Checklist for a print-
ready poster

On this page you can find what to keep in mind
when you make your poster printer-ready.

  • Is the spelling OK?
    Are there no spelling mistakes, and is the right hyphenation used?
  • Preflight panel(optional)
    Some design tools have a Preflight panel. What is this? With Preflight you can prepare the design document, so that it is ready for the printing press. If there are errors in your document, the design tool tries to help you out. It tells you what the specific problem is and how you can resolve it. If your tool has a Preflight panel or something comparable, check it for errors.
  • Does your poster have the right amount of bleed
    Most of the time when you deliver a design to a printer, it needs to contain the right amount of bleed. This is the area outside the document edge. It gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper and design inconsistencies. This means that your poster has to be as large as the bleed area. The document’s size will then become: poster size + bleed. The bleed will be around 3-5 mm, most of the time. To be sure, check your printer! If you will not use a bleed, the result can be that your poster contains a white framework or that some parts of the poster are not completely visible.
  • Does your poster use a CMYK colour mode?
    A print file has to be based on a CMYK colour mode. Check if your document colour mode is CMYK and if the colours you used are CMYK colours.
  • Are your external files linked or embedded?
    If you used external images in your document, such as photos or other pictures, most of the time you have to link to them or embed them. Linking means that you link to the location of the image on your computer. Embedding a file means there is no more connection to the external file. The data is copied to the current design document. Check if the images are embedded in the file or that the image link is correct. If the image link is wrong, the images will be of a low quality when exported and printed.
  • Did you use a resolution of at least 300 PPI?
    Check if the resolution of your document is 300 DPI/PPI or higher. If you used external raster images, check also if their PPI is at least 300.
  • Is your poster size correct?
    Check if the size of your poster is correct. As mentioned in Step 5, the conference guidelines show the specific size of your poster. If you are allowed to choose, I would recommend A0 or A1.
    • A0: 841 × 1189 millimeters / 33.1 × 46.8 inch
    • A1: 594 × 841 millimeters /23.4 × 33.1 inch
  • Convert your text to outlines
    Many printers demand that you convert the text in your poster file to outlines, that is, convert the text to a shape, instead of editable text. If you have to convert the text to outlines, make sure that you do this in a copy file of your definitive poster, because after creating outlines of your text, the text will not be editable any more. If you made a copy file, and there will be changes later, you can still easily make adjustments in the file with the editable text. See for example on how to do this in Adobe Illustrator.
  • Are the white fills and strokes visible?
    Check if the white fills and strokes on your poster are visible in the export. Sometimes when using white fills or strokes, these are set on ‘overprint’, which means they are not visible in the printed design. You can see in your PDF or another exported file format if the white fills and strokes are shown.
  • Check the presets of the printer you choose
    The settings per printer will not vary very much, but it is good to check them before you deliver your design. Most of the time you can find the printer presets online under ‘Printing specifications’, and the larger online printers often offer templates for your design, such as PDF, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.