What is Step and Repeat?

What is Step and Repeat?

“Step and Repeat” is a term that is generally used to describe a “red carpet” event background or media wall, which displays a sponsor’s logo or name. These backdrops are used for advertising one or more businesses or for taking photos of noteworthy people who attend a sponsored event. The history of the term “step-and-repeat” originated from graphic artists who would design an image in Photoshop and then use a specific program tools to duplicate and space the image. This Photoshop feature allowed graphic artists to create repeating effects and patterns for the images they wanted to manipulate. The term then began to be used by Hollywood event coordinators who would have celebrities pose in front of logo filled backdrops that were placed at the end of the red carpet to take photos. A celebrity would be instructed to walk up the red carpet, “step” in front of the background, and pose for photographers for a few minutes before entering the event; the next celebrity would “repeat” the process. Today, Step and Repeat backdrops are used at all types of events, from media, film festivals to personal, to add style and flair to an already unforgettable gathering. Listed is some valuable information you should know before ordering a Step and repeat banner or wall.

What is The Difference between Banner Backdrops and Wall Backgrounds?

A banner backdrop is a long strip of cloth or vinyl, with the specified dimensions, bearing the design. The banner is hand-laid onto a standing frame or poles and placed in the desired area. A Step and Repeat wall is constructed by placing multiple banners side by side.


While there are standard sizes for Step and Repeat backdrops, they range in all sizes to fit customers’ preferences. The standard height is 8’h, and any width over 16’w is considered customized. If it is your first time ordering one of these backdrops for your event, these are some of the most popular sizes:

8’h x 4’w (1 person photograph or 2 person “hug-shot” photograph)
8’h x 8’w (2 person photograph)
8’h x 10’w (3 person photograph)
8’h x 12’w (4-6 person photograph)
8’h x 20’w (group shot)

Printing prices for Step and Repeat backdrops vary, depending on the size you order, the amount of images you use, and how many colors you need the backdrop to contain. For instance, some graphics companies charge $95 for an 8’h x 8’w backdrop while others charge $500 for the same size.


When it comes to choosing the right material for your backdrop, you have two options: vinyl or fabric. Of the two, vinyl is more common because it is inexpensive. Since vinyl backdrops are unforgiving to camera flashes, it is best to request “matte vinyl.” It gives off less of a glare and works better with white or light background layouts. If you plan to use your vinyl backdrop more than once, you should roll it up and store it in a dry, secure area. Vinyl tends to wrinkle and develop crease lines. The other option, fabric, will never reflect the glare from camera flashes, and you can request that your fabric be a wrinkle free type.

The poles or standing frames that the backdrops are hung on are made out of black-coated steel or silver-coated lightweight aluminum.

Pictures and Printing

The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is an understatement when it comes to a Step and Repeat backdrop. In this case, the quality of the logo photo you submit to the graphic designer in charge of your backdrop is worth a sponsor and a picture perfect evening. You want to ensure that every sponsor’s logo, photo, or wordart is saved in the highest resolution as a vector .eps, JPG or PDF file. This will allow the graphic designer to scale the file to any size without distorting it. The standard range for each file should be between 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 14″ wide and 72 dpi at 14″ wide: 300 dpi is excellent resolution, and 72 dpi at 14″ wide is decent resolution.

The print quality is another important element that should be taken into account. You should check your backdrop for visible “banding” lines. While all printers will generate some banding, make sure the printer uses “standard” speed and not fast “production” speed. This means there is less banding, and the logos, photos, or wordart will look crisp and clean on your backdrop.

Step and Repeat Backdrop Uses

Step and Repeat banners or walls provide the perfect background for advertising and photo opportunities at press conferences, red carpet events, sporting event interviews, proms, movie premiers, graduations, weddings, and more:

Trade Show or Show Floor Display

When functioning as a trade show or show floor display, a Step and Repeat banner or wall will create a visually stimulating effect. The banner or wall will entice customers to check-out the merchant’s display, so now all the salesperson has to do is connect with clients. Setting up a display of rack cards, handing out business cards, conversing with customers, and passing out flyers has just been made easier.

Night Club Events/Parties

A great party moment should be captured the right way—perfectly—and a Step and Repeat banner or wall will provide the perfect background for taking photo-op moments. A banner or wall will even look great behind the DJ booth, a great addition to all the DJ’s VIP and party sponsor “shout-outs.”

Press/Media Wall

Press Walls or Media Walls are the standard now because they provide sponsors a subtler way to advertise their brands – for example a brand such as Coffee Capsule company Nespresso would have its logo printed all-over the backdrop.

Fashion and Talent Shows

From the local level to the professional stage, Step and Repeat backdrops or walls will certainly add style to any fashion or talent show. Sponsors will enjoy and appreciate seeing their names or logos presented in such a professional manner. Also, a photo of the winners of the talent show or all the models in the fashion show in front of a Step and Repeat wall will look phenomenal and capture the success of the event.

Fundraiser Galas

Coordinators of fundraisers can offer name acknowledgement space to the highest donors on a Step and Repeat wall or banner. Philanthropic giving functions have become extremely popular, and they are as glitzy and glamorous as any Hollywood movie premiere. Additionally, the banner or wall serves as an excellent backdrop for taking photographs.

Three tips to keeping your “step and repeat” backdrop in pristine condition for up to three years are to roll the backdrop neatly and tightly so that it will not wrinkle or crease, store the banner in a sturdy case, and keep it free of dust and dirt. After all, you want your “step and repeat” to look immaculate for every occasion.