While your printer's staff will do everything in its power to ensure your printed posters look great off the press, they aren't miracle workers. There are several techniques you can employ before your poster even gets to the printer to ensure your poster design is as vivid on paper as it is on your computer screen and yields the return on investment you're after for your poster marketing campaign.
Correct colors and layout
Your full-color posters are printed using CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) four-color process. Other color palettes such as RGB (computer screens) and PANTONE (a proprietary blend) will be converted to CMYK during preflight, which can change your color hues. Your best bet is to design your posters using CMYK from the start to ensure smooth press transition and color retention.
Your poster file layout is just as important - you must include space for cutlines, bleed lines and a safety line around your poster content. Use poster templates, which already have these guides in place, so you know that your backgrounds extend to the edge of your posters and nothing important is cut off.
Go large for more impact
Posters are more effective when they can be seen from a distance. While printing a larger poster costs more initially, your long-term return on investment can be significantly increased by making this simple change. An 18-inch by 24-inch or 24-inch by 36-inch poster will always have more impact than an 11-inch by 17-inch poster.
Choose the right paper stock
Standard poster paper is good, but a super-thick 16-point gloss cover stock or 100-pound gloss text stock adds heft and a sleek shine to your poster that's both sturdy and attractive. Water-resistant gloss coating and a heavier paper stock protect your posters from the elements, so they'll hang longer and attract more interest in the long run.
Get a proof
Your poster is extremely important for both marketing and publicity. The last thing you want is to distribute 20,000 posters with a typo because you're over budget. Make sure you get a hard copy proof of your poster, and share it with coworkers, friends, family - anyone you trust to pick out any mistakes so you can correct them before the job goes to press.
Print in volume
Digital printing has made short-run posters extremely affordable and is perfect for presentations, seminars and other short-term applications. But, when it comes to mass printing, you can save a lot of money on poster printing by ordering more per run. Since much of your offset poster printing costs are in setup, you'll save significantly on your price-per-piece when you order in volume.
Once you've invested so much time in planning and designing your poster, it's important to follow through with high-quality poster printing. Make sure your poster design files are polished and print-ready, consider your poster printing options with eventual returns on investment in mind, and you can easily save at the press and earn at the register with poster marketing.