Many of the issues that can occur at the moment of poster printing, happen in the very moment of printing, just after all the troubles of the design process… for that reason, you need to make sure that you give enough attention to make corrections and reprint.
Source a reputable print company to print your poster and phone them or call into their graphic design team and ask them exactly what the specifications are before you finalize your poster.
Follow the tips here to limit any problems you might encounter at the final print stage.
1. Prepare all your graphic assets to a minimum of 300dpi resolution, (photos, illustrations, graphs and charts). This will maintain the best image resolution (quality) when you come to printing your poster.
2. For accurate color reproduction, convert all your images and graphics from RGB to CYMK.
3. Printers print using a 4 color Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black (Knockout) process which differs from the Red, Green, Blue color space within your computer and display. Converting your images to CYMK before printing the poster will give you a better idea of the final printed color rendition on your display as you build and also limit conversion mistakes at the printing process. (You may need to use a third party application such as Photoshop, Corel Draw or Gimp for this process).
4. Best practice is to supply the print bureau with a ‘print-ready’ PDF file. Remember to set the PDF exporter application to export to the PRINT format setting, and to convert all images to CYMK and embed all fonts.
5. Even if you are supplying the printer a finished PDF file, collect all the separate images, graphs, diagrams and fonts and supply these in a well maintained and appropriately named folder structure so that the print bureau has everything they need to print your poster. Don’t forget to supply the build file (Powerpoint, Quark, Indesign etc) and a Word document containing the text from your poster.
6. Don’t send the only copy of the final poster design on CDR to the printer… make sure you have multiple backups and keep one copy with you at all times. Printers can, and often lose their clients work!
7. Deliver your completed PDF and support files on a PC formatted ISO9660 CDR or FAT32 USB memory stick. Keep file names short, don’t use spaces or irregular characters in your naming conventions and don’t forget the .xxx file extension on every file. Many print bureaus are Apple Macintosh based so you will experience less issues if you have the ability to build your poster on a Macintosh but watch out – all bureaus will be able to read a PC disk but not all bureaus may be able to read a Mac disk, so If you are on a Mac – save to PC standards!
8. Print to high-grade, medium to heavy GSM weight MATTE paper stock. Semi-gloss may look and feel nice but fluorescent lighting will reflect off the gloss paper making your poster hard to read from a distance.
9. Do not over-handle your poster before you present. Buy a large diameter tube and keep it rolled loosely or better still keep the poster sandwiched between 2 heavy cardboard or 6mm hardboard sheets.