Things to Consider When Printing a Poster
Imagine walking through the West End and seeing nothing but the cold concrete faces of the theatres. Let’s face it; posters are as much a part of our everyday lives as morning tea, rain, and inner-city congestion. However, while we might like to celebrate this fact with the fond memories of our poster-lined teenage bedroom walls, it does mean that poster creation has become an art form in itself of late.
As any seasoned graphic designer will tell you, there’s nothing worse than creating a unique, eye-catching, masterpiece of a poster only to have it come out of the printing shop looking dull, disproportionate, and essentially less striking than the original design.
So, to help you avoid this scenario, here are just a few things to consider when sending your poster design out for printing.
Tips for Poster Printing Preparation
1. Colour Palette
If you’re working on an image preparation program like Photoshop, for example, remember that some of the colours that you are able to view on your screen aren’t able to be replicated by a printer. This is because many programs work on RGB colour while printers work on CMYK. So, before sending your poster off for printing, view it in CMYK colour on your computer to be sure of the final colour scheme.
2. Set Max Resolution
Remember that your design is (usually) much smaller on screen that it will be in physical form, which means it might look great to you but then end up rather pixelated when it arrives back from printing. To avoid this, be sure to set your image to a resolution suitable for printing when creating the poster.
3. Make Allowance for ‘Bleed’
If the image of your poster runs to its edges, it is advisable to include an extra few millimetres – between 3 and 5 – that runs further than the dimensions of your poster. This extra allowance is called ‘bleed’ and it ensures that you don’t get white lines on some edges after the poster is cut.
4. Double-Check the Text
Make sure that you haven’t made any spelling mistakes, then check again. These can often slip past you, and can be costly and embarrassing. Also, if you’re using special fonts, be sure to rasterize them (if you’re using Photoshop) so that the printer can view them. Better yet, save the final poster as a .pdf file to make sure that it ends up exactly as you designed it.
5. Choose the Right Printing Paper
The quality, weight, and various other aspects of printing paper can make a significant difference to the overall quality of your poster. So, to ensure the best possible quality for your poster, be sure to discuss the various options with your poster printer before going ahead with the process.
6. Choose the Right Poster Printer
As mentioned, poor quality printing paper can ruin the effect of your poster. But, the same goes for a lack of printing knowledge and expertise. Be sure to choose a poster printer that has experience in the field and is renowned for high quality work.
You’ve spent a long time designing your poster, so you naturally want it to come out of the printing shop looking perfect. Thus, to be sure that you’re completely satisfied with the end result, use the above tips as a checklist of sorts before sending your artwork off for printing.