Foam Core Boards: What to Do and What Not to Do

Written by Design, Large Format Printing, Printing, Trade Shows

Mounted poster on foam core board advertising retail store

Foam core boards are a lightweight material that’s thicker than paper and resemble styrofoam. The material is generally used in order to make a mounted poster. If you don’t know what they are, mounted posters are larger printed displays that are used to advertise, decorate, or organize various things. 

Mounted posters get its name from how the design is applied to the foam core material–they mount it. First, a graphic gets printed onto a regular poster (after accounting for bleeds so that important parts of the graphics aren’t lost).

Foam core board hung on living room wall
3D render of a blank canvas on grunge brick wall in room interior

Then, the poster is stuck onto a foam core board. This is done using an adhesive backing and very precise trimming so that the graphic looks as though it was printed directly on the foam core board.

The result is a beautiful looking mounted poster that’s ready for use!

Safety First

However, while mounted posters made of foam core have so many uses, the foam core material can be a bit tricky. It’s so light that moving it isn’t difficult when it’s properly packaged. But that same advantage has a downside as well. Foam core boards are extremely delicate. Just because you can move it around easily doesn’t mean you should move it often.

When traveling with a foam core board, it’s very crucial that you keep an eye on it at all times. It can be damaged in a blink of an eye if you’re not too careful.

For example, let’s say you’re putting a lot of things together for an event in a car. You would not want to put the foam core board into the trunk of the car with your other things.

There are two things that you would want to do before stuffing the board in the car. First, secure the mounted poster with corner protectors. Next, place it in the front seat with ample space around it would be a much wiser option.

It’s also not recommended to bring a mounted poster with you on public transportation. If you’re taking a crowded bus or train, the commute will not be kind to your foam core board. Plus, other passengers may be irritated by the large size of your mounted poster taking up space in a bus or a train that’s already limited in space. 

Because foam core material is so fragile, even a soft hit to the board can be enough to leave noticeable damage onto the mounted poster, which may make it lose all its value! Using public transportation might make the board be susceptible to damage. If you’re not sure how crowded your commute will be, don’t risk it. 


Mounted posters on foam core boards require lots of caution when traveling
Blank white paper poster at tropical plank wooden floor and paper wall, Template mock up for adding your content,leave side space for display of product

If you’re transporting a poster mounted onto a foam core board, its best to make sure that you’re foam core board is packaged well. Corner and edge protectors are a mounted poster’s best friend since it’ll keep the board secure during your travels.

If you don’t have corner or edge protectors at the moment but need to take the mounted poster somewhere, don’t fret! You can cut a new garbage bag to wrap around the foam core board, then tape the edges of the bag together to neatly seal the board. Lastly, you can use the tape to make a handle for you to transport the foam core board. Now you can easily travel locally with your mounted poster!

Events and Businesses to Use Mounted Posters In

Foam Core board being used as a menu for a restaurant
Blank folded paper poster hanging on wooden wall,Template mockup for adding your design.

Mounted posters are great for essentially every business or organization! A business can use a mounted poster to promote a sale or a product. Hang them up in your store to grab your shoppers’ attention! 

A good idea is to hang the mounted posters from the ceiling to make use of your store’s space and prevent the store from crowding up. A mounted poster blocking your customers’ view of your products will do the opposite of advertising them!

Mounted poster categorizing books in a library

Another great way to implement mounted posters is to make them into organizing materials for your inventory. For example, libraries and bookstores can use mounted posters to label the genre of books in at each location, or the suggested audience for those books. Make the designs of the mounted posters fun to make more people inclined to check out your products!

Museums and pop up events go hand in hand with mounted posters! Not only can you use mounted posters to make breathtaking advertising material, but you can also print the artwork onto mounted posters. This makes the artwork more life and a new interpretation with the new medium of the artwork. 

Mounted posters are a great element to add to a presentation. It’s sturdy enough so that you won’t have a big hassle trying to hang it up somewhere as opposed to a poster printed on paper. Help your audience visualize your information with beautiful graphics printed on foam core so that you can give a presentation to remember!

Lastly, you can put mounted posters in theaters! Make use of the indoor platform to present movie titles in an interesting fashion. This will drive up the anticipation for these showings and get more people watching those movies!

Materials Similar to Foam Core

While foam core boards are amazing materials to use for promotional posters, they do have their risks. For a mounted poster printed on a more sturdy material, try out gator boards. Gator boards are more durable, making them less susceptible to damage when you travel using gator boards. Still, take caution when traveling with a mounted poster printed on gator boards because it’s not invincible!

For more alternatives to foam core mounted posters, check out other forms of large format printing! 

At Printleaf, we work with professionals in New York City. Our mission is to make your events, businesses, and offices look their best and attract more customers and clients. Looking to get custom mounted posters for a business or event in NYC? Come visit us in Midtown. If you need installation services for large format printing, check out our portfolio of installations we’ve done for large print jobs we’ve worked on!

Last modified: January 31, 2020

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