single-sided

The design process was not easy for someone with as little graphics design skill as myself, I had to figure out scaling and measured things with a ruler at 100% size on my monitor and hoped that was right. I had some help in this in the form of the hex grid file that I got from Joseph Bloch at GreyhawkGrognard, I knew it's actual dimensions and could resize it according to my project. I suggested to the nice people at Banners on the Cheap that they might want to have some hex and square grid templates on file there if they are serious about the gamer market. I also suggested that it might be nice to be able to print two different images on the same banner, so you could have the “gaming standard” hexes on one side, squares on the other. Those are the only caveats and they are minor quibbles at worst.

Here are the pictures of the two battlemats I had made by them:

They aren't kidding when they call themselves Banners on the Cheap, my gift certificate easily covered the production of both battlemats and left enough to print this too:

“God in Heaven, on Earth the Khakhan. Ruler of all mankind.” Yes, I printed a Genghis Khan banner, he is the inspiration for so much of what I do after all, and the spiritual father of this blog.

Now, on to the good stuff. They lie flat, they never have the rolled up corners of Chessex or Crystal Caste mats, where you have to either tape them down or put heavy stuff on them. I have read other reviews, but have not had the opportunity to test yet myself, that they take marker well and do not stain. When I actually get a chance to use these for a game I'll certainly add a comment here. They are cheap, these two mats and the Genghis Khan banner (2'x2') came in at what I would have paid for a comparably sized single-sided Chessex mat, plus I can get them on demand in any color I want.

Just to state it again I am well pleased with these mats, and any gamer would be wise to run over to Banners on the Cheap to make a similar purchase- I'll even provide you their link:

They have sister sites for signs and magnets too, I'd imagine they have the same high quality and low price and I am thinking about getting some magnets printed as a give away for my blog, just because I'd like to throw some business their way.


  1. Glad you were able to use the hex grid!

    Just FYI, Banners on the Cheap can indeed to a double-sided map/battlemat. It's one of the options in the design/upload process.

    1. Yes, but as far as I can tell they have to be the same image. I really tried to get two different images onto one banner. I also should have checked out the magnet site before mentioning that I wanted to print up some magnets; those are car magnets. I was thinking refrigerator magnets like businesses use almost as business cards with the phone number and hours on them. That's a bit disappointing.

  2. I'm very sure they let you upload a second image for the other side of the banner. I didn't opt to do it, but I know it's doable.

  3. Hmm, I wonder if they ship internationally? If so I think I may just have to get myself one. :-)

  4. Any chance you could post these files for others to use at Banners on the Cheap?