A Designer’s Guide to the Best Poster Printing
Posters are used in many areas of business. If you’re a designer, you need to know about all of the best poster printing. Here’s your guide.
The art of poster making has a long and storied history. Though it’s easy to get caught up in today’s digital world, there’s still plenty of practical and creative applications for the physical poster. People love interacting with physical media, and they just look great when done correctly.
If you do find yourself wanting to print posters, there are some things you should know. While it may seem self-explanatory, there are actually quite a few things you should know in order to get the best poster printing results possible.
In order to ensure you get only the highest quality posters, we’ve compiled this list of must-know tips. Let’s dive in!
1. Use CMYK Instead of RBG
If you’re not familiar, RBG (red, blue, green) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) refer to the two different types of colour display options on your computer. Most images you encounter digitally will be in the RBG format, but for your purposes, CMYK is the better option.
By designing in CMYK, you’ll get a much more accurate representation of what your printed poster will actually look like. Printers will vary with their preferences, but most prefer CMYK. Some might prefer to receive convert the files from RGB to CMYK themselves to ensure they get the best match, but that will just depend on the preferences of your printer.
2. Get the Best Black For the Job
Believe it or not, there isn’t just one black. Though it might seem counterintuitive, there are many shades and variations of black available to a designer.
To get the most vibrant true black for your printing needs, talk to your printer. They’ll usually have a good idea of what black works best for their particular set up.
3. Use Vector Graphics
For the uninitiated, vector files differ from images that use traditional pixels in a couple key ways. For one, they use a computer algorithm to generate images instead of square pixels. What this accomplishes is a far crisper image.
More than that, vector images will retain their image quality at any size. Raster files that use pixels will lose image fidelity the larger they’re made. Because of the unique way vector graphics work, you never have to worry about this.
Obviously, this makes vector files the ideal format for printing. Without fear of quality loss, you can adjust images to your specific printing needs, no matter the size.
4. Get the Resolution Right
While the standard 72 dpi (dots per inch) resolution is fine for images you’re viewing on your phone or computer, it won’t cut it for print. Most printers will want a 300 dpi resolution.
When using images in your poster layout, make sure they start off at 300 dpi. Trying to convert a low res image to a higher resolution will not actually increase the clarity of your image.
5. Pay Attention to Layout
Needless to say, layout matters for a lot of reason. One you might not think of is the convenience of the printer.
When designing your poster, it’s possible you’ll want the graphics to come all the way to the edge. This is called “bleed.” If so, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For one, you should give the printer 1/8″ leeway on all sides. Furthermore, you should place any important text or graphics at least another 1/4″ in from that border. Doing this will guarantee that none of your design gets cut off during the printing process.
6. Select the Right Software
The best software for the job can vary. Most of all, it’s important to choose the program you’re most comfortable with. But different software presents different pros and cons.
One of the most important things to consider when selecting your design tools is how effective they’ll be for your specific needs. Many designers and printers prefer to use Adobe Illustrator for its versatility. By using a program like Illustrator, you can utilise things like vector graphics to make the printer’s job easier.
Ultimately, the choice falls on you, but it’s not a bad idea to be well-versed in various programs. The ability to adapt to a printer’s needs will give you an edge.
7. Check Your Work
No matter how professional or well-seasoned you are, mistakes are bound to happen from time to time. To prevent any glaring errors from making it print, it’s important to proof your work several times.
Proofing your work means more than just looking it over on your computer. Of course, that should be part of it, but a printer will always send a proof copy of your poster to look over before it actually goes to print. Don’t just assume that everything is correct. Look it over thoroughly to make sure nothing slips by unnoticed.
8. Correct Outputting
Even if you do everything else right, it won’t matter if you mess up this last step. Printers are going to want specific file types that are print friendly, and it’s your job to make sure they get them.
Many printers will want a pdf, but some may prefer an eps or tiff file. No matter what, they’re going to want them uncompressed and formatted for print. Just talk to your printer to find out precisely what they need from you.
The Trick to the Best Poster Printing Results
If you follow these steps, you’re sure to end up with the best poster printing results possible. By making sure your layout and file types are correct and double checking your work, your poster will be everything a good poster should.
But posters aren’t the only thing you can print. If you’re a graphic designer, you may find yourself needing to adjust to a client’s needs. For more tips on how to print on anything, read on!