Small Business Marketing Meets Affordable Printing

Andrew Lock

If you ever need oversized small business marketing materials, you’re going to love this affordable Web-based printing resource. It’s called ShortRunPosters, and they offer full-color, 18- x 24-inch posters for $2.97 each. And as far as I can tell, that includes normal shipping charges, too. That’s a pretty good deal. Now let’s walk through the process and learn more about how ShortRunPosters works.

Basically, you provide the photo or artwork, and you upload it to the site. Now they say that most any picture looks great at the “gigantic” size of 18 x 24 — I guess I have a little problem with the word “gigantic.” I mean 18 x 24 is certainly big — a foot and a half by two feet — but gigantic? At any rate it’s a lot bigger than the 8.5 x 11 size I can print out on my home printer.

They print the posters on 80-pound coated, cover weight paper. So the paper size is 18- x 24-inches while the image size is 17- x 23-inches, but still, a lot bigger than I could print normally.

The site also suggests that you have a fairly good camera. I think they say a minimum of 5 megapixels — otherwise your photograph’s going to come out a little fuzzy.

Something else that they suggest is checking the aspect ratio. What that means is if your original photo is square, well what they print is going to have a lot of white at the top and the bottom.; Web resources, Web tools

And a couple of other things you should know about the ShortRunPosters service is that they use a four-color process; any RGB files will be converted before printing or on the fly. One last spec to consider; your images should really be a minimum of 150 dpi — otherwise the resulting poster’s going to be fuzzy.

If you’re interested in a larger poster, their sister company — or maybe it’s their parent company — is a site called, and they will produce any size poster.

Now, let’s talk options. I said the site charges $2.97 for the poster including shipping. Yes, that’s true, but if you need it faster than a slow boat to China — say for instance you need one-day delivery — you can add $45 shipping to your $2.97 poster.

Or how about three-day service, that’ll cost you $15. If you want your poster shipped in a flat box instead of rolled up or, I don’t know, would they fold it? I hope not. That would be an additional $5.

So I decided to place an order and get myself a $2.97 poster. Wait a minute…$2.97 or $4.97? Here’s the difference. For $2.97, they print the company logo on the back of your poster. Yep, it’s branded with their logo on the backside. Does that bother me? Not in the least.

If I’m going to have my poster on the wall, or let’s say it’s for my band and I put it on a telephone pole, who’s going to see the backside? On the other hand, let’s say I’m selling these posters, and I don’t want their logo on the back side. That’s not a problem, but the cost of the poster goes up to 4.97. Still, that’s not a bad deal. Go check out — it’s the home of the custom $2.97 poster.

You’ll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses “get more done and have more fun.”

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