Poster Care Instructions
The Dos and Don'ts of Preserving An Autographed Poster
An autographed poster is like a buried treasure. There isn't a lot out there and the few that there are remain pretty rare. So if you get lucky enough to get your hands on one, make sure to take good care of it! Your aim ought to preserve it as best as you can. You may think stuff like posters can last a long time, but if you're not careful, they can easily get ripped, get dirty, or fade away. Time isn't so merciful to posters if you get a really good one, especially a really rare one, not to mention it's autographed, then here are the dos and don'ts on preserving them.
Frame The Poster
The most common way to preserve an autographed poster is to frame it. Just like the paintings in the Louvre or the Met, your poster will remain untouched if it's framed. There are no risks of ripping and fewer for the autograph to fade away. You'll even find it easier to display it too. You can enjoy the poster in its full glory when you frame it and hang it up on the wall. So make sure to go for good ones that are neat and sturdy. The type that, even when there's an earthquake, your poster will still be safe and sound!
Store it in a Sleeve
Another good option is to store your signed poster in a sleeve. There's a thing called an acid-free sleeve, made out of plastic-free materials such as polyethylene or polyester, that's perfect for preserving your memorabilia. You don't even have to fold or roll it up to store it inside. All you have to do is to carefully store it and keep it in a nice and safe place. It may not be as secure as when you frame it, but it's still a great alternative. At the very least, you'll also get to save more space with acid-free sleeves compared to if you frame your posters.
Get It Laminated
You may think that getting your poster laminated is the same thing as storing it in an acid-free sleeve but it's not. For one thing, the former is more permanent. Once you get your autographed poster laminated, you won't ever get to remove it. If you try, you risk ruining your memorabilia inside. And if that's the case, why is this still a good option to preserve your autographed poster? Simple—it's sturdy! Getting your poster laminated isn't the most ideal, sure, but there's no denying that it does the job of protecting and preserving the poster inside well.
Go for A Tube
Now this one's a little tricky. If you store your signed poster in a tube, there's no denying that it will preserve it for as long as it can. It's also great for storing posters together. Just put them all in tubes and place them in a locked room. There's no way your posters won't last this way! In fact, film museums and archives probably do this with their own posters and other important documents too. The only problem is when you take the poster out. If it's been rolled up for a pretty long time, you're gonna need more than iron to straighten it out.
Put it Inside A Box
If all these other options are too expensive for you, your best bet is to store your autographed poster in a box and shove it inside your closet. It might still get dusty and there's no telling how well-preserved it'd end up after some time, but rest assured, it's way better than just leaving it lying away somewhere. Just like how you'd do your old documents, old photos with no albums, and more, securing your poster in a nice box and placing it in a safe storage space isn't a bad idea.
If you think movie posters will last a long time no matter what you do, you're wrong. There are many ways that can ruin them if you're not careful. Especially if you do any of these.
Folding The Poster
If you want your autographed poster to look pristine even after a decade or two (or more!), then don't fold them. You're thinking that a good way to store it is to fold it up and put it inside a cabinet, aren't you? Well, it's not! While it may not rip or fade away inside a file cabinet, you will be left with many creases that are hard to take out. Even if you iron the poster, it still won't look as good as when you first got it. So please, don't fold your poster if it's not necessary.
Letting It Stay Out in The Open
Getting blown away, getting wet, someone accidentally stepping on it—these are just some of what may happen to your autographed poster if you just let it out in the open. Sure, on its own, the poster might seem fine now. But you never know what outside forces could do to it. Wind can easily pick it up, blow it to the street, and a passing car will rip it to shreds. And that's just one scenario. By just leaving it out there, your poster can also be exposed to fire, rain, animals with sharp claws, and more. Treat your signed memorabilia with utmost care if you want to preserve it!
Posting it On The Wall
What do you do with a poster? Post it on the wall, duh! That is what they're for, right? For the most part, this is true. However, if we're talking about a rare movie poster signed by a celebrity, then this is the last thing you want to do. If you want to proudly display the poster, frame it first before hanging it on the wall. Or you can put it in an acid-free sleeve and display it on the table. Simply posting it on the wall without any sort of protection won't preserve it at all. On the contrary, you're leaving it just as exposed as ever!
Placing The Poster Where Kids Can Reach
Let's face it: kids are precious memorabilia's worst enemy. And your autographed poster is precious memorabilia! So don't just leave it somewhere your infant child or precocious toddler can get their hands on it. They won't care that it cost you an arm and a leg to buy it, they'll rip it to shreds without a second thought. Not before drilling on it and biting it first, of course. And when they do, is it their fault? No! It's yours! You should have known better not to make such treasured pieces reachable to young tots!
Not Wearing Gloves When Handling It
You should treat autographed posters like historic relics. After all, they are exactly that! Signed by the most famous people of their time, it's practically a memento of a moment in show business. And just like how the museum curators do it, you need to handle your posters with gloves. Particularly the older ones. If you score a well-preserved movie poster from the 1930s or 40s, it'll be the most delicate thing you'll ever touch. Even if you washed your hands, holding the poster without gloves can still leave a nasty mark. So just wear protective gloves when you handle it!