I'm currently working on a DIN A0 poster (841x1189 mm) and I'm having trouble picturing how the poster will look like once it's printed. I have two monitors (~23" & ~21") and because they are obviously much smaller than the dimensions of the poster, I constantly see everything much smaller than it will be once it's printed. This leads to me making everything much larger than it should be and I'm struggling to get all my content on the poster (I know, less is more sometimes, but I've already taken out everything that's not absolutely necessary).

I know there is the Actual Size option in the view menu, but if I use that I only see a small excerpt of my poster at a time, so I can't really check if the proportions, margins et c. of all the elements on the poster are reasonable and if everything ties together as intended (Also, is the Actual Size actually the actual size? How would Illustrator even know how large my PnP monitor is?).

So what is a good way to estimate how large everthing needs to be and get a better grasp of the actual dimensions I'm designing? (Printing my mockup and refining it based on that is not and option.) I'm open to both logical/conceptual approaches as well as software tricks I can do within Illustrator. Bonus points if you can tell me how I can determine which point size my text needs to have to be readable from a certain distance (e.g. for my current project, headlines should be clearly readable from 3 meters distance, the copy from about 1 meter).


  • I don't really see what the problem is? Nobody designs an A0 poster on a screen big enough to see the whole A0 poster at its actual printed size.. and a 23" monitor isn't small. I regularly design A0 posters on a 13" MBP.
    – Cai
    Jan 17, 2016 at 19:03
  • This question should help with working out text sizes based on viewing distance.
    – Cai
    Jan 17, 2016 at 19:04
  • ..and this question should help with 'Actual Size'. (it's normally closer to 150% than the 100% Illustrator shows)
    – Cai
    Jan 17, 2016 at 19:06
  • Thank you both; I will make sure to read those questions! @CAI This is why I assumed there would be a solution to my problem :)
    – MoritzLost
    Jan 17, 2016 at 19:12


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.