Printable Posters using Photoshop

Here’s how to blow a picture up to massive proportions and print it out with a normal printer:
1 Take the picture you want to blow up. If you’re doing a door picture, take the photo from where people will stand to see it, from eye level. This will help make sure perspectives are all ok.
2 Open it up in Photoshop. Crop it if necessary. Use Edit>Transform>Perspective to get straight sides if necessary.
3 Resize it to your final image size using Image>Image Size… The Resolution should be at 72 pixels per inch. You’ll be creating massive amounts of pixels out of thin air when you resize, so having it higher won’t increase print quality, only make everything run slower and have bigger files. Resize the image to the size of the poster you want in the end. Make either the height a multiple of 10.5 inches or the width a multiple of 7.5 inches.
4 You’ll notice that the picture has lots of artifacts, or jagged edges that make the image look pretty crappy, even at a distance. The picture at right shows you what I mean. It’s not a smooth picture.
5 To fix this, simply apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur). The exact amount depends on the picture. I used a 3.1 pixel blur on the Picture in Step 4 to get the picture at right. Make it pretty blurry, but not so blurry that it blurs out important features, such as eyes, watches, etc., completely. You’ll get a smoother overall picture.
6 Do any color correcting you want to do to the image.
7 You’re now ready to prepare the image for printing. Start by making sure that your printer prints at least 10.5in by 7.5in. Now go to View>New Guide… and make a new horizontal guide at 10.5 in. Press OK.
8 Repeat Step 7, making a horizontal guide at 21 inches. Make new guides every 10.5 inches for the entire length of the poster. Then do the same with vertical guides, every 7.5 inches.
9 When you’re done, you’ll be able to see a grid, with each section of the grid a piece of paper.
10 Select the Slice tool, seen at right by clicking on it in the Tool Palette, or by hitting the “K” key. At the top of the screen, hit the button that says “Slices From Guides.” This will add slices along your grid.
11 Go to File>Save for Web. An alert will likely pop up. Click yes. (Warning… I suggest using a rather high speed computer.)
12 Use the following settings, as seen at right:

JPEG, Optimized, Maximum, Quality:100, Blur: 0.

Hit “Save”

13 Save the file somewhere you can find it, as something along the lines of “Huge Poster” or something descriptive like that. Leave everything how it is, and hit “Save.” It may take awhile, but it should save it where you wanted it to be.
14 Now you simply have to open each file and print it. You can make an action or droplet for printing them, as larger posters can easily take over 50 pieces of paper. Make sure that if you resize as you print that all are resized to the same scale.

Now the most time consuming part: Cut off the white border on each piece of paper. Assemble it on the desired surface with tape or sticky tack.

Send photos of your creations to me at [email protected]!

15 My dorm room door, although it has been taken down and recycled (always recycle!), has been put on several humor pages, including College Humor, I Am Bored, and Funny Hub.
2 comments on “Printable Posters using Photoshop
  1. laura says:

    This is so helpful and also works with Paintshop Pro, although the version I use (PSP 9) doesn’t have the slice from guide option, it does have a grid option where I can choose the horizontal and vertical slices.

    Thanks very much, I’ll pop you a photo of my creation once finished 🙂

  2. Angie says:

    Thank you! Perfect tutorial – worked great!

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