How Your Grand Prix Poster Is Made

Original 1968 Monaco f1 grand prix poster
All our grand prix posters start by acquiring an original poster, mostly the original race day poster, but sometimes have to settle for later edition prints or lithographs made from the original printing plates. Part of the fun of collecting these vintage posters is tracking them down, usually waiting for them to come up at auction, but it is slow going especially as we try to get the more interesting posters from the 30's, 50's and 60's, where prices are in the hundreds and thousands of pounds. The one thing we don't do is buy other people's reproductions - 99% are very poor quality, usually scanned from pages in a book, postcard or race programme. These are far too small to scan with any detail and become a blurry, pixelated mess when blown up to poster size.So we only scan originals at 300dpi with a £2000 Epson Professional Flatbed scanner - digital SLR cameras are getting better but a flatbed scanner still produces sharper results. For the typical sized original poster we end up with an 100mb TIFF image file.

From Original To Canvas

Monaco 1968 poster as canvas print
To get from the original scan to a canvas ready for print we first add a 5cm(2") border to the original size and using the same techniques as vintage photo restoration fill in this 5cm with "new" poster. This 5cm border is what wraps around the sides of the frame when stretching the canvas. The "cheat" method you may have seen on some canvases for sale is to simply grab a 5cm strip of the original and flip it into the gap - sometimes works but mostly doesn't especially with strong diagonals or half a wheel. We take the hard road and do it properly.

One advantage of doing it properly is we can use the finished canvas version to crop the various size paper posters we do without distorting the image and can make borderless prints without any text being too close to the edge and possibly being hidden under a frame.

A few, mainly the photographic type posters are near impossible to make into canvases so we only offer those as prints or as floater framed prints.A further 5cm of border is added and left plain but with the "where to fold" marks added - this plain canvas wraps around the back of the frame where the staples go - not down the sides as some do.

64" of Epson's Best Large Format Printer - 11880

An Epson 11880 60" large format printer
All our paper posters and canvases are made to order by our local expert printers and professional framers, The Whole Picture Company also in Harrogate. They've recently upgraded their large format printer to this beast - £10,000 of Epson’s new 64 inch Stylus Pro 11880, perfect for proofing, photography, limited edition fine art print making, detailed colour maps and our grand prix posters.

In theory we could offer posters and canvases at 60"x90" - 5ftx7.5ft or 1.5mx2.25m, but blowing an image up this big would soften the detail if you stood too close - a framed canvas this big you'd have to stand 20 feet away to appreciate it, but if you have a need for posters this big, go to the contact us page and we will see what can be done. Shipping posters this size would be a major problem.

Into The HotPress

8ft x 4ft HotPress HPG560
Canvases and floater-framed posters are given an overlay film in this, a HotPress HPG560, which can take prints up to 50" x 98" - one of only two in the North of England.
The overlay film is only microns thick - thinner than human hair - and is bonded to the paper or canvas with heat & vacuum.
For canvases it protects the surface and gives a finish that can't be achieved by brushing varnish or other more usual treatments.

For floater-framed posters, the print is sandwiched between the film and a foamboard backing - the whole lot bonded together.
As we seem to be pricing up everything - one of these, £8000, but the main point is from start to finish we are using the best materials and equipment possible, not knocking them up on the kitchen table or having them made in some sweatshop in China for $1 each - they are handmade by craftsmen in the UK, the quality remains long after the price has been forgotten.

Floater Framed Poster

Floater Framed Monaco 1968 poster
Hopefully you can tell from the image on the left how the overlay film + poster + foamboard bonded sandwich sits in the lip on the front of the frame.

There is no glass on these types of frames, which not only makes an attractive alternative for framing posters but makes them much easier to ship - normally for the sizes we do they would have to framed behind acrylic instead of glass.

Also shown are the 6 available frame colours - left to right : White, Black, Natural, Gold, Silver and Darkwood. The frames are 50mm (2") deep. 

Floater frames are delivered in a strong box and are ready to hang straight on your wall.

Gallery Wrapped Stretched Canvas

Diagram of poster as stretched canvas
The frames for the stretched canvas are made from finger-jointed pine and has a special profile that is rounded where the canvas wraps around the edge and slopes away on the inside so it doesn't touch the canvas.

Finger-jointed pine is made from short lengths of pine of about 6" that is joined together like interlocking fingers - the grain is reversed on each piece, this prevents warping in different climatic conditions. The frame is 45mm (1.75") deep or nearly 50mm (2") once the canvas is wrapped round and finished.

The canvas is stretched around the frame and stapled at the back out of sight and finished with special Japanese picture tape and comes with wall fixings already attach.

These also come in a strong box and are ready to hang immediately.

Delivery And Shipping

If you have read the above you will have noted that all posters are made to order. Paper posters are normally dispatched within 5-10 business days, canvases and floater-framed posters within 7-14 business days. Usually it is quicker than this but for efficiency jobs are batched together - the printer might be printing canvas for 2 or 3 days before switching to paper or vice versa, sometimes the framers are busy with a large trade order, somebody is ill or on holiday.

Once dispatched paper poster in tubes for the UK are delivered in 1-2 days, Europe 4-5 day and the USA/Canada 7-10 days - it will probably be quicker but we have to allow for the odd Icelandic volcano exploding and disrupting things.

Stretched canvases and floater-frames sent in boxes by courier arrive a bit quicker, usually next day for the UK, 2-3 days to Europe and 3-4 days for the USA/Canada, volcanos aside, customs can sometimes delay deliveries, which we have no control over.

Express Option

At the Checkout we have an Express option, selecting this will make your order jump the queue for printing/framing basically halving the times above. For the actual shipping we upgrade where we can, i.e. Special Delivery instead of Recorded 1st class for the UK, AirSure for international orders.

If you need a poster quickly for a certain date then feel free to ask, we will try our best to get it to you on time.