What photo size do I need to print on a poster? Poster Size Prints Explained

Printing out a poster that looks great takes a large enough resolution image with enough dots per inch (dpi) to make it look good. What you basically need is a high-resolution photo, or vector, so that your poster print won't turn out like a pixillated 8-bit character from a 1980s video game. Check out all the standard photo sizes for your visuals for more details.

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Designing a poster is super easy with tools like Adobe Creative Cloud Express or Canva, and if you have doubts over which one to choose, our complete Adobe Express vs Canva comparison will help you decide!

So where exactly is the sweet spot resolution for printing a custom poster? At least 300dpi, or by using a vector file. And where can you get the best deal on vectors and high-resolution stock photos for poster prints? With a Stock Photo Secrets 99club subscription.

Pricing details: For $99 you get 200 XXL images that allow you to confidently print custom posters all the way up to A3 size at 300dpi, or up to 6’ x 6’ at 72dpi, and includes royalty-free stock photos, vectors, and fonts. Read the Stock Photo Secrets’ 99club Review here. 

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Here’s what’s included with a 99club subscription:

  • Access to over 4,000,000 premium stock images
  • Includes High Res Photos, Vectors & Fonts (no Videos)
  • 200 XXL downloads each year
  • Royalty-Free License
  • Use your images FOREVER
  • Subscription is only $99 with NO additional fees!
  • NEW: Auto-renew: secure the low-price deal for as long as the offer exists

Learn more about the 99club subscription here. 

Do you want to know where else you can buy large images? Then check out our latest recommendations to find the best large stock photos.

Are you looking for illustrations to create an eye-catching poster design? Make sure to read our guide to the best stock illustrations!

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Special Poster Printing Considerations

low resolution pixelated vs high resolution image

Standard marketing pieces that a business uses, like brochures, business cards, banners, stationery, and flyers require a fairly standard photo size, which doesn't really require any special considerations when printing. However, as you get into larger formats like posters, you have to have a high enough resolution to be able to print a big poster in a custom size.

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There are 3 common poster sizes, which include an A2 (16.5 x 23 in), an A3 (11.75 x 16.5 in), and an A4 (8.25 x 11.75 in) poster size.

Then, there is also the 24 x 36 in posters, also known as art-size posters. These are what you typically see as mounted posters, hanging on the walls of a home, a store, an art exhibition, or on display at trade shows and conventions. These large dimensions require optimal resolution for viewers to truly appreciate the image design.

All these poster sizes are quite easily met when using a vector file from 99club, and you can have them printed in up to A3 size with 300dpi without worrying.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a vector is, it’s essentially a series of mathematical expressions or paths which are not pixels, so instead is an array of pixels of various colors that can be blown up to huge proportions like billboard size. Using Vector Magic to Create Vector Images

The special considerations you need to meet for printing poster pictures are having a high-resolution image of at least 300dpi or using a vector image where you can customize its size without losing resolution.

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See what kind of vectors you can buy with a 99club subscription.

One of the best software tools to design posters, carefully adjusting resolution and print settings, is Adobe Photoshop. This pro-graded app grants you the best results! And the great news is that you can try it out for free: the Adobe Photoshop free trial gives you full access to the tool, for one week, completely free of charge. Don't miss it!
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Want to design beautiful posters that pop out of the paper and catch everyone's attention, without hiring design services? You can learn how to use Photoshop to do just that, in this cool course for poster designing in Photoshop!

Plus, you can take advantage of design templates. You take a predesigned canvas and edit it with your custom text, photographs, and other design elements to make it unique. Stock photo agencies such as Stock Photo Secrets have lots of fantastic templates, with various layouts, at very affordable prices, and of high quality.

Knowing Your Sizes and Pixels

When planning for a large format print such as a poster, you need to know what image size you’ll need. Having 200 to 300 pixels per inch is a general rule of thumb for print. To produce a 20″x30″ poster, that would put your starting size at 4000 x 6000 pixels, or about 24 megapixels. However, for this size and larger, you could still achieve sharp results by going with 150 pixels per inch (PPI) or even 100 PPI. This will give you some leeway, but you do not want to go any less than 2000 x 3000 pixels. Purchasing the largest size will always guarantee a nice, sharp image for your project.

If the photographs you find for your project are smaller than the minimum size of 2000 x 3000 pixels, you could consider purchasing several large images to make up the size of the poster. By using several photos on your project, you could design a collage poster or grid pattern of images on your poster. This may also help to convey your message in a very engaging way.

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99club

Where Can I Find Large Enough Images For My Poster?

You are in luck. Most stock photo agencies sell very large images at great prices, and Stock Photo Secrets 99club subscription, in particular, gives you access to high-resolution stock photos and vectors that will allow you to easily get your billboards and posters printed.

Skip trying to figure out how to take your own large-format photo and leave it to the photographers that have already done this for you. By utilizing stock agencies such as Stock Photo Secrets, you can feel confident with your purchase of large files. The royalty-free images you purchase can stretch a long way for all mediums of your project. Along with your poster, the image can be used in all of your subsequent formats in your campaign.

99club Price Breakdown

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Our 99club subscription is incredibly cheap and gives you access to every single stock image available on the Stock Photo Secrets Shop. For an easier look at how much 99club is going to save you, in the long run, check out our price breakdown below.

  • For $99 USD you get 200 XXL stock photos, vectors, and fonts (The cost per image is $0.49)
  • if you happen to download more than 200 you can buy additional image packs of 50 for $49 ($0.98 per image); or 100 for $69. ($0.69 per image
  • You can buy as many additional image packs as you’d like
  • You can renew your 99club membership after one year at the same price ($99)
  • Stock Photo Secrets current members and new ones can both purchase a 99club membership
  • The 99Club subscription entitles you to exclusive discounts on Extended License images, which are cleared for use in products for resale (you could design posters to sell, for example).

Another added benefit of buying stock photos is that you can use them in multiple print and digital materials, not just for posters, over and over, without having to pay for them more than once. With the same high-resolution image, you can design billboards and posters, website visuals, social media graphics, photo books, wall art, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions About Poster Printing

What size is a poster print?

The most common poster sizes are 42 x 59.4 (A2), 29.7 x 42 (A3), and 21 x 29.7 (A4), as well as 24 x 36.

What is a 24×36 poster size?

This is a very large dimension that is popular for posters designed to hang on walls or exhibited as artwork.

What size image is best for a poster?

As a rule of thumb, pictures need to be at least 300 dpi to look good in printing. But if you want optimal quality, you must not gloss over the technical details of file size and final printing size.
There is a cool trick to finding the image size that is best for your poster design: you calculate the desired size measures, times 300, to find the ideal pixel count your image needs to have.
So for example, for an A3-sized poster, you would need an image that is at least 3500 x 4950 px (or 17.3 MP).

Why You Need Stock Photos To Print Posters

Knowing how to print posters or something as large as a billboard, can seem quite daunting to anybody, really, especially if you don’t know much about custom poster printing and required resolution in the first place. But all that guesswork can be taken away by simply using high-resolution stock images from a stock photo agency.

How can I get a higher resolution of an image?

In order to make sure your print will turn out beautifully, you can put your faith in a stock photo agency that has XXL large images. You can easily print posters out and as big as a billboard with a 99club subscription that will give you 200 XXL (from A3 size at 300dpi, up to 6’ x 6’ at 72dpi) stock photos, vectors, and fonts that you can use to make your posters look great.

Running the risk of an image being too small for your print needs will not only cost you money, but it will also take up a lot of time in figuring out how to get the right size. But stock photo agencies like Stock Photo Secrets allow you to download all our images in the largest, XXL size for every image download you make.

Click here to buy a 99club subscription, and get 200 XXL images for only $99! 

Amos Struck

Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

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    Thirst» Blog Archive » photo size print June 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    […] What photo size do i need to print on a poster? – Stock Photo Secrets Apr 26, 2011 … Explanation of what photo size you will need to print on a poster. We also tell you where can you … […]

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