Shipping posters rolled up in tubes is the best way to protect them during shipping.
Your poster has arrived and it's just as beautiful as you expected it to be. Isn't that exciting? The only thing left to do is to flatten it safely so that you can hang it on your walls.
So how do you flatten a poster which has been rolled?
Pro tip: if you're not in a hurry, let your poster sit convex side up on a flat surface and gravity will flatten it down. The larger the poster, the faster it will work as a large poster is heavier than a small one and the weight of the paper will pull it down faster.
This can still take a few days though so if you're in a hurry, let's share some faster methods.
Method 1: Pressing
Here's our preferred way to flatten your rolled up poster without damaging it.
1. Select a smooth flat surface on which you can leave the poster undisturbed for a couple of hours. A table is perfect.
2. Your poster came rolled into a sheet of tissue paper. Spread that sheet onto your flat surface and position your poster on top, convex side up.
3. Fold the tissue paper over the front of the poster to protect the print and smooth it down. If the tissue paper sheet is too small, which can happen with very large posters, you can use clean white paper sheets or tissues over the surface to protect the print.
4. Place a heavy book on top. A single book works fine for a small poster but for larger posters, you might want to use a couple of large books.
5. Let gravity work its magic for an hour of two.
Method 2: Hanging
Another less well-known method is to use a magnetic poster hanger, even if it is only temporary. You can always choose to frame your print differently later on.
Hanging the print from the top and letting gravity straighten it works perfectly well, provided that the fixtures used to hold the print do not damage the paper.
Magnetic poster hangers are perfect for that as they do not leave marks on the paper, contrary to clips. If you add the bottom bar as a counterweight, your poster will flatten faster but it also works with only the top hanger, it will only take more time.
Other methods exist, which involve rolling the poster in the opposite direction to counteract the curvature or misting the back of paper to make it more pliable. These methods work but they are a little more fiddly in terms of not damaging the printed side so we won't focus on them here.