A2 Poster Printing: From Design to Display

28 September 2023

These days, you'll find that most information is consumed through screens and devices, but the power of physical advertising still holds an important place. A well-designed poster can captivate attention, convey a message, and leave a lasting impression. When it comes to poster printing, the A2 size is a popular choice due to its versatility and eye-catching dimensions. Let's explore everything from the initial design phase to the final display of an A2 poster.

The Art of Design

Design is where it all begins. Whether you're creating a poster for an event, promotion, or artistic expression, a thoughtful and compelling design is essential. Before diving into the specifics of A2 poster design, consider your target audience, message, and the context in which the poster will be displayed.

  • Audience: Understanding your audience is key. Is your poster aimed at a specific demographic? Consider their preferences, interests, and the emotions you want to evoke.

  • Message: Clearly define the message you want to convey. Is it informative, persuasive, or purely artistic? Your message should guide the overall design.

  • Context: Where will your poster be displayed? In a busy street, a museum, a conference, or an art gallery? The location will influence your design choices.

Once you have a clear understanding of these factors, it's time to get creative. Start with a rough sketch or digital mock-up to visualize your ideas. Choose a color scheme that resonates with your message and aligns with your brand if applicable. Typography matters, so select fonts that are legible and complement the overall design.

The poster for the movie "Jaws" (1975)  featured a simple yet terrifying image of a shark rising from the depths toward an unsuspecting swimmer. It became an iconic representation of the suspense genre

Jaws poster

The creators of the "Jaws" movie poster were acutely aware of their target audience's desire for suspense and thrills. They crafted a message of fear and danger, set the context within the horror film genre, and made deliberate design choices to evoke a visceral reaction from viewers. The result was a poster that not only became an iconic piece of movie marketing but also effectively conveyed the essence of the film, drawing audiences into the world of "Jaws" and its terrifying underwater menace.

Dimensions and Resolution

A2 posters have dimensions of 420 x 594 millimeters (16.5 x 23.4 inches), making them a versatile choice for various applications. When designing your poster, work in a high-resolution format, typically 300 DPI (dots per inch) to ensure crisp and clear images and text. This resolution is crucial for maintaining quality when the poster is enlarged for printing.

Choosing the Right Images

High-quality visuals are essential for an A2 poster. If you're using photographs, ensure they are high-resolution and have the necessary permissions for commercial use if applicable. Vector graphics are a great choice for logos and illustrations as they can be scaled without loss of quality.

Layout and Composition

The layout and composition of your A2 poster play a vital role in its effectiveness. Consider the visual hierarchy – what information should catch the viewer's eye first? Use grids or guidelines to maintain a balanced and organised composition.

Text and Typography

When it comes to text, less is often more. Avoid cluttering your poster with excessive text. Use concise and impactful headlines and subheadings. Make sure the text is legible from a distance. Experiment with font sizes, styles, and colours to create contrast and emphasis.

Take Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (1958) for example. Designed by the renowned graphic designer Saul Bass, the typography in this poster was not just important; it was a critical element in capturing the essence of the film and enhancing its visual impact.

Vertigo poster

Saul Bass chose a bold and distinctive typeface for the film's title. The letters in "VERTIGO" are elongated and slightly distorted, creating a sense of disorientation and unease, which mirrors the film's central theme of psychological suspense and obsession.

Considering typography not just as a practical element but a design choice will help it become an integral part to the poster's emotional impact. Bass' choice of typography succeeded in capturing the film's themes and atmosphere, making it a striking and memorable piece of movie poster art. The typography itself became a visual representation of the movie's central concept, and it remains a celebrated example of the power of typography in graphic design.

Printing Preparations

Once your design is complete and you're satisfied with the visual appeal, it's time to prepare your poster for printing. Here are some important steps to consider:

  • Colour Profiles: Ensure your design is in the correct color profile, typically CMYK for printing. This ensures that the colours on your screen closely match the final printed result.

  • Bleed and Trim Marks: If your design extends to the edges of the poster, include bleed (extra design space that will be trimmed) and trim marks to guide the printer.

  • File Format: Save your design in a high-quality format such as TIFF or PDF for printing.

The Printing Process

A2 posters can be printed through various methods, including digital printing and offset printing. The choice depends on your budget, quantity, and desired quality.

  • Digital Printing: Ideal for small print runs and quick turnaround times. It's cost-effective and suitable for vibrant, full-color designs.

  • Offset Printing: Offers higher quality and is cost-effective for large print runs. It's suitable for posters with intricate details and special finishes.

Paper Selection

Choosing the right paper is crucial to the overall look and feel of your A2 poster. Consider factors such as weight, finish, and texture. Matte finishes are often preferred for readability, while gloss finishes can make colors pop.

The Final Display

Your beautifully designed and professionally printed A2 poster is ready for display. Here are some tips for a successful poster presentation:

  • Location: Choose a strategic location that ensures maximum visibility. Consider the eye level of your target audience.

  • Mounting: Mount your poster on a sturdy backing board or frame it for a polished look.

  • Lighting: Adequate lighting can enhance the impact of your poster. Ensure it is well-lit, especially if it's displayed in a dimly lit area.

  • Interactivity: If appropriate, consider adding interactive elements to your poster, such as QR codes that link to additional information or videos.

A2 poster printing is a journey that begins with a well-thought-out design and ends with an impactful display. It's a powerful medium for conveying information, promoting events, and expressing creativity. By paying attention to design principles, resolution, printing techniques, and display considerations, you can create A2 posters that capture attention and leave a lasting impression on your audience. So, whether you're promoting an event, showcasing your artwork, or delivering a message, let your A2 poster stand out as a work of art in itself.