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8 Tips for Producing Large Format Posters in High Resolution

Large format posters hold immense potential for making a striking impact on target audiences. To truly unleash the power to captivate in posters, focus on achieving high resolution above all else. In this article, we will discuss the art of large format poster printing and how various professionals can achieve the highest, or most optimal, resolution in their posters.

The trick is in understanding your large format printer settings and knowing your graphics software well. It is through utilising the various functions and setups offered under both that you will be able to elevate your poster production, ensuring sharpness in details, meaningful displays, and exceptional print quality. So, whether you're a seasoned professional seeking to refine your techniques or a newcomer looking to make a bold impression, consider this article your road map to mastering high-resolution large format posters.

Why Must Posters Be Printed in High Resolution?

Pixels determine the digital image resolution, and dots make up print resolution. Resolution describes the density of these pixels or dots within a given space. Since high-resolution images contain more pixels in a given space, they are clearer and more detailed.

What Impact Does High Resolution Have on the Effectiveness of a Poster?

Resolution has a substantial effect on the quality of images and print. Low resolution spreads pixels apart, which creates a fuzzy or blurred image with little detail. But a high resolution crowds pixels close together to produce richly coloured images with increased clarity.

As a result, high resolution on a poster produces these vital impacts:

Captures the Intricate Details

Detailed images have a composition of smaller lines and shapes. To accurately display these items, dots of ink must be closely compressed. For example, without high resolution, faces would be unrecognisable, or the petals of a flower would lose their shape.

Showcases Sharp Text

Imagine creating an image of your name with coloured blocks. When you spread them far apart, the text becomes distorted and illegible. Low-resolution print has the same effect on text within a poster. On the other hand, high resolution produces sharp, crisp, easy-to-read text.

Vibrant Colours Increase Poster Engagement

High-resolution poster printing uses more ink droplets within every inch of your poster's surface. As a result, you get rich, bold colours that make the poster more engaging and attractive.

8 Tips for Producing Large Format Posters in High Resolution

Print resolution essentially refers to the density of the ink used for your poster. When printing large format posters, you want to conserve ink when possible while producing a striking and detailed print. Producing large format posters in a high resolution depends on many factors. These tips can help you achieve your goals.

1: Choose the Right Resolution

The resolution needed for large format posters is determined by the size of the printed image and the distance from which audiences will view the image.

The Relationship Between Resolution and Print Size

Images with lower resolution have fewer pixels or dots. To create large prints, images are usually stretched out. This stretching pulls the building blocks of images further apart and results in decreased clarity.

Higher Resolution for Larger Prints

Large prints like posters or banners are typically printed from one or more smaller images. The pixels that make up these images will be spread out significantly in the final print. To avoid blurriness, fading, and distorted images, it's essential to use a higher resolution for larger prints.

Selecting the Optimal Resolution Based on Viewing Distance and Desired Print Quality

The further you get away from an image, the less detail you can see. The human brain makes up for this lack of detail by allowing you to perceive or imagine details that should be within a given image. Since the images can't truly be recognised from a distance, you can use a lower resolution than you usually would when the poster will be viewed from further away.

2: Create Your Digital Poster Graphics in a High Resolution

To prepare a print for high resolution, you need to begin with high-resolution graphics. These images will resize more accurately to produce a crisp, clear large format print.

How to Create High-Resolution Graphics

You can create high-resolution graphics by carefully choosing the products you use to source and resize your images for print. These tools can help you create high-resolution graphics for large format printing.

Digital Cameras

Modern digital cameras give you the ability to zoom in on images without losing quality. They also allow you to store photos in digital form, which can be altered by computer programs to optimise resolution.


Scanners allow you to upload an image in digital form and store or alter the image. By choosing a high resolution when you scan the image, you can begin with an image optimised for high-resolution printing.

Vector-Based Graphics Software

A vector-based format uses various shapes instead of segmented pixels to create visuals. This approach produces better image quality regardless of size. As a result, banners and posters yield faultless graphics.

3: Optimise Image Editing and File Formats

Often, images need to be edited to create a final large format print. When you take steps to optimise the files, you can more accurately achieve your high resolution printing goals.

Enhancing Sharpness, Contrast, and Colour Vibrancy

The file formats you use can improve the clarity and vibrancy of colour based on compression properties and resolution levels. By choosing file types that retain details and foster high-resolution images, you can enhance sharpness and colour vibrancy during the editing and printing process.

The Benefits of Using Lossless File Formats to Preserve Image Quality and Flexibility

When compressed, some file types throw away digital data to make image files smaller. This results in a loss of detail. Lossless file formats maintain all the original details when an image is compressed. This is essential when the image will be stretched to be printed in large format.

Using TIFF or PSD

Editing images in Photoshop requires you to use either PSD or TIFF formats. These formats are also optimal for large prints. TIFF files are highly compatible and can open with any software, while PSD works in Adobe.

4: Use the Right Colour Profiles

Colour matching for brand consistency and optimal viewing can be challenging because digital monitors often don't display the same tones as finished prints. Taking steps to choose the right colour profiles is pivotal in generating the exact colours you need in the final print.

Colour Management and Colour Reproduction When Printing

Desktop programs often display images using a three-colour RGB system intended for digital viewing, while a high-quality large format poster printer uses a four-colour CMYK system. Converting your image to CMYK using the appropriate software results in exact colour reproduction when printing.

Colour Calibration for Colour Fidelity in the Final Print

Pantone files with a Pantone Matching System (PMS) extension are the best choice for producing vibrant graphics. The PMS system uses highly precise mixtures of ink to create an exact colour match.

5: Prepare and Scale Documents for the Print Job

Large format printing often requires you to resize images for large posters and banners. Professionals can manage this with the use of image editing software like Photoshop.

How to Specify Dimensions to Retain Clarity and Detail in Enlarged Files

To successfully resize images without sacrificing clarity and detail, you need to ensure resolution remains high. In your chosen software, choose your image size without changing the image's DPI. Photoshop also allows you to resample (create new pixel information) to produce the best results during enlargement. Bicubic resampling is the most precise method for enlarging images.

6: Select Appropriate Paper and Finishing Options

The finish applied to your poster or banner print will affect its longevity and appearance. You can further enhance high-resolution, large format prints based on the quality of the paper you choose.

Best Paper Types to Showcase Large Format Posters in High Resolution

A high-quality large format printer or plotter will allow you to print high-resolution images on a variety of materials. When choosing paper for your large format posters, you'll need to consider paper weight, texture, and finishing options.

Consider Paper Weight

When choosing paper weight, consider your poster's intended use. Short-term indoor use will allow you to use lighter-weight paper as it won't require longevity or need to withstand sunlight. But you'll need a sturdier paper with a protective finish for long-term or outdoor use.

Factor in Paper Texture and Archival Quality

Paper texture affects the way ink droplets present within an image. A textured paper can add detail for deeply etched logos and other details. Archival paper is a permanent, durable, acid-free paper intended to last a very long time. It's typically used for posters designed to last for years.

Best-Suited Finishing Options for Large Format Posters

Paper finishing products can enhance your large format poster's appearance and help it last longer. Finishing your poster with one of these options provides a protective barrier against sun, moisture, and dirt.


By covering your entire poster with a thin film of clear plastic, you can protect it from the elements, add a shiny appearance, and help keep it flat.


The process of varnishing requires you to coat the poster with a water-based or UV coating that protects in much the same way as lamination. You can choose to coat the whole print or specific parts.

7: Have a Proper Print Production Process in Place

Your printing process will substantially impact the quality of your final print. You can avoid wasting time and materials by taking steps to eliminate mistakes.

The Benefits of Printer Calibration, Test Prints, and Colour Proofing

Performing a colour calibration between prints enables your printer to produce consistent colours with the particular printheads, inks, and paper type you are using and under your particular environmental conditions. By performing colour proofing and test printing, you can ensure accurate colour matching and see an accurate preview of your final print.

How to Identify and Address Potential Issues Before the Final Production

By investing in a high-quality printer with specialised software, you can recognise potential issues before you print. For example, HP Click includes real-print preview, file error warnings, auto orientation, and alignment support.

8: Consider the Best Way to Present Your Posters

Your poster's position and presentation will also affect its final appearance.

How Lighting and Positioning of Poster Elements Help With Its Print Resolution

Images that are higher above viewers will appear different from those closer to ground height. Complex designs or messages can be challenging to understand the further they are from the ground.

Reach Out to HP to Discuss Your Large Format Printing Needs

If you frequently depend on print shops for large format pieces, you might be losing money. Investing in a large format printer that meets your printing needs can ensure quality results and help you save money over time. Reach out to HP to discuss your large format printing needs.

Download our eBook now and discover how innovation is streamlining workflows, producing prints of unmatched quality and increasing IT efficiency like never before.

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