A Practical Guide to High Quality Poster Printing Services

Erica Gabriel

Publication date: 02/15/2024

Quick Guide to High Quality Poster Printing:

Resolution Needed: 75 to 150 DPI for clear prints, 200 to 300 DPI for the best quality.
Best Sizes: Common sizes include 24″x36″ and 18″x24″, with custom sizes available.
Materials Options: Matte photo paper, high resolution vinyl, studio canvases.
Turnaround Time: How fast do you need it?  Posterprintshop offers fast service to meet tight deadlines.

Are you tired of posters that look great on your screen but turn out blurry and unprofessional when printed? Finding a reliable, high-quality poster printing service can be a game-changer for your business or event. Posterprintshop stands out as a one-stop solution, offering fast, affordable, and high-quality custom poster printing services tailored to suit your needs, from store displays to large-scale trade show banners.

The Pain Point:
Navigating through the complexities of high quality poster printing can be daunting. You need a service that not only delivers quality but also guides you through selecting the right resolution, size, and material for your prints.

At Posterprintshop, we understand these challenges and are dedicated to making the printing process as seamless and straightforward as possible. We provide tools and advice to ensure your poster comes out exactly as you envisioned – sharp, vibrant, and ready to grab attention.

Infographic on the steps for high-resolution poster printing - high resolution poster printing infographic roadmap-5-steps

In this practical guide, we’ll walk you through everything from understanding resolutions and material choices to design tips and FAQs. Let’s enhance your promotional efforts with poster prints that stand out for all the right reasons.

Understanding High Quality Poster Printing

When we talk about high quality poster printing, we’re focusing on three main things: resolution quality, DPI (dots per inch), and image clarity. These factors are crucial in ensuring your posters look sharp, vibrant, and professional. Let’s break down what each of these terms means and why they’re important for your printing projects.

Resolution Quality

At its core, resolution quality is about the detail an image holds. High-resolution images are packed with details, making them clearer and more defined. For poster printing, this means your images will look crisp and vivid, even when viewed up close.

DPI (Dots Per Inch)

DPI is a measure of printing density. In simpler terms, it’s how many dots of ink the printer can place in a one-inch line. The higher the DPI, the sharper the print. Laser printers often use 300 DPI, which is fine for standard documents. However, for high-quality posters, we use commercial inkjet printers with up to 2400 DPI. This high DPI level means you won’t be able to see the individual dots with the naked eye, resulting in ultra-smooth and detailed prints.  Keep in mind there is a difference between source image resolution and the resolution that the printer prints at.  For example, you wouldn’t start with a 2400 dpi resolution source image for a 2400 dpi printer, they are two different things.  This is a complicated subject so we have an article all about the differences between source and printer resolution here.

Image Clarity

Image clarity is about how clear, vivid, and lifelike your printed posters appear. This is influenced by both the resolution of your source image and the DPI of the printer. High-resolution images (think 2700 x 3600 pixels for a 36 x 48 poster) combined with our high DPI printing result in posters that are not just seen, but experienced.  Image clarity can be distorted if you try to enlarge a small or low resolution image yourself to become high resolution.  In this case, resolution can be different from clarity – it’s possible to have a very high resolution, but blurry, image.

Why It Matters

High resolution and DPI are not just technical jargon; they directly impact the effectiveness of your posters. Whether you’re a small business owner trying to catch the eye of passersby or an event organizer wanting to make a splash at a trade show, the quality of your printed materials can make or break your efforts. High resolution poster printing ensures that your message is communicated clearly and memorably.

Here’s a quick checklist to ensure your posters are high-resolution ready:

  • Use high-resolution images: Aim for the highest resolution source files you can get. The more pixels, the better.  You can test your source image’s resolution with our file quality check tool to see the maximum size we recommend printing the image as a poster.
  • Understand DPI: For printing, higher DPI means higher quality. Make sure your chosen printing service can offer the DPI you need.  At Posterprintshop, we print at the highest resolution currently possible in the industry, which is 2400 dpi.
  • Check image clarity: Preview your images on different devices to ensure they look clear and detailed at various sizes.  It’s helpful to zoom into your image on your screen to 100% size.  If it’s clear at actual size on your monitor, then the print you order should be clear.  If it’s blurry, your print will also be blurry, as the print shop can’t magically make a blurry image clear.

By keeping these points in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating posters that not only capture attention but also convey your message with clarity and impact. In printing, quality and resolution go hand in hand in making your visuals pop off the page.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Poster

When it comes to high quality poster printing, the material you choose plays a pivotal role in how your final product looks and how long it lasts. Here at Posterprintshop, we understand the importance of matching your design with the right material. Let’s dive into three popular options: Semi-Gloss, 20 mil. Styrene, and Matte Premium Photo Paper.

Satin Photo Paper

Our professional satin photo paper is a versatile choice that brings out vibrant colors and offers a slight sheen without the intense reflection of full gloss. It’s perfect for posters and photo enlargements that will be displayed under lights since it minimizes glare while keeping colors vivid and details sharp. Our photo satin is one of our most popular medias and and chosen by professional photographers around the country for their gallery prints.


Sample of A Canvas Matte Print - Blank
Sample of A Canvas Matte Print – Blank


Photo Matte & Archival Matte Premium Photo Paper

If your poster is aiming for a more understated elegance or you’re printing high-quality photographs, you might want to choose between our photo matte or our archival matte papers.   Both are excellent choices for professional photography.  Photo matte has a very slight sheen to it (it’s not completely matte), but is the choice of many professional photographers because the very slight sheen helps bring out details in their photos.  If you truly need a completely flat matte with no coating and shine whatsoever, then our archival matte is the choice for you. This material eliminates glare entirely, which is beneficial for posters viewed up close. Both of our matte papers enhance the texture of your image and give it a professional, gallery-like quality.

Archival Matte Print On Wall
Archival Matte Print On Wall

Choosing the right material depends on where your poster will be displayed, the lighting conditions, and the overall effect you want to achieve. If you’re unsure, here are a few questions to guide you:

  • Will your poster be outdoors or indoors?
  • Is there a lot of direct light where it will be displayed?
  • Are you aiming for a photo-quality finish?

Answering these questions can help narrow down your choices. The material not only supports your design visually but also ensures your poster stands up to its environment.

By selecting the appropriate material, you’re ensuring that your high-resolution design translates perfectly from screen to print, capturing every detail and color nuance. Whether you opt for the durable and weather-resistant 20 mil. Styrene, the vibrant and semi-reflective Semi-Gloss, or the elegant and detailed Matte Premium Photo Paper, each material has its unique advantages.

At Posterprintshop, we’re here to help you make the best choice for your project, ensuring that your posters not only look fantastic but also stand the test of time. You can visit our media page to see all of the various types of media we can print on, from paper to film, canvas, vinyl and more.

Popular Sizes and Custom Options

When it comes to high quality poster printing, size does matter. The dimensions of your poster can greatly influence its impact and suitability for various spaces. Let’s dive into the most popular sizes and explore the flexibility of custom options.

Standard Poster Sizes

  • 24″x36″: This is the go-to size for those looking to make a big impact. Perfect for store displays, event promotions, and eye-catching advertisements. It’s large enough to be seen from a distance but still fits in many standard frames.
  • 18″x24″: Ideal for detailed artworks, informative posters for events, or promotions in smaller spaces. This size balances visibility and versatility, making it a popular choice for various applications.

Custom Sizes

At Posterprintshop, we understand that one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why we offer the ability to print custom-sized posters to meet your exact needs. Whether you’re filling a specific space or aiming for a unique presentation, we’ve got you covered. Our custom size option allows you to specify the exact dimensions, down to the inch, ensuring a perfect fit for your project.  We’re one of the few printers in the industry that allows you to order any custom size you might desire, with the same fast turnaround we offer on all of our prints.

Understanding Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of a poster refers to the proportional relationship between its width and height. Maintaining the correct aspect ratio is crucial when scaling images for printing to avoid distortion. When you opt for a custom size, consider the aspect ratio of your original design to ensure it translates well to your desired poster size. If you’re unsure, our team is here to help guide you through the process, ensuring your poster looks exactly as intended.  It’s important to remember just because you have a custom size frame or end result in mind, your source image might not have the same aspect ratio.  If this happens, you’ll need to crop or resize your image.  Our order wizard helps you with this process.

Design Tips for High Quality Posters

Creating a high-resolution poster involves more than just choosing the right images or graphics. It’s about making those visuals stand out in the best possible way. Here, we’ll dive into some essential design tips that will help your posters pop, from color theory to using the right design software.

Embrace Color Theory

Colors aren’t just about aesthetics; they communicate feelings and messages. When designing your poster, think about the emotions or actions you want to evoke. For instance, blue can convey trust and calm, while red might signal energy or urgency. Use colors strategically to guide your audience’s emotions and reactions.

Choosing the Right Design Software

Not all design software is created equal. For high-resolution posters, you need software that can handle large file sizes and gives you control over intricate details. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are industry standards for a reason; they offer advanced tools that cater to detailed poster design. However, if you’re looking for free alternatives, GIMP and Inkscape are capable options.  If you need to design a simple poster with a few images and text, you can design it yourself with our Design Tool right here on our website.

Utilize Layout Templates

Starting from scratch can be daunting. That’s why we recommend using layout templates whenever possible. These templates not only save time but also ensure that your design aligns with printing standards, including bleed and margin areas. They can guide you in structuring your poster effectively, making sure crucial elements aren’t cut off during the printing process.

Remember: The goal of your poster is to communicate a message quickly and effectively. Every design choice, from colors to font sizes, should serve this purpose. Keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to use bold visuals to grab attention.

By following these design tips, you’re on your way to creating high-resolution posters that not only look stunning but also convey your message effectively. At Posterprintshop, we understand the importance of these details and are here to support you through the design and printing process, ensuring your posters make the impact they deserve.

At Posterprintshop, our commitment is to ensure you receive the highest quality prints that meet your expectations. While we focus on delivering exceptional high-resolution prints on a variety of materials, including photographic quality gloss paper, matte paper, scrim vinyl, and artist canvases, we understand the importance of finishing touches. After receiving your prints, exploring local options for lamination, mounting, or even unique presentations like aluminum metal can truly elevate the impact of your posters.

The key to a successful high-resolution poster printing project lies not just in the printing but also in how the poster is presented and preserved. We’re here to provide the foundational print quality that ensures whatever finishing options you choose, your posters will stand out.

How to Prepare Your Design for Printing

Preparing your design for high-resolution poster printing is a crucial step in the process. It ensures that your final print matches your vision. Let’s break down the essentials: file format, resolution settings, bleed and margin, and proofreading.

Choosing the Right File Format

For high-resolution poster printing, the file format is vital. We accept several formats, including:
JPG: Best for photographic images.
TIF: Suitable for high-quality photo prints.
PDF: One of the most common output formats, great for images and text.

Using the correct file format ensures the best quality print and reduces the risk of any issues during the printing process.  If you’re using a program like Word, Excel or Powerpoint, it’s best (and easy) to save or “export” the file as a PDF that you can send to us for printing.

Setting the Right Resolution

Resolution settings are critical for maintaining the clarity of your design in the final print.  We recommend between 75 to 150 dpi at actual print size for the best resolution.  You can even go up to 300 dpi at actual size, but don’t go larger than this at actual size as it will create an unnecessarily large file.  If you’re designing your image from scratch for printing, designing it at 150 dpi at the actual desired print size is a great rule of thumb.  If you’re starting with an image that has already been designed, it’s best to not try and change it on your end, as this can cause distortion.  Let our professional poster printing software do this for you, as it’s been designed to handle the enlargement process better than consumer software that you might use.

Understanding Bleed and Borders

Bleed and margin can be components of your design layout.

Bleed: Bleed is a common element in offset printing, as high speed printers and cutters are used to print and cut your posters, and they can never be exact, so a bleed was invented to leave a bit of extra design around the edges that can be ‘cut off’ so that you have a nice trim.  However, with large format poster printing like what is done at Posterprintshop, a bleed is not necessary as we hand cut your image to the edge, and  ‘trim to bleed’ means that we trim around the edges.  There can occasionally be a sliver of white around the outside which is normal in “one off” large format poster printing.

Borders: We can add additional ‘borders’ around the outside of your image, typically .5, 1″, 2″ or 4″.  A border can be selected and added after you’ve uploade your image while you are adding the print to your cart.  The border adds extra material around the outside of your print.  If you ordered an 18 x 24″ print and added a 1″ border, you’d be adding 2″ around the entire dimension and receive a 22 x 28″ piece of media with your print centered in the middle.  Extra borders are handy on canvases that will be mounted or framed, and on paper prints that need extra material for matting in frames.  It’s always best to have too much material than not enough, because excess can always be trimmed off.

The Importance of Proofreading

Proofreading your design is the final, yet crucial step before printing. Check for any spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and ensure all images are high quality. It’s also wise to have another set of eyes review your design to catch any errors you might have missed.

Once your design goes to print, making changes can be costly and time-consuming. Taking the time to carefully proofread your design can save you from potential headaches later on.

By following these guidelines, you’re setting the stage for a successful high-resolution poster printing project. We’re here to help every step of the way, ensuring your posters look exactly as you envisioned. Ready to bring your vision to life? Let’s get started on creating stunning, high-quality posters that capture attention and communicate your message effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions about High Quality Poster Printing

When it comes to high quality poster printing, we know you have questions. Here, we’ve compiled some of the most common inquiries to help you make informed decisions for your next project.

What is the best resolution for printing posters?

For posters to look their best, the image resolution is key. We recommend an image resolution of at least 75 to 150, up to 300 DPI (dots per inch) for crisp and clear prints. This high resolution ensures that your posters will look professional, with sharp details and vibrant colors, especially when printed in large sizes. The higher the DPI, the better the quality of your print. However, balancing file size and print speed is also important. If you’re unsure about your image’s resolution, our online file quality check tool can help.

How do I choose the right material for my poster?

Choosing the right material for your poster depends on a few factors, including where the poster will be displayed (indoors or outdoors) and the desired look and feel. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Satin: Offers vibrant colors and is suitable for most indoor applications.
  • Vinyl Banner:: This weather-resistant material is perfect for outdoor posters, providing durability and a high-quality finish.
  • Photo Matte and Archival Matte: Ideal for artworks and photos, this option delivers deep colors and avoids glare.

Consider your poster’s environment and how you want it to present. If you’re unsure, we’re here to help find the perfect match for your project.

Can I print a poster in a custom size?

Absolutely! We understand that not all projects fit standard sizes. That’s why we offer custom size options to ensure your poster fits perfectly wherever it’s displayed. Whether you’re looking for a small poster for a boutique window or a large banner for a trade show, we can accommodate a wide range of dimensions. Simply provide us with the dimensions you need, and we’ll take care of the rest, ensuring your poster looks exactly as you envisioned.

At Posterprintshop, we’re dedicated to addressing all your high quality poster printing needs. Whether you’re deciding on the best resolution, choosing the right material, or need a custom size, we’re here to guide you through the process. Our goal is to make sure your posters stand out and make a big impression.


In wrapping up this  guide to High Quality Poster Printing, it’s clear that the quality of your posters can significantly impact the attention they receive. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to draw customers into your store or an event organizer aiming to create eye-catching displays, the importance of high-quality prints cannot be overstated.

At Posterprintshop, our dedication to delivering top-notch high-resolution prints is matched only by our commitment to ensuring your marketing efforts are as effective as possible. We understand that each poster is not just a piece of paper; it’s a canvas that tells a story, promotes a product, or introduces a brand. That’s why we offer a wide range of options to meet your specific needs, from choosing the right material to selecting the perfect size, and ensuring the design stands out.

The success of your posters in capturing customer attention and conveying your message hinges on their quality and presentation. By focusing on high-resolution poster printing, you’re investing in marketing materials that not only look professional but also have the potential to significantly boost your visibility and impact.

To explore more about our services and how we can help you create posters that make a statement, visit our Services page to see all that we can do! Let us help you transform your ideas into prints that cannot be ignored.



Related Articles

Discover budget-friendly tips for large format poster printing, including material choices, design advice, and size recommendations. Learn more now!
Discover how to create stunning custom sized art prints with our guide on choosing materials, image resolution, and perfect sizing for your...
Discover the best online stores for eye-catching large posters. Explore types, themes, and tips to enhance any space. Click for your perfect...

Start An Order

Upload your existing photo or design, choose your media and output size, and you’re done!

Customize your poster using our built-in Design Tool. Add custom text, multiple images, and more!

Experienced customers that don’t need to edit or preview their files can submit orders quickly with this method.

What can we help you find?

Choose your order method

  • Upload an existing file, photo, or design.
  • Accepts JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF, DOC, XLS, PPT.
  • Our most common order wizard guides you through the order.

Design online

  • Design a poster online with multiple images on one design.
  • Add text and clip art.
  • Use when you don’t have a design ready to upload.

Advanced order

  • Upload files without a wizard or quality check to enter an order quickly. Best for experienced customers and designers only.

How do I create an account?

You create an account when you place your first order. During the first step of the checkout page, you’ll see an option to “save your order” and create an account with a password. This will create your account for future use and save your new order to the account.

You're not able to create an account before placing your first order, as an account is not needed until there is an order to go with it.

Edit your shipping details

How Fast Do You Need It?


We offer same day printing and shipping on express orders received by noon Pacific (3 pm Eastern) and a variety of shipping methods for you to choose from.


Enter your zip code to get a shipping quote on cost and arrival date for the various shipping methods.

Enter your ZIP code: