Full Color Poster Printing

Despite all of our technological advancements, full color poster printing is still extremely effective when it comes to getting the word out about concerts, events, and products. In towns and cities, big or small, people can find posters with information on just about anything. These great marketing materials are used for promoting books, concerts, celebrities, services, products, clubs, movies, plays, musicians, and a host of others. Businesses use posters on subways, in train stations, at trade shows, and even on the streets of large cities to gain exposure. Human eyes are naturally drawn to large images, especially colorful or unusual ones. This is why it's a great idea for new and even established businesses to consider promoting their products through large format poster printing. Choosing a printer is as easy as considering price, quality, and options.

When choosing a full color poster printing service, customers need to decide between offset or digital printing. The two methods involve different ways of printing with very similar results. The significant differences are pricing, timing, and convenience. Offset is less expensive than digital printing. However, digital is faster. The ink dries immediately so rush orders are usually no problem. With bulk orders, though, offset may prove faster. It's best to compare print services and give them a quantity for a rough timeframe. Size limitations are also an issue with the offset method. Digital allows for the convenience of creating much larger sizes than the standard sizes available through offset printing. Another digital convenience is that digital ink can be used with just about any type of materials including fabric, vinyl, and more. Therefore, with the extra cost of digital, the customer does get what she pays for.

Depending on which printer the business owner chooses to work with, the large format poster printing services will usually offer several typical choices. There is the type of paper, size, and options. Types of paper can include semi gloss, matte laminated, and high gloss, among others. High gloss is recommended for movie posters, tradeshow displays, retail graphics, and photo prints. The difference in pricing between these types is nothing or minimal. Choosing the right one is really a matter of what appeals to the customer and looks most professional. Despite which one is chosen, any of the choices should be guaranteed fade resistant, especially if it will be displayed outdoors. With a 24 x 36 poster costing, on average, around $50 each, the business owner may want to additionally invest in laminating the poster or having it mounted or framed for added protection. Most printers will offer these extra options for a fee.

Whether the full color poster printing service is local or a national company, the customer needs to look at sample work. Most legitimate printers will post examples of work they have done in the past. Other companies will even mail out sample paper if the customer requests it. This will give the customer a good idea of the weight and quality of the paper. It will also help them choose the best one for the job. If the customer can also get recommendations for printers and see sample work in person, this is even better. Contact other business owners in the area and see who they recommend. Tradeshows are the best places to view samples of banner and poster print jobs. Collect some business cards and contact company owners to find out who printed their professional-looking materials. These are some of the best ways to be sure that a printer will deliver a satisfactory product. Past and current work speaks volumes. "Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work" (Psalms 62:12).

Sometimes it is tempting to choose large format poster printing from a company that offers other services. Many printers are jacks of all trades including small printing of materials such as brochures and pamphlets or graphic design services. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It's good to use these kinds of companies to reduce stress and work with the same people on one project. Typically, for one advertising poster, a business owner may need the services of a printer and the separate services of a graphic designer. Graphic designers on site know what the printer needs because they work for them. They can help plan and design the product with necessary print aspects in mind. The bad thing about these companies is they don't focus solely on large format and therefore the quality of the product could suffer. Plus, the business owner's graphic designer options are limited to whoever the printing service assigns to work on the project. Before lumping services together, find out who will be designing the poster and check out some of his sample work to make sure he can do the job.

Many businesses already have marketing staff to take care of graphic design needs and select a full color poster printing service. In this case, the only thing that the business owner needs to worry about is providing the image in the right size. A good printer will provide the necessary information about this on its website. If the image on the poster needs to be 24 x 36, for example, the business will need to make sure that the image can maintain its quality at that size. This is where dpi (or dots per inch) come into play. The higher the dpi, the larger the image can be stretched without becoming blurry. Fortunately, each printer will be able to explain the exact size needed to make the picture look clear and professional. Business owners should ask these types of questions when comparing different printers. By careful comparison of the customer service received, recommendations and prices, most customers will find a great large format poster printing service without any hassle.

Custom Poster Printing

Bigger is better with poster printing services. Before art could be computerized, vectorized (made into line segments by a computer), rastorized (made into pixels or dots of color using the computer) making a large print of anything was quite difficult, time consuming and expensive. Large print advertising was relegated to movie promotions lining the walls of the local cinema and rock stars who had millions of dollars to blow on marketing. Without owning a theater or playing an electric guitar, many businesses, organizations and causes were left with printed cards, letterhead and hats. Even with the best ink jet printing of the time, before 1980, poster printing services were just too much of a "luxury" for most marketing budgets. The 1990s gave birth to the computer craze. It was not long before art and animation were handled solely on the computer screen. Companies in the print field started using digital art files that fed directly into a large scale press. The custom poster printing industry was born! Not only was it easier but now was affordable enough for the average business owner to consider as a viable marketing tool.

Years ago, a printing company would run the large image in sections. For example, an average poster would be made into a grid with coordinates on the X and Y axis. The image would be cut into square segments to be printed on a standard size press. A screen would be made for all the separate pieces, making a template for all the blank papers to copy from. If 40 posters were being made, the top left corner of the image would be printed 40 times. Ink would be applied to the image on the paper. The pigment had to be applied one color at a time, and the paper dried between runs. The ink choice could either be CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) or RGB (red, green and blue). If there was a color unique to the customer (which is often the case), a spot color could then be added on the paper's last trip through the press. "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald." (Revelation 4:3) Then the press operator would remove and clean the screen and reload the image of the next segment of the picture. After all of the segments were done and dried, the press operator would follow the grid lines to put the puzzle back together. The images would all be covered with a laminate to give the appearance of seamlessness.

For obvious reasons, this process was painstakingly long, labor intensive and expensive. Part of the answer came in larger custom poster printing machines. Then, one large screen was made to burn the image into large format paper. Forty sheets of this large paper would be sent through the press, to be burned by the picture on the screen. The ink would then adhere to the image in relief on the top of the paper. The paper would be dried and then delivered to the customer. Though this large scale press did make the process a bit quicker, digital printing almost made it faster than lightening. A business owner now has access to high quality custom poster printing without even leaving her office. An illustrator or graphic designer is necessary to create the image that best expresses the marketing angle being attempted by the company. If the business does not have regular need of an artist, graphic designers can be commissioned on a freelance basis and still produce customized art that reflects the heart of the company. The owner will work with the designer to produce art that satisfies her criteria. The designer will save the document in an easily accessible format, such as .pdf or .jpg.

The graphic designer will then send it to a company that specialized in poster printing services. This file could be sent over the email as an attachment, uploaded through the digital print company's website or couriered to the print company, if it is in the same area as the originating business. This type of print making is often called "on demand," because the recipient of the emailed file prints the document or poster on the demand of the client. The presses of today can in take digital information directly from a computer. On demand, or digital print companies, do not design silk screens for each requested job. The computer sends the digital image directly to the press. Ink is applied in much the same way, except that the press no longer has to provide drying time between colors, and spot color is done at the same time as all the other pigments. Digital presses no longer require large numbers of prints to be cost effective. In other words, there is no wasted ink, time or money wasted if the client merely wants one poster. In years past, print preparation was so difficult that running only one piece of artwork was simply not efficient.

There are many options when working with a custom poster printing company. Most, if not all, of these options will be listed on the customer interface portion of their website or will be discussed over the phone by a customer service representative. Gloss or matte, printing to the very edge or leaving a white border, blurred or smoky effects, paper or foam core, among other options, are the choices available when using poster printing services. A business owner should be very involved in this design phase, so that the finished product is to their liking. In the former types of presses, a press check was available before printing, but because on demand is a "what you see is what you get" kind of industry, the file sent or uploaded by the project originator will be exactly replicated when the job is complete.

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