Consider possible locations for your pumpkin. On a front porch you may have space for a pair of large pumpkins or a trio of small, medium, and tall sizes. Smaller pumpkins can be a better fit for mantels, stairways, or windowsills.
You'll want to select a pumpkin with at least one good side if it will be placed against a wall. All sides should be presentable if the pumpkin will be used in a table centerpiece.
It is generally simpler to carve pumpkins with a smooth, hard surface.
The style of your carving pattern should help determine what shape pumpkin to purchase. Smiling faces and designs with carved wording fit easily on large round pumpkins. Look for tall, narrow shapes to add variety or create spookier face designs.