East Arlington, TX (PressExposure) November 06, 2009 -- Poster printing presents particular problems. The larger than normal print size means you need to answer several questions before sending your order off to the presses.
How many do you need, how large should you print, color or black and white, and where will you be displaying your posters? Failure to answer these questions could result in a run of worthless output, or at best, wasted money on features you do not necessarily need.
How many posters? This is important to know not only because you want the right amount but also you need to decide whether or not digital or offset printing is the right choice for you. Digital printing is ideal for short runs of around 250 posters. The colors are brilliant and the price is usually right in this range. If you need more than 250, then you may want to consider offset poster printing as this could save you considerably. Offset printing has a greater setup time, but after around 250, these costs begin to be worth it, and the quality is comparable to digital printing.
How large should your posters be? This question is important to help you determine pricing and placement. Bigger ones cost more than smaller ones due to the extra paper and ink or toner. Therefore, if you have a limited budget and a limited audience, you should be able to figure out how to get the biggest bang. If you need 500 pieces but can only afford 250 of your favorite size, try downgrading the size before cutting costs in the color or count department.
Color or Black and White? This is the question to end all questions and only you can decide. Professional poster printing almost always includes color. However, there are a few examples of why you might choose to use black and white printing over color: your brand is black and white, the information is only informational, or your audience already knows where to find the info and you do not need to catch their eye.
Where will you put your posters? This question is easily overlooked. If you will have your posters outside, as an example, you should consider using a heavier paper and a brighter gloss. This will make sure they will survive the elements longer. If they will primarily be positioned indoors, lighter stock is fine and can save you a little money as well.