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Tips for Printing a Poster for a Poster Session

Steve Rothman


I recently went out to find the best ways to produce posters for presenting at conferences and I thought it might be helpful to share this information with everyone. So here is the information I found regarding producing posters in terms of computer software and printing. All this stuff was obtained through emails and the U of O websites.

Printing and Software

There are two places to print posters on campus, the A&AA Computing Services and the Bio-Optics Lab. Both are reasonably priced at between $4 and $10 a foot depending on the type of paper. The Bio-optics lab also has a laminator for $4 a foot if you need it. The paper is on a roll, so it can be as long as you like, but the width can only be up to 36 inches at the Bio-optics lab and up to 42 inches at the A&AA lab. Both labs print in color.

A&AA lab:


The best way to prepare your poster is in a program that you are most comfortable with. They both suggest that you save your file as a PDF document when giving it to them. It is important to uncheck all layers and other options. In addition, images over 150 dpi don't print much better than 150 dpi, so reducing the resolution will reduce the processing time. Note that colors on the software will not always show up on the screen exactly right because computers use RGB system, while printers use CMYK. Avoid strange fonts and transparent colors, because they do not always work. For simplicity, it is possible to use PowerPoint and create one or two large slides that can be printed at 200% or as-is to the large print printers. It should be saved as a PDF, though, when providing the file to the printers. Most people know how to use PowerPoint, though, and it is pretty simple to learn, so it is commonly used by faculty to create these posters. Other programs could include Canvas, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.

Also, if you are interested, you can get design and presentation tips from these web sites (and about a thousand others searching Google):