Materials and Examples
Materials are the number one thing that is going to affect your cost. A paper made out of alpha cellulose is going to cost much less than a paper made out of cotton, as it basically the same process by which we make standard printer paper. An example of a cheap poster paper made from alpha cellulose is Red River's 60lb Polar Matte paper. It's a high-grade photo paper with a matte finish and is thick enough that it won't crumple under its own weight. This type of paper is great for the standard promotional poster, or a poster that is hung in bedrooms and college dorm rooms. It'll last for years if protected from the elements, which makes it the cheep and cheerful choice for at-home projects.
If you're looking for something that is still reasonably priced, yet a step up in quality and appearance, you'll probably want to take a look at something like Canson's Edition Etching Rag. Rather thick and boasting a heavy texture, this poster paper is made from 100% cotton and is designed to showcase color as well as last much longer than a standard piece of paper, making them ideal for fine art or hanging posters outside for an extended period of time. Please note that this is an obvious step up in both quality and price, as it is meant to last for many, many years and have a superior look and feel to an alpha cellulose product.
Enjoy something a bit more glossy? What about something that falls between the cost, durability, and appearance of cotton and a cheaper matte alpha cellulose? MOAB offers up Lasal Photo Gloss, an alpha cellulose paper with a medium photo-grade thickness, a protective coating, an ultra-glossy finish, all for a middle-of-the-road cost, insuring that you won't break the bank while using it, but you aren't buying something too cheap. It also resists water and has a high brightness level, making for a brilliant display that can stand up to the elements for a while.