5 Free Tools For Making Really Big Posters

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Some people call this “Artivism“. It can be seen as a form of graffiti. If done well, it’s high-impact, very effective, and also a form of non-violent civil disobedience.

P1080574_ANDREAMOSAIC_XNVIEW_4_I’ve seen large posters used in so many high-visibility locations: on walls, floors, doors, windows, roofs, factories, slums, windscreens, vans, buses, billboards, high-rise buildings, apartment blocks, car parks, bridges, walkways, subway stations.

Are you making a giant poster? Please consider sending me a photo or video

Tips and things to think about

  • If you are in hurry, the simple route is to use a free online service like Block Posters. Just upload, slice, generate, download as PDF pages and you are ready to print and go.
  • Black & White images are much cheaper to print and photocopy than color. You can always add some color with a spray can, jumbo marker, or tin of paint.
  • Pages you print need to be kept in numbered order so you know which tile (page) belongs where.
  • Assembling these giant images can be an event. You can even send the files to several different people for them to print and bring with them to the event. However, it’s a bit high-risk unless you know a lot of really great reliable people who are not accident-prone, tardy or forgetful.
  • Laser printed or photocopied images are more stable than ink/bubble jet but all prints will react with glue to some extent. Hi-tack Spray Adhesive from craft or hardware stores is super easy, white PVA glue is cheap and very effective, but wallpaper paste or even flour and water paste will do the job.
  • If using paste, do the surface first with a brush or roller, then add only a little paste to the back of the printed tile  to let it slide into place more easily.
  • If using spray glue, be aware of drift – especially from wind if outdoors – and that a fairly wide area will get sprayed however careful you are. Keep your tiles out of the area while spraying or it could go horribly wrong very fast.
  • Try to scope out the location before you select your image and adhesive, so you know what size you can use, how you will gain access, how you will leave (in a hurry if necessary) and most importantly – how you will reach the highest/furthest points and how well the adhesive will work.
  • Don’t be too fussy about small creases or bubbles when you are posting your image, especially if you are at risk of being shouted at (or worse!). The whole impact is only appreciated when viewed from a distance, the bigger the image, the greater the distance. So small problems are not so noticeable.

Links for the software are below this video example of large format fly posting from Egypt 17 December 2011


I’ve tried all Windows versions of these programs and checked the download links, but I have not tried PosteRazor for Mac. They are all fun and quite easy to use with a little practice and some trial and error.

Rasterbator (BoxNet download) is the easiest of them all. Works just like Block Posters but you can change the colour of the dots and use more trial and error to get the image the way you want it. It’s a lucky find because the two websites I knew of where this used to be available were taken offline.

PosteRazor for MAC users (SourceForge download) Just like Block Posters online or Rasterbator for widows, this cuts a raster image into pieces which can afterwards be printed out and assembled to a poster.  The resulting poster is saved as a multi-page PDF document. An easy to use, wizard like user interface guides you through 5 steps.
Birdbrain on Posterazor

See this link for versions in Czech, German, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Dutch/Belgian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

REQUIREMENTS: PC / Intel, Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

Andrea Mosaic (Download from website) is free for personal or commercial use but the license requires that you make AndreaMosaic more popular by giving a reference/credit to AndreaMosaic.

Just download and run the preferred setup file (Windows, Mac, and Linux using Wine emulator). It will install and run the program. To create a mosaic follow the tooltips inside AndreaMosaic. I’ve used this very successfully for a number of projects. See the User Manual in various languages:

Textaizer 2.2 (BoxNet download) is a text mosaic creator. Limitless painting with text to create surprising photorealistic effects. With Textaizer you can make great fun effects from pictures by repainting the picture from text. This is also known as ASCII art, but more versatile because you can use your own text (song lyrics or Shakespeare, whatever you like). Genuine ASCII art can also be generated. Textaizer is freeware from the makers of Mosaizer.

  • Released: 2008-02-15
  • License: Free
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Vista, Windows
  • Requirements: 1.4 GHz CPU, 256MB RAM, 10 MB Hard disk
  • Install and Uninstall functions included
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