vistaprint poster review

Vistaprint Poster Printing: My Review + 25% Off Coupon

vistaprint coupon logo blueVistaprint Posters Coupon + Review: So, a lot of the reviews out there were written in haste by people who never used Vistaprint, but will make a buck if you click on their site. I decided to put my money where my mouth is and have a poster design printed through Vistaprint, and share the results.

If you are just here looking for a coupon, and don’t care to read my review, no offense. Here’s the best available coupon for posters:


vistaprint poster sample

Vistaprint Poster Printing Review:

This year I was once again tasked with the job of creating an 11×17″ poster design for our town’s annual “Music In the Park” fundraising event.

This is what you’d call a “labor of love” as designing and printing the poster usually takes me three days of work, and I always exceed the $100 budget that I’m given to print 50 posters. Any money spent above that comes directly out of my pocket, so it’s in my interest find the best price and quality for 11×17″ posters.

Instead of using the guy at the print shop down the road who does me a favor to only go $50 over budget, I’m using Vistaprint this year.

Using Vistaprint for Printing Posters

So, the hard part was designing these things, which can take me a long time. I’m not a perfectionist in many areas of life, but I truly invest myself in anything that I call my “design,” especially when it’s displayed publicly all over town. So, that’s one of the reasons I can’s mess this up.

My first thought was to have my poster design printed at the Staples down the road. One quick call, and I realized that printing 50 of these color posters at 11×17 inches was going to cost me over $250 dollars. Not an option.

Next thought: Vistaprint. I’ve had a number of things printed by them, and have always been happy, so here goes.

How Much Do 11×17 Posters Cost at Vistaprint?

vistaprint coupon logo blueA quick search through this week’s Vistaprint coupons and I found a code for 40% off all poster printing. Woo hoo! A quick estimate, and I realized that with shipping and premium poster cardstock these 11×17 posters would cost me about $2 each if I printed 50. If I had only needed 20, they would have cost about $3 each.

Larger sizes cost more, smaller posters cost less. The more you have printed, the lower the price per piece.

My Review for Vistaprint Posters: 11×17, 16×20, 18×24, or 22×28″

Here’s my poster design: (digital file)

final poster for music in the park vistaprint

So, I had a complete design, so I ignored the design templates that they offered and chose the “upload your own design option.” Be sure to download their free poster design template for the best results.

The design templates ensure that you have the correct color setup (CMYK) and a high enough resolution design. (175 dpi)

Vistaprint offers full-bleed printing, which means they print right up to and over the edge if you’d like ensuring that you don’t have an unwanted white border anywhere. Their design template (Photoshop) inculdes guides that show you where the safety zones are so that a tiy shift in printing doesn’t give you unexpected results or cut off your design.

After the easy file upload VIstaprint walks you through a few screens including a virtual preview of your design which you have to sign off on. (look for misspellings or unexpected cropping here) Looks good on-screen, but as you can tell, my poster has a lot of little details like a vintage effect (fine scratches) as well as color gradients, which made me nervous.

A poorly printed gradient can print out in ugly bands of color, like my cheap inkjet printer would do. Let’s hope this goes well!

I chose to upgrade to premium 80-lb cardstock instead of the thin glossy paper that is the cheapest option. I’m hanging these posters around town, so I want them to be sturdy! The premium cardstock added about $1 per print.

Ok, all looks good. Time to choose my shipping option.

Vistaprint Poster Shipping: How Long Does It Take?

Normally I am a procrastinator, but I didn’t need these posters in my hands for another 2 weeks, so I chose economy shipping which was estimated to take almost 2 weeks, but it’s much cheaper.

*Tip: If you are a new customer, there is often a coupon available for free shipping!

Turns out the posters arrived exactly 7 days after I placed the order and used economy shipping! Maybe shipping speed varies by location and product, but I got my posters in half the time estimated. Glad I didn’t spend twice as much for expedited delivery!

Using a Promo Code at Checkout for Posters

I had copied down a coupon code for 40% off posters before starting my order, so now is the time to enter it at checkout. As promised, the code delivered and gave me a 40% discount. Wow! That’s now much less than half the price of printing 11×17 posters at Staples!

If you have any issues using a promo code, make sure it’s not just for new customers, or try another code. I update the Vistaprint coupons on this site every day or two.

*Tip: After I placed my order, Vistaprint gave me the option to double the number of posters printed at an 80% discount. That would mean I could add 50 more for a total of $19 more. I didn’t think I needed another 50, but it was tempting!

Vistaprint 11×17 Poster: My Review – GREAT Discount Custom Poster Printing Online!

vistaprint poster review

WOW! My crappy iPhone 5 photo doesn’t do these posters justice. Bright colors and sharp lines! I’m so happy with how these posters turned out!

The premium 80 pound glossy paper (cardstock) is really sturdy. I originally wanted to print these with a matte finish, but that wasn’t an option. I’m really happy with the glossy result!

As I mentioned, these shipped really quickly, and I got them in a week (6 business days) even with the cheapest shipping available.

Vistaprint posters Are Not Exactly the Stated Sizes / Dimensions

*Note: The Vistaprint 11×17 posters are not exactly 11×17. They are slightly larger, measuring about 0.25 inches larger on each dimension. (About 11.25 x 17.25″) If you are just tacking these up somewhere, this probably doesn’t matter. However, this was annoying when I bought 11×17″ frames and had to trim about 1/8 of an inch from all 4 sides!

Vistaprint Poster Review Conclusion

I will be using Vistaprint again for 11×17 posters, as this is a great size for small business marketing, advertising events, concerts, etc. _ The same process and quality is, of course, available at larger sizes like 16×20, 18×24, and 22×28.

You can also check reviews directly on the Vistaprint site for other people’s experience with printing posters and honest reviews.

Why the negative reviews on Vistaprint.com? From what I can tell the most common reason for bad reviews was that people probably didn’t use their design template. This resulted in low resolution photos and text, or posters being cropped in unexpected ways. If you don’t use their template, your also likely to have saved your design as RGB (red, gren, blue) instead of the recommended CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color setup, which it is printed with.

Keep in mind that when someone has a bad experience, they are much more likely to write a review! But, doing your homework and reading all the reviews that you can will help you to not make the same mistakes. Vistaprint seems to always offer disgruntled customers credit to redo their order, regardless of who is at fault.

Here’s my final printed 11×17 poster one more time. I threw a quarter in there for scale.

vistaprint 11x17 poster print

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