In our shop, we offer both printed paper posters and digital files that you can send to the print shop yourself.
Digital files are less expensive up front, so you may find that option more appealing. But don’t let the initial price be your deciding factor! In many cases, getting the digital files printed costs you more time and money than buying the ready-made prints. So before you settle for the cheapest option, let me share some of the pros & cons of digital vs. printed art.
Spoiler alert: We highly recommend the printed paper posters. You get better quality art for your time and money!
Factors to consider when choosing digital files vs. printed art:
The initial cost of the digital print is less, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of getting it printed. You might be surprised to know that the average price for large format printing for 18″ x 24″ posters is nearly $20! Office store chains have the highest prices, while local print shops may be able to do it for a little bit less. I checked with about a dozen printers in my local area and received similar quotes from each of them.
There are also discount online printers that charge less, but my experience has been that their quality standard is just not that high. I’ve ordered from a couple of the discount online printer shops with disappointing results— grainy resolution, incorrect color matching, and poor paper quality. You might even find yourself spending more money ordering samples to get a good print.
Your digital print will be ready for download immediately, so you could theoretically get it printed the same day. Our paper posters are custom printed when you order. They are generally printed within 2-3 days and shipped then, so you should receive your order within 7-10 business days.
Same day printing is great…if you do it! I know some of you will have deadlines and motivation to get your posters printed right away, but most of you (myself included!) will end up too busy to figure out how to get the file to the print shop. I spoke with a couple of my first customers and they didn’t end up printing their posters for weeks because it was inconvenient!
Remember that your time is valuable. We spent many hours researching the best printer with the highest quality for the best price. Let us print it and ship it to your door so you don’t have to add extra errands to your already busy schedule!
When you order paper prints from us, you can expect high-quality art prints. Our posters are printed on a sturdy paper with a matte finish, crisp lines, and legible details. Though colors can vary slightly depending on which machine is used, our test prints have all come back with colors that match what we see on our screen. If color and design are important to you (which I expect they do if you found our shop!), then you’ll be very pleased with our paper prints.
Our prints are carefully packaged in tubes with layers of tissue paper. The posters are rolled loosely, printed side out, so that the corners lie flat on the wall when you unroll them.
Though you can find this level of quality elsewhere, you should not expect to get this type of printing at large office stores or popular discount online printers.
4 reasons you might prefer a digital file:
• You need a different size than what we offer – The print file is 18″ x 24″ and can be sized down to 15” x 20”, 12” x 16”, and 9” x 12”. (We do not recommend smaller sizes for detailed designs, such as the periodic table. Scaling down works well for inspirational quotes and similar types of designs.) We offer both 18″x 24″ and 12″ x 16″ for most printed posters. If you need one of the other sizes, digital might be better for you. You are also welcome to contact us for special size requests. Many times we can accommodate special orders!
• You need to print more than one copy – You are welcome to print as many copies of the posters as needed for personal use. If you have several children in your family and want a copy for each child’s room or if you are a teacher and want to print new copies for your individual classroom when the original print becomes worn, the digital file might be a better option for you. (You may not make additional copies to sell or share with friends though. If you need to print copies in bulk, let us know and we can work out bulk pricing terms.)
• You have access to a large format color printer – Many schools and home-businesses may have access to a large format printer. If you are able to print your own posters at a lower cost, then the digital file is a good option for you.
• You need it today – As I mentioned above, digital files are available immediately and can be printed the same day if you have an urgent need.
As you can tell, we highly recommend the printed paper posters in our shop! We’ve spent a lot of time ordering samples and searching for a quality print partner to make sure that you are delighted with your purchase.
(Update: we have discontinued most digital prints in favor of the paper prints, however, if you have urgent need or prefer the digital file for some other reason, please contact us!)