1. Poster printing terms
Here are some terms used in the printing industry by designers and printing companies.
Poster sizes: (A2 is the most popular size ordered)
A3 = 297mm x 420mm
A2 = 420mm x 594mm
A1 = 594mm x 841mm
Paper thickness is measured in grams (per square metre) abbreviated as gsm. Posters are normally printed on glossy paper.
135gsm = Thin paper that usually gets mounted onto something.
170gsm = Good thickness paper for posters.
Ask your designer to make the images and colours extend past the edge of the page or “bleed” over the edge of the page. When the posters get cut to size after printing the “bleed” area gets cut off. The posters will not have a thin white line on any of the edges if they are not cut perfectly.
Picture resolution (Hi-res and Low-res)
Picture resolution is measured in dots per inch (abbreviated as dpi). It is important to use high resolution pictures in postars. Low resolution pictures will look blurry when printed.
150dpi = Medium-res. Suitable for poster printing
300dpi = Hi-res. Excellent for printing posters.
900dpi = Hi-res. Too high resolution, files size will be very big.
This is the printing process used for high volume, high quality poster printing and is also the cheapest way of printing high volumes.
2. Poster printing prices
Your printing quote / price should include the following:
Quantity - The more you print, the lower the cost per poster.
Poster Size – Bigger posters will cost more than small posters.
Paper thickness - Thicker paper costs more than thin paper. Gloss and Matt paper costs about the same.
Design - This is a once off charge regardless of the quantity of posters printed.
Delivery – Take delivery costs into account if the posters need to be transported.
Warning: Printing large quantities on Inkjet printers is very expensive.
3. Poster printing time
Allow your printing company to get the job done without rushing. Allow time for delivery if you are not in the same location as your printing company.
4. Poster design
Begin your design by coming up with a general idea of what the pamphlet will look like before you get into the exact design. Think colours, pictures, and attention grabbing headline. Remember that posters are usually viewed from a distance and small text is generally overlooked.
5. Get your message across
Your poster should :
- Get the person’s attention
- Create a desire for what you are promoting
- Clearly display your offering from a distance.
- Make it easy for the customer to contact you.
6. Poster life span
Placing posters in direct sunlight will cause the colours to fade quickly. Try to place your posters out of direct sunlight and rain. If your posters will be displayed outdoors then consider having them mounted on a rigid board.
7. Poster design
You only have seconds to get your customer’s attention, so get your message across quickly and clearly. Your headline and main picture should do this.
Use contrasting colours for text and background.
Use fonts that are easy to read from a distance.
Keep it simple. A common mistake is to clutter the poster with too much information.
8. Common design errors
Using too many different fonts, one or two fonts are enough.
Using fonts that are difficult to read, especially in long sentences.
Using small text that cannot be read from a distance.
Designing your poster in MS Word, Excel or any other office program before speaking to your printing company about what files they can use. The poster may need to be converted to another program or even re-done from scratch.
9. Proof reading
Print out proofs on your desktop printer and ask people to proof read your poster. Check all phone numbers, dates, email addresses etc.
The final sign-off is your responsibility and you will have to pay for a re-print if the posters are unusable.