Important: Just because you have the latest copy of Microsoft Word or a basic drawing program does not make you an effective poster designer. There are certain guidelines you must follow when developing an effective, eye-catching poster in terms of fonts, colours, size etc.
A professional poster designer will be able to not only provide you with a great design but also advise you on the correct paper type based on where the poster will be displayed. For example, a poster that is south facing, outside and by the coast consequently exposed to high levels of UV and rain will need to be printed on different paper than a poster that will be displayed indoors, within a poster frame.
Keeping your initial design ideas simple is paramount. Choose a design that your market can relate to. Don’t overcrowd the paper and keep your wording simple so that all ages and types of different potential customers that pass by will be able to understand it. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” You only need to look at any Apple products to see the truth in that quote.
Another factor that you will need to think about is the type of ink you will be using and the method of printing you need to use. If your poster is going to be used as an exhibition graphic at a trade show for example you will be requiring a very high-end finish. However if your poster is one of many, advertising a quick turnaround offer, you might want to think about a more economical finish.
For high end finishes, ink-jet systems are very commonly used. However this method is expensive and wouldn’t be worth using if you needed more than say 20 posters. Anymore than that and you would need to consider litho printing. This method involves quite a bit of time at the outset for the printer. He will need to create a metal plate that is then used to very rapidly print large runs of posters or any type of print for that matter. If you are looking for a more economical option then perhaps a toner based printing system might be more appropriate for you. Using this method allows you to very economically print medium to large runs of posters but at about 70% the quality of an inkjet or litho based system. It all depends on the end purpose of your poster.