If you want to make a big impact, promotional posters are a great choice. If they're well designed, they can really turn heads. However, there are lots of factors to consider when creating your promotional poster, including the materials you use.

Which materials should you use for posters?

There’s a vast range of choice for promotional posters, such as paper, canvas or PVC. But which one is the best fit for your marketing needs? Here’s a closer look at the various options for poster printing.


 A far more sophisticated option than printing on paper or card, PVC isn’t the material for you if economy is one of your priorities. Although it’s generally considered to be more of a luxury choice, you could be surprised at how inexpensive it now is. PVC is a very durable option and is available in a range of different weights- from lightweight right through to heavyweight. This allows you to match your needs with the type of PVC which is best suited to you.

All types of PVC are pretty durable but the heavyweight ones particularly so. This offers flexibility combined with strength. The lightweight PVC is easier to transport, particularly in bulk, without being too cumbersome. Therefore, the choice you make really does depend on exactly how and where you plan on using your posters.

There are different types of PVC each one suited to either indoor and outdoor use. It’s not a problem for posters to remain exposed to the elements, even in the event of bad weather. Some types of PVC are designed specifically to endure rainfall and other weather events, keeping their bright colours while remaining in tip top condition.

Other types of PVC are better suited to being posted indoors. However, there are particular considerations about using these posters indoors, such as reflection from lighting. For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose PVC which has a matt surface.

Whatever type of PVC you choose, you’ll get a very vibrant result. These posters don't tear or rip easily, either. This is why PVC is often used for promotional material which is likely to be used for an extended period of time.

Choosing canvas

Another modern option for promotional posters is canvas. This option is once again typically more expensive than traditional printing on card or paper. However, it can still be achieved very economically. Canvas isn’t quite as resistant to the elements as PVC, so it’s not quite as suitable for use outside. Unlike PVC it’s typically not scratch resistant either. Although it’s fairly lightweight and easy to transport, care needs to be taken not to damage the surface. When used indoors, canvas can be extremely effective and can be hung in areas which have the potential to be quite humid, unlike paper.

You can achieve a bright and vivid appearance with canvas, but the end result will look quite different from other materials with a textured finish. It’s also much easier to achieve alternative effects with canvas too, such as vintage, retro, or even a “painted” look. This can produce a promotional poster which looks more classic compared to bright and glossy modern designs that you might find on other mediums such as card.

Picking paper or card

Paper or card are often the materials chosen for a variety of printed products. This is because there’s a wide variety of types to choose from. From thick and glossy card for printing large posters to business cards on recycled paper, there’s a lot of factors to consider. Compared to other types of material, paper or card is often the cheaper option. This doesn’t mean compromising on choice or quality. Quite the opposite, with paper and card there’s often more choice about the effect you want to achieve.

Paper or card posters are very lightweight, so care needs to be taken not to damage them, but they are the ideal material to transport in large numbers. You can also achieve a very glossy and contemporary appearance easily, creating a striking design. Neither paper or card is suitable for exposure to the elements so can only be used indoors.

It can be difficult to choose between card and canvas in particular because each has relative advantages. However, if you have lots of detail on your poster or want a sharp, clearly defined design, card or paper will suit your needs better. Although the overall result on canvas can be outstanding, there’s typically a slight softening of the lines, an effect that you don’t get with paper or card.

The choice is yours!

PVC, canvas and card can all be used for promotional posters and all can produce a very striking effect. What you choose for your project depends on the location, your budget and the appearance you are trying to achieve.