Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper (with videos!)

Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper

With so much of our time spent squinting at a small screen, one of the most exciting things about handling a newspaper is the scale. It's a BIG canvas for your creativity.

If you really want to make the most of the large-format pages of a tabloid or broadsheet, you can turn them into posters. It’s a fast, affordable way to supersize your illustration, photography or typography projects and turn them into something people can pin up on the wall to admire for months (or years!) to come.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to print a series of posters in a single newspaper. First, we’ll show you how to create a dummy mock-up of your newspaper, and then we’ll explain — with videos! — how to set up your PDF for print.

Before you get started, it’s useful to review our definitions for pages, spreads and sheets. And our free samples are good to have on hand, too – get yours below:

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Ok, now let’s make posters!

Create a dummy newspaper

A dummy is a physical mock-up of your design. It’s a simple way to experiment with different layouts and to help you visualise how your final newspaper will look in print. A dummy will also help you work out which pages make up the printer spreads (which we’ll discuss in the next section).

Making a dummy is easy. All you need is some paper and a pen! Here’s how to create your own in 6 steps:

1. Gather your paper. Any size will work. For this example, we're going to make a 12-page newspaper with 2 double-sided posters and 1 single-sided poster. For this we need 3 sheets of paper.

Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper

2. Sketch your designs. Sketch out a rough version of each poster design on the sheets. (Alternately, you can print your designs.)

Make sure you also sketch the back of each poster if you want to have any artwork or text on both sides. If you’re printing single-sided posters, leave the back of each sheet blank.

Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper

Now you should have a pile of sheets that are rough versions of the posters you want to order from Newspaper Club.

3. Gather your sheets together and fold them in half like a booklet. Now you have a dummy version of your newspaper!

4. Review your layout. Check through to make sure you're happy with the order of the sheets. If not, rearrange them until you are.

Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper

5. Number the bottom corner of every page. These numbers are the page numbers for your file. Page 1 in your dummy should look like page 1 in your file, page 2 should look like page 2, and so on.

Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper

6. Flip through your mock-up newspaper. You can see which page each part of each poster should be in your file. Now you can pull the paper apart and see which page each half of each side belongs on.

And that’s it — you've made your dummy newspaper! Next, we’ll show you how to get your PDF ready to print (keep your dummy handy as you do this.)

Get your PDF ready to print

Now that you’ve figured out the layout for your newspaper, you need to get your file ready to print. The easiest way to set up your file is to use our free InDesign templates.

In the example below, we’re using a tabloid template but the process is the same if you’re printing a broadsheet.

1. Set up your document with a spread (2 pages) for each poster, plus an extra 2 pages. The first and last pages in your InDesign document will always be stand-alone pages, not spreads — that's why you need the extra 2 pages. You can remove them later.

When you create your new document in InDesign, it will look something like this:

image 1-edit

2. Lay out each of your posters over a spread in InDesign. You can take apart your dummy and use the sheets as a guide to help you make sure your posters are oriented the right way. (Don’t worry about any blank pages at this point, you can add or remove them later.)

This is what how our posters look when we’ve finished laying them out in InDesign:

poster layout

3. Export your newspaper. Once you’ve laid out each poster, export your newspaper as a PDF. Remember to export it as pages, not spreads.

export pdf

4. Open your PDF in your PDF editing software. We’re using Acrobat Pro, but you can use any software that lets you move, add and delete pages.

5. Using your dummy as a guide, move the pages around so they’re in reading order. If you need to add or remove any blank pages, do this now. When you’re finished, the only place where two halves of one poster are next to each other will be the centre spread.

6. Check your PDF against your dummy again. When you flip through your dummy, the pages should match up exactly to what you see in the PDF.

This is how our PDF looks when we’ve finished rearranging the pages to match our dummy:

image 4-edit copy

Aaaand you’re done! Save your PDF and you’re ready to upload your file and send it to print.

If you’re not completely sure your file is set up correctly, you can always email us at support@newspaperclub.com and we’re happy to have a look.

Here’s how our example poster newspaper turned out in print:

Newspaper Club posters - Blog-8

Note: This advice is for printing posters in newspaper format and the posters will have a fold in the centre like the image at the top of this post. If you want to print individual flat posters on newsprint, this is also possible — get in touch with our team at support@newspaperclub.com to find out more.

Make your own newspaper with Newspaper Club. Print runs start at 1 copy!

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