File preparation help

1. CHOOSE FILE TYPE

The first step to getting a quality print is to use an appropriate file type.

For the best results with great quality and ease of uploading, we recommend using .jpg or .pdf files when possible.

Our order system can also accept .png, .tif, .xls, .doc and .ppt. While you can upload files saved directly from Word, Excel and PowerPoint, it’s usually better to export them as .jpg or .pdf files first to ensure they reproduce as expected.

RECOMMENDED FILE TYPES - whenever possible, upload one of these types for best results.

.jpg

Save at high or maximum quality setting with no compression. (Sometimes called level 12 quality.)

.pdf

When saving to .pdf, made sure down-sampling is turned off and there is no bitmap compression for the best quality images. Include all fonts and do not allow font substitution. You may use high quality .jpg or zip 8 bit compression to decrease file size.

.tif

Save files from Photoshop or other imaging applications as flattened (no layers) .tif with no compression.

OTHER SUPPORTED FILE TYPES - results can vary.

.eps

.psd

.bmp

.doc

.xls

.ppt

Our order wizard also accepts files directly from Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  Using these file types can work but can also give unexpected results if images or fonts are not included or interpreted correctly, so be sure to check the proof provided by our wizard to ensure it matches what you are expecting.

When possible, check first to see if your application allows saving in one of the recommended formats above, they typically have a “Save As” or “Export” command that will allow you to save the document as a PDF which will give better results.

2. CHECK COLOR MODE

The recommended color mode is RBG.

We can print from either CMYK or RGB files, however we suggest supplying files in RGB for optimal output. All inkjet printers print in CMYK, while monitors display RGB.  Our monitors and printers are color calibrated to print a perfect representation of the image supplied, and our special software handles the conversion from RGB files to CMYK with the better results than if you try to convert the file yourself.  If your source file is already in CMYK, you can leave it in this color mode and our printers will reproduce it correctly.

  • the simple answer to color mode is to leave the file in the original color mode it’s been created in and don’t try to change it just to send to us, as that can cause unexpected color shifting. Instead, let our proprietary software do the work for you.

3. CHECK SIZE & RESOLUTION

For the best quality output, you should make sure there is enough resolution in your original source file.

You can use our handy File Quality Check tool to check your file’s resolution and get our suggestion on the maximum size you can print it as a poster.

Try to have an original source file that is proportionally 25% to 50% of your desired final output size at a high resolution.

For normal quality output, your original file should have 300 dpi resolution at 25% of the final output size. (this means for a 24 x 36 poster, your original file should be at 300 dpi and 6 x 9). This applies to photographs and bitmaps. Designs with text such as presentations and signs need a minimum of 150 dpi at actual size up to 300 dpi at actual size.

For the highest quality output, your original file should have 300 dpi resolution at 50% of the final size. (This means a 24 x 36 poster your original file should have 300 dpi at 12 x 18). Use this guideline for designs with text such as presentations and signs.

Normal Quality output is suitable for the majority of poster applications, including displays, banners, general posters, photo enlargements, signs, etc. without small text.

High Quality output is necessary only for ultra-photographic quality detail or art reproduction and for designs with small text.

Use the table below to find the recommended size of your original file at 300 dpi for the common poster sizes below.

QUICK REFERENCE SIZE & RESOLUTION CHART

Desired Final Output Size

Recommended Original File Size at 300 dpi / Pixels

Normal Quality

Highest Quality

Doc Size

Pixels

Doc Size

Pixels

18 x 24
24 x 36
36 x 48
48 x 72
48 x 100
4.5 x 6
6 x 9
9 x 12
12 x 18
12 x 25
1350 x 1800
1800 x 2700
2700 x 3600
3600 x 5400
3600 x 7500
9 x 12
12 x 18
18 x 24
24 x 36
24 x 50
2700 x 3600
3600 x 5400
5400 x 7200
7200 x 10800
7200 x 15000

For normal quality output, your original file should have at least 75 dpi resolution at 100% of the output size. This is also equal to 150 dpi resolution at 50% of the output size and 300 dpi at 25% of the output size. Use the chart below to determine the optimal original file size, dpi and total pixel dimensions for the desired final output size.

NORMAL QUALITY OUTPUT SIZE & RESOLUTION CHART

Desired Final Output Size

Original File %, dpi, & document size

100%
75 dpi

50%
150 dpi

25%
300 dpi

Original File Pixel Dimensions

18 x 24
24 x 36
36 x 48
48 x 72
48 x 100
18 x 24
24 x 36
36 x 48
48 x 72
48 x 100
9 x 12
12 x 18
18 x 24
24 x 36
24 x 50
4.5 x 6
6 x 9
9 x 12
12 x 18
12 x 25
1350 x 1800
1800 x 2700
2700 x 3600
3600 x 5400
3600 x 7500

For high quality output, your original file should have at least 150 dpi resolution at 100% of the output size. This is also equal to 300 dpi resolution at 50% of the output size. Use the chart below to determine the optimal original file size, dpi and total pixel dimensions for the desired final output size.

HIGH QUALITY OUTPUT SIZE & RESOLUTION CHART

Desired Final Output Size

Original File %, dpi, & document size

100%
75 dpi

50%
150 dpi

25%
300 dpi

Original File Pixel Dimensions

18 x 24
24 x 36
36 x 48
48 x 72
48 x 100
18 x 24
24 x 36
36 x 48
48 x 72
48 x 100
9 x 12
12 x 18
18 x 24
24 x 36
24 x 50
4.5 x 6
6 x 9
9 x 12
12 x 18
12 x 25
2700 x 3600
3600 x 5400
5400 x 7200
7200 x 10800
7200 x 15000

Example: If you want a final poster size of 24 x 36 you can use the charts above to determine that the file you submit to us should be 6 x 9 at 300 dpi (25% of 24 x 36) or 1800 x 2700 pixels for normal quality. For high quality it should be 12 x 18 (50% of 24 x 36) at 300 dpi or 3600 x 5400 pixels.

4. CHECK PROPORTION (ASPECT RATIO)

Be sure your original file scales up proportionally to the final output size you request.

If the dimensions of your file are not the exact size of the final output, make sure your original file is in the same proportion as the desired output size.

For example, a 4 x 6 original file sizes up to 16 x 24, not 18 x 24, and an 8.5 x 11 sizes up to 24 x 32, not 24 x 36. A good rule of thumb is to take your desired width and length and divide them by the same # to get the proportionate size.

Example: if your desired output size is 24 x 36, divide both sides by 4 to get an original file size of 6 x 9. If your original file size is not in proportion, you may want to crop it, or adjust the final output size to the right proportion.

Our Order Wizard will place your uploaded file on white canvas representing your chosen print size.  You’ll be able to use the wizard to crop or resize your uploaded image to fill your desired print size or change your print size to match the aspect ratio of what you uploaded.  You can even download a proof to be sure you’ve done everything correctly before ordering. 

QUICK REFERENCE PROPORTION CHART

Original File Size

Recommended Original File Size at 300 dpi / Pixels

3 x 5
4 x 6
4.5 x 6
6 x 9
8.5 x 11
8 x 12
9 x 12
11 x 17

18 x 30
8 x 12
9 x 12
12 x 18
24 x 31
24 x 36
18 x 24
23 x 36

21.6 x 36
16 x 24
18 x 24
24 x 36
28 x 36
36 x 54
24 x 32
24 x 37

24 x 40
24 x 36
27 x 36
36 x 54
36 x 46.5
48 x 72
36 x 48
36 x 56

36 x 60
32 x 48
36 x 48
48 x 72
37 x 48
60 x 90
48 x 64
31 x 48

5. PREPARE TO SEND

1. Prepare your file(s) to upload to us.

Rename your files and use a file extension to clarify the file type.

Try to use a descriptive filename under 10 characters. Your filename is important as it helps you and us track the image through your order and is shown on order confirmations.  Ensure the corresponding 3 letter extension is at the end of the filename to describe the file type.

Examples:

scrnsht77882v22ab.jpg -> non descriptive and confusing filename
hamburger_menu_board_2.jpg -> a nice descriptive filename

FILE EXTENSIONS

.tif

.tiff/.tif from Photoshop, digital cameras, art software

.jpg

.jpeg/.jpg from Photoshop, digital cameras, art software

.pdf

from Adobe Acrobat and page layout software

.png

Portable Graphic

.eps

Encapsulated Postscript

.ai

Adobe Illustrator

.psd

Adobe Photoshop

.bmp

Bitmap

2. Use our Order Wizard to start your order and upload your file

Our friendly Order Wizard is the best way to place an order. It accepts .jpg, .tif, or .pdf files up to 250 MB in size. The wizard will place your file on a white canvas on screen that represents your chosen print size where you can check the aspect ratio, size and crop as necessary, download a proof, add borders and change quantity, and finally add the image to your cart to checkout.

3. Zip your file(s) for uploading.

If you are an advanced user or have very large files, you can use our Advanced Order  to send files up to 500 mb and zipped files that are too large for the Order Wizard.  The Advanced method skips displaying the file to you on screen and assumes you are an experienced designer uploading a file with proper resolution and aspect ratio.

That's it! You're ready to order your custom posters from Posterprintshop!

Ready to get started?

  • Turn any photo or picture into a custom poster overnight from posterprintshop.com!
  • We specialize in the fastest turnaround and highest quality with the lowest prices in the industry. Whether you need a custom poster for a store display, tradeshow banner, family portrait or gift, you’ve come to the right place.
  • Online poster printing is fast, easy and affordable.

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.

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