6 Replies Latest reply: May 16, 2010 9:35 PM by mdharg RSS

    Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?

    jyeager11 Community Member

      There has long been debate at the various studios I worked for regarding ideal poster size resolutions.

       

      For 24"x36" posters, some studios work in full 300dpi. Others find that resolution too demanding on the computer, and work at half-size (150dpi). Then I was told printers will print movie posters at 72dpi so anything above that is wasted anyway.

       

      So I come to the experts... what resolution are most 24"x36" Hollywood posters done in?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?
          mdharg Community Member

          I used to run printing presses for 30 years but am now out of that business due to the economy. For the size of poster you mentioned, not to mention that most posters of the size are viewed close up by the public, I would expect the image quality to be around 160 to 175 lines per inch. If memory serves right that is the lowest line level for decent looking printing. Some companies want the photos submitted at twice the resolution before conversion for printing. So a 320 ppi Tiff would equate to a 160 line CMYK screen printing quality. It might be 72 dpi / lines per inch on really large items that are viewable from a larger distance. Take this information as only a starting point for your research.

           

               As a photographer, I see 72 ppi as fuzzy crap for the web. If used for printing a photo, that image looks rasterized or chunky in its smoothness. So I use 300 as my default for image printing.

           

           

           

          CHEERS...Mathew

           

          Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 17:35:24 -0600

          From: forums@adobe.com

          To: mathewdh@q.com

          Subject: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?

           

           

          There has long been debate at the various studios I worked for regarding ideal poster size resolutions.

           

          For 24"x36" posters, some studios work in full 300dpi. Others find that resolution too demanding on the computer, and work at half-size (150dpi). Then I was told printers will print movie posters at 72dpi so anything above that is wasted anyway.

           

          So I come to the experts... what resolution are most 24"x36" Hollywood posters done in?

           

          Thanks!

          >

          • 2. Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?
            jyeager11 Community Member

            I'm not sure I fully understand the answer.

             

            Am I better off working @ 12x18 in 300dpi, or 24x36 in some other resolution?

             

            24x36 in 300dpi would produce gigantic working files, which I wouldn't mind putting up with if there was an actual point to working in such dimensions/resolutions.

             

            Is there?

            • 3. Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?
              Noel Carboni Community Member

              I find 150 ppi is quite good enough for 24 x 36 inch prints.

               

              -Noel

              • 4. Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?
                mdharg Community Member

                Well, the real answer is to find out which screen count the company will print the poster at,

                 

                and what requierements they have for the image submission. I assume you are sending a CMYK

                 

                version, or at least a PDF for them to work with. A lot of designers work with the printing companies

                 

                so the designs are prepared and delivered as they need them. It will cut your workload, and any rework

                 

                needed because it is not prepared as the printers need the job.

                 

                     I guess I never asked: is this poster going to be printed on an offset press?

                 

                 

                 

                CHEERS...Mathew

                 

                Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 18:01:55 -0600

                From: forums@adobe.com

                To: mathewdh@q.com

                Subject: Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?

                 

                 

                I'm not sure I fully understand the answer.

                 

                Am I better off working @ 12x18 in 300dpi, or 24x36 in some other resolution?

                 

                24x36 in 300dpi would produce gigantic working files, which I wouldn't mind putting up with if there was an actual point to working in such dimensions/resolutions.

                 

                Is there?

                >

                • 5. Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?
                  jyeager11 Community Member

                  Sorry, my bad for not being clearer with my question.

                   

                  What I wanted to know, essentially, was if there was any point working in a document that was 24"x36" @ 300dpi? In other words, is it likely that I will EVER be printing the poster at that size and resolution? Because PSD's can get ridiculously big very fast at those settings.

                   

                  Without knowing what the printing method will be in the end... heck, the client may want to handle the printing himself... my question pertains more to the working file and how much resolution is considered overkill.

                   

                  Has a movie studio ever printed a 24"x36" poster @ 300 dpi?

                  • 6. Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?
                    mdharg Community Member

                    If it goes to a sheet fed press, probably never. Most color printing is done in China now, and though they do remarkable work in the high resolution area, I suspect 175 would be a fair working resolution. I say this as one previous poster here stated 150 was fine for him. But he did not state if that was as a designer or if it was as printing company. At 175, this may be the line count the poster is printed at, and a possibly good match for both party's needs. And if the poster prints at a lower resolution, then both parties have a higher quality file than can be lowered for printing. Thus, you have a very good chance of a win-win situation at this point, and everyone is happy.

                     

                         If I remember right, at 8 bit, 2' x 3' in 300 ppi is around 150 mgb. So the lower resolution makes the file a lot more managable before the CMYK separations are done.

                     

                         I hope all goes well with the poster design.

                     

                     

                     

                    CHEERS...Mathew

                     

                    Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 21:45:36 -0600

                    From: forums@adobe.com

                    To: mathewdh@q.com

                    Subject: Re: Ideal resolution (dpi) for standard 24"x36" posters?

                     

                     

                    Sorry, my bad for not being clearer with my question.

                     

                    What I wanted to know, essentially, was if there was any point working in a document that was 24"x36" @ 300dpi? In other words, is it likely that I will EVER be printing the poster at that size and resolution? Because PSD's can get ridiculously big very fast at those settings.

                     

                    Without knowing what the printing method will be in the end... heck, the client may want to handle the printing himself... my question pertains more to the working file and how much resolution is considered overkill.

                     

                    Has a movie studio ever printed a 24"x36" poster @ 300 dpi?

                    >