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3 Beginner Tips: Designing Your Posters For Printing

- 17-Mar-2016 -

There are a few things to consider when designing your posters for printing. From image size and resolution to colour palettes, print design differs from its digital counterpart in several aspects.

Adapting your design for printing from the start is imperative.Otherwise your posters will end up looking completely different from the image you had in mind or in digital composition. Changing it from there will be a hassle and wastes extra time.

3 Beginner Tips: Designing Your Posters For Printing

Unlike the two-dimensional image displayed on the computer screen, when you go to print your poster you won’t know the results till its done. If you’ve had a mistake, the whole printing process has to start again.

To help you avoid easy mistakes and having the misfortune of having to reprint your work, here are some tips to consider while designing your posters for printing.

Be aware of colour difference between screen and print

A common error many novices face is using the wrong colour mode for their design. It’s important to keep in mind that the ink options used for print are not as diverse as the colour schemes on your computer screen.

The RGB (red, green and blue) option present in most design tools makes use of light to mix tones. Which allows you to brighten or darken a particular colour very easily, resulting in a wider range of tons.

However, this colour setting does not translate into print, which is based on the traditional combination of paint to reproduce different or new tones.

Fortunately, you can easily circumvent this situation and prevent a colour disaster. Simply choose the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) key on your design software before you start your project. This corresponds to printing colours and will mean your digital design will look the same once printed.

Image resolution is a key factor for print quality

You’ve spent hours perfecting your poster design, paying close attention to every single detail, only for it to come out looking blurry and unclear. In this situation, it might be that your chosen image resolution is to blame.

The poster may look amazing on your computer screen but if its resolution is not optimized for printing all your hard work will be in vain.

In poster printing the resolution determines the clarity and quality of your design, whereas on computers it simply alters the size of the image. It is thus crucial that you configure your image to the 330 ppi print standard resolution from the beginning. If you aren’t sure you have the right resolution for your size of poster, consult your print company as they can advise you.

Always accommodate for page bleed


1. Where the design will be trimmed. 2. Bleed area 3. Area of design for poster.

An area of printing that first timers often aren’t aware of is page bleed. Page Bleed is the area around a design which may be cut off to fit the prints shape. It should be blank background or something equivalent.

Including a page bleed in your artwork allows for any excess or edge stripping done before printing, helping to achieve a flawless print.

Page bleed is extremely important for printing services, enabling a better service and smoother process.

Ro-am Posters requires at least a 3mm amount of bleed area for posters and larger prints. However for smaller sizes this may not be applicable.

Once your design is complete and you’ve taken on board these three beginner tips, Ro-Am Posters can begin printing your posters.


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