Poster designs are special in terms of their composition and production. Their main purpose is to draw attention.

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More examples:

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Things to consider:

  • high image resolution – large images for large print
  • paper size – there are a few standards
  • bleed – what process will be used – offset or digital?
  • trimming – large sheets may be expensive to trim
  • font size – will it be readable from where people look at it?


Different regions of the world have accepted different standards for poster dimensions. The most common poster size is 609,6mm x 914,4mm (24″ x 36″).

US Standard poster sizes
Format inches x inches
mm x mm
Broad Sheet
18 x 24 457,2 x 609,6
Poster 24 x 36 609,6 x 914,4
Movie poster 27 x 40 685,8 x 1.016
Tabloid 11 x 17 279,4 x 431,8
Letter 8,5 x 11 215,9 x 279,4
EURO Standard poster sizes
Format A B C
Size mm × mm in × in mm × mm in × in mm × mm in × in
0 841 × 1189 33.1 × 46.8 1000 × 1414 39.4 × 55.7 917 × 1297 36.1 × 51.1
1 594 × 841 23.4 × 33.1 707 × 1000 27.8 × 39.4 648 × 917 25.5 × 36.1
2 420 × 594 16.5 × 23.4 500 × 707 19.7 × 27.8 458 × 648 18.0 × 25.5
3 297 × 420 11.7 × 16.5 353 × 500 13.9 × 19.7 324 × 458 12.8 × 18.0

Color space

Use CMYK. RGB posters may print off-color, which may be unacceptable for the customer. Any color conversion faults will be clearly visible on a large size print. Spot colors are OK if they can be converted to CMYK or are absolutely required for the design.

Bleed area

Leaving bleed will require additional trimming, which adds to the cost. Try to avoid it, if possible.

How will the posted be printed:

  • very short runs, large size – ink-jet
  • A2 and smaller, short runs – laser printer
  • large number of copies – digital press or offset

Ink-jet and laser printer can do away without the bleed, but digital press and offset do need one if the color runs to the edge. Read more about it here.

Image quality

Posters are usually big. Larger prints need larger images, but the required resolution depends on the viewing distance. A movie poster on the wall in your flat does need to look great at close range, so think 300dpi there. A poster on a billboard may do away with 72dpi only. Read more about image quality here.


The most common variable fields in a web-to-print poster template are:

  • Large text field that can be viewed from a large distance.
  • Replaceable image field.
  • Multiline text field that can be viewed from a medium distance.
  • Fine print text field that can only be viewed from up close. (The fine print usually contains some warnings, terms, registration or trademark info, address details etc.)

A sample CDR file can be downloaded from your Sample Stationery catalog (go to Summary page).

This particular template sample includes:


  • A large text single line input field separated into two input fields ’cause of the “bling effect” to the last letter of each word. Learn how to do that here.
  • A multiline text frame with automatic font resizing. Learn how to do that here.
  • A single line text on path input field for the web address. Learn how to do that here.
  • Three image placeholders placed inside PowerClip containers. Learn how to do that here.

Other usefull articles on this subject

You can view some more guides and articles about designing posters at:

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