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What should the dimensions of my poster be?

Most posters are 35”x48” (Sigma Psi), but some are larger (35” x 60” or even bigger).  You always need to make sure that your print size is 1" smaller than the width of the paper roll you intend to use.  So for a 44" roll, you should set that dimension to 43" or less, for the 36" roll, set it to 35" or less, but zero the margins in your page setup so you can use all of the space you have. The print processing system will automatically rotate your image to use the least paper possible.  Feel free to check with jpolk1 or mjones1 if you're worried about how something will print out.

Can I print personal work?

In short, you are not permitted to print personal work.  You may print anything that is for an academic purpose. Questionable documents require permission from jpolk1 or mjones1.

Can I print on poster board?

Generally no.  There is some Epson poster board that we can print on, but you would need to purchase the paper (See jpolk1 for details).

How do I design a good poster?

Take one of Doug’s (dwillen1) workshops, see this video (https://ensemble.swarthmore.edu/Watch/ScientificPosterDesign) and read Colin Purrington’s blog post on poster design.

What software should I use for creating a poster?

We recommend Adobe InDesign.  It's specifically designed as a page layout tool for manipulating (primarily) text.  Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are ok.  InDesign is better for text-heavy posters.  Illustrator is better for scalable graphic posters and Photoshop is best for photographic works. Though possible to use PowerPoint or Google Slides, we recommend against doing so -- those programs are for projected presentations and are very limited for poster work.

Why does my PowerPoint poster look funny?  

See above -- Microsoft doesn’t define the color space used in PowerPoint, so in order for a poster created in PowerPoint to look good, you need to follow several steps:

  1. Set the correct (usually 35" H x 48" W) page size in "page setup," then save it as a PDF.  
  2. Open the PDF with Acrobat.
  3. Send your poster to the printer using File > Print > set the correct print queue.
  4. In the print dialog box, under "Advanced," set the color space to Adobe RGB (1998).
  5. Check that the correct paper and ink are in the big printer.
  6. Release your poster to print at the release station.

Note: Laminated hard copies of the instructions, including relevant screenshots, are available in the Media Center.