The Differences Between Posters And Prints | All You Need To Know

A poster is a type of printed idea, advertisement, or concept. So what is the difference between a poster and a print? Let’s find out. 

Most teenagers around the world have grown up with posters plastered all over their bedroom walls. These posters range from favorite bands or singers to pop idols, anime characters, cars, bikes, or motivational quotes.

Moreover, the end of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of posters as a medium of conveying messages via billboards and advertisements. However, there has been a subtle shift in the demand for posters vs. print now, as more consumers are purchasing fine art prints created by graphic artists. 

Posters and prints have their unique place in society, and there is a very fine line between them. In this guide, we will explore the minute differences between posters and prints to understand each kind better. 

Let’s take a look. 

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Differences Between Posters And Prints

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What You Should Keep In Mind

Fine art prints and posters may follow the same line of thought and concept, but they are quite dissimilar in almost every other aspect. The most vital point you need to know about them is that while posters are generally made of low-quality paper and ink, fine art prints use much more high-quality materials. 

This obviously creates a vast difference in their prices. As such, most people will be unwilling to pay more than $10 for an unsigned poster. However, prints can sell for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. 

That being said, there are a number of differences between posters and prints that you should know about. We have highlighted some of the most common ones in this guide. Here’s what you need to know about them. 

  1. Definitions 

Let us begin by clearly defining what the terms “poster” and “prints” are. 

A poster is commonly known as a poster print and typically consists of a mechanical reproduction or copy of some original artwork. As such, a poster is a type of print. Moreover, posters are generally printed in bulk, and the paper can be smooth, semi-glossy, or glossy. 

On the other hand, a print is typically used to describe a reproduction of original artwork – but on better quality paper. Moreover, the ink and other ingredients used to create prints are often of higher quality than posters. 

Although prints can also be reproduced in bulk, just like posters, the former is usually more expensive since it is made of better quality materials. We will discuss all the differences between prints and posters in the subsequent sections. 

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  1. Longevity 

One of the most significant differences between posters and prints is in regards to their longevity. 

Firstly, posters are typically mass-produced as reproductions offered to consumers at a fraction of the price of the original artwork. To keep the cost of production and selling price low, manufacturers do not typically invest in high-quality paper or ink to manufacture these reproductions. 

However, prints are produced with quality, durability, and longevity in mind. They are typically printed on premium-quality, medium-grain white paper with borders. Furthermore, the typical finish of a print can be matte, lightly textured, or completely smooth. It is also important to note that prints are usually created using high-quality inks, which are not used in the case of posters. 

  1. Functionality 

The target audience who wish to purchase posters will be quite different from those who desire prints. Generally, you will find that people who are looking for a quick and temporary solution to covering up a part of their wall, hang their favorite band or pop idol for the week, or purchase a reproduction of a book or movie cover opt for posters. 

These can be mass-produced and found relatively easily at various shops and department stores around the city. Moreover, they don’t cost too much. These prints are produced to look vibrant and aesthetic when purchased but tend to lose their vibrancy over time. 

Posters are also a great way to print out something really fast without investing too much thought, time, or money into it. Not just that, they are quite dispensable or replaceable thanks to their low-quality production and low cost. 

Art prints differ from posters not only in their quality of production but also in their utility. Prints are generally collected by consumers who wish to have a durable, premium reproduction of a piece of artwork. Prints are often signed, which can also play a significant role in increasing their value and price. 

Not just that, art prints can be reproduced on a variety of materials, unlike posters, which are typically printed only on paper. In case paper is used as a medium, the quality will be thicker and more premium than those used for posters. However, you can find prints in other materials like plastic, wood, metals, copper, and a multitude of other mediums. 

  1. Value 

While prints are made to last for decades, posters are not created with the same intention. The value of a print may increase significantly over time. However, the value of posters deteriorates over time. 

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Which Is A Better Option – Posters Or Prints?

Well, the answer depends entirely on what your purpose is. If you are a consumer who is looking to print a picture, quote, or concept on a material of their choice, opting for a print may be a better option. Not only are they more versatile and functional than posters, but they can also last longer. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for a quick, easy, and, more importantly, a temporary solution for decorating a space, opting for posters may be ideal. While you may not be able to experiment with different types of materials like you can with prints, there is one benefit. You will have an inexpensive and quick solution at your fingertips. 

For businesses looking to advertise their brand on a large scale for audiences, posters may be an excellent solution. You can use any offset printer to produce thousands of copies of a poster at a very affordable price. Moreover, you can opt for a slightly better quality paper so that the poster can withstand general dust, dirt, and weather changes. 

How To Choose The Right Poster And Print 

Now that you know about the differences between posters and prints, you may wish to select the perfect one to decorate a space. Well, don’t worry, we are here to help you. Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind that can help you select the best poster or print for your home or office space. 

  1. Purpose

Before you begin choosing between the best poster and print, take a moment to gauge the purpose of your purchase. Are you looking to decorate the walls of your bedroom or living room? Brighten up an office space? Or add some valuable piece of art or a reproduction of one? 

Once you have decided this, it will be easier for you to pick between a poster and a print. 

Those looking for a low-investment option that they can hang in their space on a temporary basis can opt for posters. However, if you want to add a signed copy of a renowned piece of art, a book or movie cover, or something valuable that deserves to be framed, opt for a high-quality print. 

  1. Take Into Account The Rest Of Your Interior Decor

If you have bright, colored, or textured walls and are looking to add a personal touch to them with a piece of art, consider opting for one with muted tones. Although there is no harm in opting for a bright, bold, and vibrant piece of art in the form of a poster or a print, it may clash with the rest of your decor. 

Similarly, if you have relatively sober, muted walls and a minimalistic approach to interior decor, opting for a bright, bold print or poster can be a good option. That being said, art is entirely an individual preference, and there are no ground rules that you need to follow. 

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  1. Consider The Material 

As we mentioned earlier, you have a multitude of options when it comes to choosing the medium of a print. While high-quality paper is always a good choice, you can explore other options like metal, plastic, copper, glass, and wood. 

Consider the kind of appeal or goal you want to achieve. If you’re going to go for a classy, clean look, then opting for a paper print framed in metal frames could be an excellent choice. However, if you lean more towards rustic or traditional home decor, you can explore wood, plastic, and glass prints. 

  1. Size Matters 

Whether you opt for a print or poster, size matters. The size determines the cost of the print or poster and how well it blends in with the rest of your decor. Those who have large, open spaces in their homes or offices can opt for a singular, large poster or print to cover a section of the wall. This can create a striking appearance and transform the aesthetics of the space.

On the other hand, you can also choose to print a number of smaller art prints or posters and organize them strategically in your space. This can often be seen as a popular decoration style in bedrooms, restaurants, pubs, and diners. 

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  1. Budget

It always helps to have a budget in mind before purchasing anything – even something as artsy as posters. Sure, most posters won’t cost you more than a couple of dollars. However, in case you are looking to purchase them in bulk, having a budget can help you keep costs low. This is especially important if you are a business that is looking to mass-produce posters for advertising to customers – or even selling them. 

The same theory rings true in the case of prints. While some signed prints made on high-quality, premium papers can be notoriously expensive, it is best to stick to a budget. Of course, this may change if you come across a piece you truly love and wish to own! 


The differences between posters and prints are not many. However, these minor differences can be quite important, especially if you are trying to decide between the two options. 

Posters and prints have their respective places amongst consumers. As a consumer, it is crucial to gauge your requirements before deciding on the right poster or print to purchase. 

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide, and it helped you understand the minute differences between posters and prints. In case you have any other questions, please feel free to comment below and let us know. 

Until next time! 

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