Guest author Grainne Slavin provided us with her great choir posters graphical design advice in “Choir poster design – 8 tips from a professional graphic designer” which I am sure you found incredible useful.
However, you also need to do something with those poster designs. Producing choir posters and flyers, whether for printing or online use, can be a minefield of technicality. Here are a few guidelines and hints for the non-professional!
Choir posters- online or printed publication?
How the poster is going to be published impacts a number of areas – size, shape and colour scheme. So, before creating your choir posters or flyers decide whether they are to be printed or going to be published online on a website and/or social media platform.
For promotion through multiple channels you may well need to have multiple versions of one design.
Choir posters and images – which file format to use?
The photographs and graphic images you use for choir posters and flyers artwork can be saved digitally in a number of different file formats.
The choice of format to use will depend somewhat on the use (online or printed) and nature of the image itself. For example, here are some of the most common formats:
- Jpeg: is best for photos when you need to keep the file size small and don’t mind giving up some quality for a significant reduction in size.
- PNG: use when you need smaller file sizes with no loss in quality. It was developed for web graphics and allows images to be saved with a transparent background, but is not ideal for photos
- GIF: is used for simple web graphics with limited colours and so is very fast to load but should rarely be used for photos.
- TIFF: is ideal where you are planning to have the choir poster printed as it uses the CMYK colour profile that printers prefer and also provides high quality images (300 ppi).
- PSD: is the native format of Photoshop, so is best if you are going to want to edit the image further using that tool. Other image editing tools also tend to have their own native formats, such as PXM for Pixelmator
For a more comprehensive description of image file formats take a look at Wikipedia here.
Choir posters of the right size and shape
For online publication
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” in the online world. It will depend on how and where you are promoting your choir poster image. In general, you want to keep file sizes down so that the image loads into a user’s browser window more quickly.
- On a website page or events listing you will probably be able to post an image in portrait or landscape form of variable sizes. However, try and keep file size down by using an image with sides of 1024 pixels or less, and I would suggest 1000 x 800.
- Each of the various Social Media platforms on which you may wish to promote your choir have a number of image types. On Facebook, for example, there are at least 16 different images (profile page picture, cover photo, shared image, shared link, highlighted image, event image and 10 types of Facebook Ad image). Each image type has its own shape and size characteristics, and if you are to exploit these most effectively then you need to tune your images suitably. You can find out all the different image sizes and characteristics for the major Social Media platforms here or
For physical printing
- Quality: image print resolution is usually measured in “dots per inch” or “dpi” (sometimes known as “pixels per inch” or ppi) and you should create your choir poster image at 300 dpi to print out with a reasonable quality.
- Size: there are standard paper sizes (A1, 2 etc) and you will want to have your choir posters printed at the size that bests suits where you want to display them. A5 is usually used for flyers, A4 for posters to put on a standard office noticeboard and A3, A2, and even A1 for more major positions. Our local theatre uses A3 for their standard event posters. However, you do need to create your choir posters in a size that also includes an allowance for the printing process, known as “bleeds”.
- Bleeds and safe areas: because the trimming of paper at the printer is not totally exact you need to add a buffer area, called a “bleed” to your image in order to avoid getting odd white borders around your poster. This bleed should be 3mm outside the trim line all around your image. For an A5 flyer which will be printed as 210mm x 148mm you will need to supply the image as 216 mm x 154 mm. Equally, you need to ensure that no important image content is placed closer to the trim line than 3mm within it in case it gets lost with an imperfect cut. This is known as the “safe zone”.
How to resize you choir posters
Using the correct colour mode
Have you ever wondered why the colours of your choir posters on the screen of your computer is not exactly the same as that when they is printed out? This is because there are two colour modes in use – one for screens called RGB and one for ink called CMYK.
- RGB stands for three colours (Red Green Blue) and these three colours are mixed together on a screen to create every other colour you see. RGB is an additive colour model. This means that the 3 main colours are mixed together to create the various range of colours that you can see on electronic platforms.
- CMYK stands for 4 colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key=Black) is a subtractive model because it subtracts the brightness from white.
Without going into greater depth on the science of this – the basic result is that you will often create choir posters using RGB on a computer but need to save them in CMYK mode for printing.
Saving a file as RGB for print can impact on the way certain colours are printed meaning you won’t get the finish you are after. Most printers will convert your RGB file to CMYK, but it can result in some colours appearing washed out, so it is best to have your file saved as CMYK beforehand.
Design and editing tools such as Photoshop provide this ability. There are also online tools, such as this that can provide conversions for RGB ‘codes’ to CMYK.
Getting your choir posters printed
Once you have your choir posters designed then you can either take them to a local printing company or upload them to one of the online services such as Vistaprint or Helloprint. These online services can provide rapid turnaround and usually work out cheaper.
More information about digital image file formats Wikipedia >
Social Media image sizes
A full list of the various sizes for images on key platforms Cheatsheet >
Image resizing service
Online service to resize your choir posters Resizing >
Online service that provides CMYK codes for RGB colours Colour converter>
Online printing service Helloprint>