FAQ - Preparing Files
What size/resolution do my images have to be to make a good poster?
For 18 x 24 size, we strongly suggest that your uploaded images be at least 3500 x 2500 pixels (click here to see how to easily determine how many pixels are in your image). Another way to state that is a minimum of 150 dpi at a size of 18" x 24" (not 150 dpi at 8.5" x 11" dimensions). When your image has less than that number of pixels, pixelation begins to appear in the poster when viewed up close. If your image has only 2500 x 1800 pixels for example, but is going to be used just for a birthday party, it should be fine - however; at that size, not if it is going to be displayed in a museum!
For 24 x 36 size, we strongly suggest that your uploaded image be at least 3600 x 5400 pixels, which is the same as 150 DPI (PPI) at 100% size. Again, you may be able to get by with a smaller image if the product is for something other than a museum quality piece.
Submitting a complete vector art file will be scalable to any size.
How can I be sure that my image will make a good poster?
The most important factor in determining the quality of the final poster is the actual resolution of your uploaded image. For 18 x 24 posters, if your image contains at least 3500 x 2500 pixels (click here to see how to easily determine how many pixels are in your image), then you can rest assured that it will more than likely result in a high quality 18"x24" poster through our process.
For 24 x 36 posters, if your image contains at least 3600 x 5400, the the posters should come out great.
Will my image be printed to the very edge of the poster (we call that "full bleed")?
No, our standard format leaves at least a 1/2" white margin on all sides. If you need full bleed, you can order these from our sister site which does custom orders.
Will the poster always have exactly 1/2" white border around all sides?
No, only poster that are designed in the correct proportions (length vs. width) will have exactly the minimum white border of 1/2". The printable area is 17" x 23", so if your original image is exactly in those proportions or very close to them (8.5"x11" or 18"x24"), you will see a border very close to just 1/2" on all sides. However, if you upload an image that is clearly in different proportions (for example, a square shaped image like 12"x12"), our software will scale it to fit best in the 17"x23" printable area, but there will be larger white margins on several sides on the final poster.
Can I use an online service like FotoFlexer or Picnik to edit my photos?
The problem with most of these online photo editing websites is that your image will be saved out at a drastically lower resolution than when you started. Typically they will save image at 480px X 640px. When this is increased to our print area of 17" x 23", your resolution is reduced to about 28 DPI where our suggested minimum is 150. Printing this sized file would result in significant blurriness and pixelation. However, with paid versions of these sites, usually the native resolution of images uploaded is preserved. Beware of these sites and remember if you have a question, please ask us first!
Can I submit a multiple page PDF?
Multiple page PDF files will not print correctly, resulting in only the first page being printed. If you want to print multiple PDFs, you need to submit them separately.
Should I include crop marks or a 1/2 white border in my file?
Please do not include non printing marks in your file. If you submit a file that has crop marks, the crops marks will be printed. If you submit a file with 1/2" border, your poster will include that border in your file, as well as the border that we put in place.
What resolution do I need my image files to be?
For 18 x 24, we suggest that your files be at a minimum of 150 DPI at 100% size (17" x 23") which equates to a pixel resolution of 2550 x 3450, but we do not reject files based on resolution. Because our prepress is completely automated, we cannot review each and every image to make sure it meets our suggested sizes. This is the customer's responsibility.
For 24 x 36, we suggest that your files be at a minimum of 150 DPI at 100% size (23" x 35") which equates to a pixel resolution of 3600 x 5400, but we do not reject files based on resolution. Because our prepress is completely automated, we cannot review each and every image to make sure it meets our suggested sizes. This is the customer's responsibility.
What file formats does ShortRunPosters.com accept?
We accept image files only in the following formats: .tif, .pdf and .jpg. We also accept .zip, .sit, and .tar archive formats.
For color critical jobs, it is vital to convert your image to CMYK and review the changed file prior to submitting your order. Our equipment uses the CMYK color model and all images that are not CMYK will be converted during the prepress phase. There are many colors and nuances that cannot be represented in the CMYK model as they can in RGB. Seeing these possible changes in your image will allow you to edit as necessary.
What if my image isn't exactly 17" x 23" (23" x 35"), will you crop it?
Any image we receive is scaled proportionally, meaning it will not be stretched. If your image is not proportional to the 17" x 23" (23" x 35") size, there will be extra white space on either side of the image. For instance, if you have an image that when it is scaled to fit the 17" x 23" (23" x 35") frame and the actual image size ends up being 16" x 23", the image will be centered and there will be extra border (white space) on the 23" sides.
Do I need to rotate my image to a vertical orientation?
No, we rotate and proportionally scale all images to obtain the largest possible print area.
What size are the posters?
The posters are printed on a 18" x 24" (24" x 36") sheet, but the actual image area is 17" x 23" (23" x 35"), giving a 1/2" border on all sides.