How to Save Money on Custom-Printed Posters

Posters are used for a variety of promotional, educational, and operational purposes.

Designed to get attention, posters are perfect for quickly relaying information to those who pass by or congregate within the immediate area.

As a commercial printer, I am often asked about ways to save money on custom posters. Maybe you too have an upcoming poster project and are looking for ways to keep the cost as low as possible.

Here are my six recommendations…

1) Choose a Size that can be produced on a Standard Printing Press

By nature, posters are relatively large documents. But your best price will be attained by not going too large, so design your posters to fit on a standard printing press. For example, your best value can be attained if you can design the size of the poster to fit a popular offset press size. For example, producing posters that measure 21” x 28” (or less) on a standard sheet-fed offset press will be much more economical than producing larger-sized posters on a wide-format press.

2) Use a House Paper Stock

Always try to choose a paper that your printer has in-house, rather than a paper that must be specially ordered. For example, 80# gloss text and 100# gloss text are very common paper types and are also good choices for wall posters. Anything thinner would sacrifice durability and anything heavier would likely be a waste of money.

3) Print in Standard CMYK

When creating your poster, design it to print as CMYK (4-color process). Because this is the most widespread method of color printing, it is also the most cost-effective.  Avoid the use of PMS colors, metallic inks, spot coatings, foil stamping and similar enhancements that would necessitate an upcharge.

4) Limit the Posters to Indoor Use

Indoor posters can be created with standard paper types and inks, which are extremely economical. Conversely, outdoor posters require the use of weatherproof papers and inks…which will add substantially to the cost of the project.

5) Make sure the Final Artwork is Print Ready

Always review your artwork file(s) to ensure they are set-up correctly. If you have any questions, it is best to ask your printer prior to submitting the file(s). Most printers will provide the first PDF proof free of charge. However, corrections and multiple rounds of proofs not only cause delays, they can add to the cost of the project.

6) Request the Posters to Ship Flat rather than in Tubes

Bulk shipping the posters flat in a box is by far the more economical packaging option. Rolling up posters and inserting them into tubes is very labor intensive and will therefore cost more.

To discuss cost-saving options for your next poster project, give Formax Printing a call at 866-367-6221.  By the way, if your poster requires lamination please note that we offer some of the lowest laminated printing prices around. To see how we compare, click here to access our easy quote request form. We look forward to assisting with your poster project!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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