How to Print a Custom Poster in 5 Simple Steps

Erica Gabriel

Publication date: 02/03/2024


Are you looking to make a lasting impression with visually stunning prints? Custom poster printing might just do the trick. Whether it’s for promotional purposes, decoration, or commemorating an event, a custom poster is a powerful tool that captures attention and conveys your message in a visually compelling way.

Let’s walk you through how to print a custom poster in five simple steps:

  1. Choose the right size and material for your poster
  2. Design your custom poster
  3. Upload your design to Posterprintshop
  4. Review and finalize your order
  5. Print and delivery

At Posterprintshop, we’ve been at the forefront of providing high-quality, custom posters since 2000. Serving everyone from individuals and students to professional photographers and major corporations, we’ve catered to a varied audience with different needs. We deliver personalized attention to detail, ensuring each order is just right for your media, image, and usage circumstances.

Get ready to transform your message into an eye-catching poster that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

Infographic covering the 5 steps of poster printing - how to print a custom poster infographic infographic-line-5-steps
5 Steps to Custom Poster Printing

Step 1: Choosing the Right Size and Material for Your Custom Poster

The first step on how to print a custom poster is to understand the importance of choosing the right size and material. The size of your poster should be based on where you will display it and how far away the viewer will be. For small posters, such as those for announcement boards, a standard size is 11” x 17”. It’s large enough to attract attention but doesn’t take up too much space. For both indoor and outdoor posters, the 18” x 24” size is commonly used. This size is easily visible from 10’ to 15’ away and is also ideal for photography printing. If your poster will be in high foot traffic areas, consider choosing the 24” x 36” size. Slightly smaller than a standard movie poster, it can be spotted from 30’ away.

After deciding on the size, the next step is to choose the right material. The material you choose can significantly impact the quality and durability of your poster. We offer various materials at Posterprintshop, each with unique benefits.

For indoor displays, the 80 lb. textis a thin, lightweight option. The 100 lb. text is a thicker, heavier option that adds a premium feel to your posters. 14 pt. cardstock is sturdy like a greeting card, perfect for posters that will be handled frequently. Our photo gloss paper is used for large format posters that require crisp, high-quality results.

For outdoor advertising, consider using White PVC board. This material is waterproof, long-lasting, and can withstand heavy handling. Another great option is 20 mil. styrene, which offers a smooth, high-quality finish and is weather-resistant.

By carefully selecting the size and material for your poster, you can ensure that it is effective in conveying your message and withstands the environment where it is displayed.

Step 2: Designing Your Custom Poster

Now that you’ve chosen the ideal size and material for your poster, the next step in learning how to print a custom poster is crafting the design. The design stage is crucial because the effectiveness of your poster largely depends on it.

Tips on How to Design an Effective Poster

Here are a few tips to help you get started with your poster design:

  1. Keep it simple: A cluttered poster can confuse your audience. Stick to the essentials in your design – your message should be the focal point.
  2. Use high-quality images: If your design includes images, ensure they’re high-quality to avoid pixelation when printed.
  3. Choose legible fonts: Your text should be easy to read from a distance. Avoid overly decorative fonts.
  4. Contrast colors wisely: Use contrasting colors for the background and text to ensure readability. However, avoid overly harsh contrasts that can be difficult on the eyes.
  5. Consider your audience: Different designs appeal to different demographics. Consider the tastes and preferences of your target audience when designing your poster.

A well-designed poster catches the eye, conveys information quickly, and leaves a lasting impression.  You can even use our handy online Design Tool to design your poster right on our site by adding. multiple images, text and more.

Incorporating Your Business Details Into Your Design

Your poster isn’t just an advertisement—it’s a reflection of your brand. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate your business name, logo, and event information effectively.

  1. Brand Name: Place your brand name prominently in the design, but don’t let it overshadow your main message.
  2. Logo: Incorporate your logo in a way that it’s visible, but not distracting. If your logo color clashes with your design, consider using a black or white version of it.
  3. Event Information: If your poster is for an event, include crucial details like date, time, and location. Use a clear and easy-to-read font for this information.

Designing a poster can be a fun, creative process. But if you’re struggling, don’t worry! We have a variety of predesigned templates to help you get started. You can load these into our Design Tool and customize them with your own graphics and text.

Next, we’ll guide you on how to upload your beautiful design to Posterprintshop, taking you one step closer to having your custom poster in your hands!

Step 3: Uploading Your Design to Posterprintshop

So, you’ve designed your poster and are ready to bring it to life. Here’s where Posterprintshop comes in! We’ve made it as straightforward as possible to upload your design and proceed with your order. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have your custom poster order in the works in no time.

Uploading Your Poster Design

  1. Head to the Online Order Wizard: Start the upload process once you are ready to place the order. You’ll be guided through the process on the Online Order Wizard.
  2. Upload Your Design: You’ll be prompted to upload your files at this stage. If you’ve got a lot of files or a particularly large file, don’t worry! Our system is designed to handle it.
  3. Add Items to Cart: After uploading your design, you can add your desired items to your cart. If you encounter any issues with our Order Wizard, you can add items to your cart without uploading a file using the Advanced Order method.
  4. Send Your File: If you still have trouble, you can send us your file through our Manual File Upload system or via a DropBox or WeTransfer link. Just be sure to include these links in the special instructions during checkout and be sure to place an order before sending files with this tool.

Please note that we cannot accept files via email or outside of the order process. Be sure to use one of our order methods to send your design files to us.

File Formats Accepted by Posterprintshop

We accept a wide range of file formats, making it easier for you to submit your custom design. Here’s a quick rundown of the file types we accept:

  1. Vector Files: These include .ai, .eps, and .pdf files. Vector files are ideal because they maintain image quality at any size.
  2. Image Files: We accept .jpg, .png, and .tif files. Please ensure that your image files are high-resolution to ensure the best print quality.
  3. Adobe Files: You can also send us files created in Adobe software like .psd (Photoshop) or .indd (InDesign).

The higher the resolution of your images, the better your final custom poster will look. We recommend using a high-speed internet connection for uploading your files due to their possibly large size.

Now that you know how to upload your design and the file formats we accept, you’re all set to move to the next step: reviewing and finalizing your order. We can’t wait to help you bring your custom poster to life!

Step 4: Reviewing and Finalizing Your Order

Reviewing your design before finalizing your order is a crucial step in the process of how to print a custom poster. It’s your last chance to ensure everything looks exactly as you envision. Let’s look at the importance of this review and how it can be done.

Importance of Reviewing Your Design Before Finalizing Your Order

Imagine putting in all the effort to create a fantastic poster design, only to realize after printing that there’s a typo or the colors are off. Frustrating, isn’t it? That’s why we strongly recommend you review your design thoroughly.

Review your custom poster order.
Review your custom poster order

Not only does this step help you catch any errors, but it also ensures that your design will translate well from digital to print. As mentioned earlier, not all digital designs render perfectly in print. So, make sure you’re absolutely happy with everything in your design before moving forward.

We Can’t Change or Cancel Your Order

If you spot an issue with your design during the review process, don’t panic. You have a few minutes post-submission to call us and make any necessary changes. However, due to our commitment to rapid turnaround times, if more than 15 minutes have passed since placing the order, we cannot change or cancel it.

This is why we can’t stress enough the importance of reviewing your design before finalizing your order. But don’t worry, our order wizard and design tool are straightforward and easy to use, so making changes should be a breeze.

Reviewing Order - how to print a custom poster

Now that you’re confident in your design and order details, you’re ready to finalize your order. The next step is the exciting part: printing and delivery. We’re eager to help you make a lasting impression with your custom poster!

Step 5: Printing and Delivery

After you’ve carefully reviewed and finalized your design, it’s time to let us do our magic and start the printing process.

Fast Turnaround Time

At Posterprintshop, we take pride in our ability to deliver high-quality posters in record time. If you place your order by noon Pacific Time, we offer same day printing and shipping. This means you’ll have your custom poster in your hands before you know it. And with a variety of expedited shipping methods to choose from, including FedEx Priority, Standard Overnight, 2nd Day, and 3 Day Express, you can decide just how quickly you want your poster to arrive.  Check the costs and quoted arrival dates for various shipping methods on our handing shipping page.

Safe and Secure Delivery

We know how important it is to receive your poster in perfect condition. That’s why all our orders are shipped rolled in a protective tube, ensuring your poster arrives without any creases or damage.

Please note that while we strive to provide accurate delivery estimates, the actual delivery of your order is handled by your chosen shipping carrier. Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with their delivery process and make sure you’re available to receive the package if necessary.

Satisfaction Guarantee

At Posterprintshop, your satisfaction is our top priority. While we don’t offer refunds or exchanges as the materials are expended to manufacture your custom print, we are committed to resolving any issues that may arise. In the unlikely event that there’s an error with your print, we will work closely with you to rectify the situation, including sending replacement prints when appropriate.

Now that you know how to print a custom poster with us, we hope you’re ready to start designing and printing your own! If you have any questions or need assistance at any point during the process, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team is always here to help. Your success is our success. Let’s make an unforgettable impression, together.


You’ve made it to the end of our guide on how to print a custom poster. In just five simple steps, we’ve walked you through the process, from choosing the right size and material to designing your poster and uploading it to our website, all the way to reviewing and finalizing your order.

Let’s recap:

  1. Choosing the Right Size and Material: The size and material of your poster are crucial to its effectiveness. We offer a range of sizes and materials to suit your needs.
  2. Designing Your Custom Poster: Your design should be eye-catching and clearly convey your message. Use high-quality images and legible text.
  3. Uploading Your Design to Posterprintshop: Once your design is ready, upload it to our website. We accept a range of file formats.
  4. Reviewing and Finalizing Your Order: Before you finalize your order, make sure to review your design to ensure it meets your expectations.
  5. Printing and Delivery: We pride ourselves on our fast turnaround time and delivery process.

Every great poster starts with a vision. Whether it’s promoting a new product, advertising an event, or simply adding some personality to your space, the power to create an impactful poster is in your hands.

So why wait? Let your creativity run wild and start designing your custom poster today. At Posterprintshop, we’re excited to bring your designs to life.

For more information, explore our frequently asked questions, or dive deeper into custom poster printing with our blog, where we cover topics like canvas printing and more.

printing a custom poster - how to print a custom poster

Whether you’re a small business owner looking to advertise your latest products, or an event organizer in search of the perfect banner, we’re here to help. Let’s make your poster printing experience as effortless as possible. Together, we can create something truly special.


author avatar
Erica Gabriel

Related Articles

Why Inkjet Transparency Film is Important When it comes to inkjet transparency film, understand what it is and why...

Learn how to check resolution of a photo on Windows, Mac, and iPhone. Ensure high-quality images with our easy...
Discover essential tips on how many DPI for large format printing to ensure crisp, high-quality images. Ideal for businesses...
Discover how much it is to enlarge a photo, explore popular sizes, costs, and tips for quality enlargements....
Discover the benefits and applications of perforated window vinyl in our comprehensive beginner's guide. Explore now!...

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

Order wizard

  • 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?

Edit your shipping details


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:


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:

Edit your shipping details

Large File Size

The file you are uploading (300 mb) is too large for our Order Wizard to process. You can try saving the file as a different file type at the same resolution (JPG’s work best) to keep the image resolution but reduce its size in MB. Alternatively, if you need to keep this file type and size, use our Advanced Order method which accepts files up to 700 mb.


Before placing this order, be sure that you have checked the order to make sure everything is correct:

We begin processing orders almost immediately after they are submitted. To maintain our rush processing and shipping you agree and understand that this order cannot be changed or cancelled after it is placed.

Choose a canvas type

Note: we do not mount or frame canvas prints, your canvas will arrive rolled in a tube for you to finish as you desire.

Before placing this order, be sure that you have checked the order to make sure everything is correct:

We begin processing orders almost immediately after they are submitted. To maintain our rush processing and shipping you agree and understand that this order cannot be changed or cancelled after it is placed.