Fundamentals in Poster Printing

If you have never had the need for poster printing or simply need a refresher course, this article discusses some of the basic considerations you need to make before sending your posters to the printing press.  Design, file format, and paper selection are your primary poster printing decisions, and this article discusses these decisions in-depth.
 
Poster Printing Design
One common mistake is to put too much information on a poster.  Poster printing campaigns should focus on grabbing a potential customer’s attention, leaving them with a specific message.

  • Start with an eye catching design
  • Put your main point in headlines
  • Keep your fine print short and sweet
  • Don’t forget your contact information 


Poster Printing File Formats
When you develop your poster printing design, your computer monitor is displaying your poster with the three primary colors of light: red, green, and blue.  This is referred to as RGB and is fundamentally different from how a printer processes colors.  Printers display color by breaking the image into the four primary colors of ink: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.  This is referred to as CMYK.
 
Understanding this basic principle can save you a lot of heartache.  Print a proof or test copy of your poster printing design to make sure what you see on your screen is what you’re going to get on paper.
 
Also, make sure your poster printing design is at least 300 dots-per-inch.  Anything less can result in fuzzy or unclear images.
 
Poster Printing Paper Selection
Depending on your needs, your choice of paper can make or break your poster printing campaign.  If your posters will be outside, choose a paper that is durable and will not fade under the light of the sun.  Indoor poster printing should be done on glossy paper to enhance the images.
 
Other considerations include whether or not your poster will be taped to a wall or will be sitting on an easel.  If taped to a wall your poster printing paper does not need to be strong, but freestanding posters must be rigid.
 
Final Thoughts
Once you have your poster printing design, file formats finalized, and the proper paper selected, then you are ready to begin printing your posters.  Make sure to send your posters to a trusted printing professional.  Because of the large size of posters, there are special printing considerations.  Unless you have experience, let the professionals handle poster printing so you can be confident that the final product will look professional.

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