The problem with collecting posters is that since they are made of paper, they can easily rip and get damaged. Learn how to preserve your posters properly, particularly the older ones, if you want to improve the longevity of your collection. Protecting your posters also keeps them more presentable for everyone to see.
Store posters rolled up in acid-free tubes. These tubes are available in home improvement stores or through photography shops. You must use acid-free tubes, particularly when storing vintage posters, to keep them from fading or becoming discolored. When you roll each poster, put the print side on the inside. Secure it using museum tape.
Alternatively, you can keep posters in acid-free sleeves, envelopes in which you can store your poster flat. If you have a lot of storage space, it’s better to store them this way rather than rolled up.
Frame the poster. Light is one of the worst enemies of paper, so make sure you purchase a frame that comes with Plexiglas or ultraviolet(UV)-resistant glass. This will help maintain the original color of the paper and the quality of the poster. Also make sure that the matting and backing for the frame are acid-free. Regular matting will not work with posters because it tends to cause discoloration and further damage to the image.
If you’re protecting inexpensive posters like those in children's playrooms, use clear contact paper to cover them. Cut the cardboard so that you provide for at least an inch of allowance on all sides. Stick the poster onto the cardboard’s surface with the use of transparent tape. Cover the surface with contact paper, and cut to size. Use a ruler to smooth the paper and remove bubbles.
Hang your posters away from direct sunlight or fluorescent lighting. Light will cause the color and image on the poster to fade, particularly if it is not protected by Plexiglas or any type of UV-resistant cover.
- Acid-free poster sleeves or tubes
- Frame with ultraviolet-resistant glass or Plexiglas
- Contact paper
- Museum tape
If you’re going to hang your posters, keep the frames from accumulating dust and dirt by wiping them regularly with a micro-fiber cloth.
Vintage posters need to be handled differently from regular posters. A lot of old posters have to be linen-backed before framing. For this, consider seeking the help of a professional.