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Information and Guidelines on Printing

Large format printing for maps and posters

Plain (Bond) $4 sq ft $6 sq ft
Matte Vinyl $6 sq ft $8 sq ft
Satin $8 sq ft $10 sq ft
Photo Gloss $8 sq ft $10 sq ft

Software and File Formats

Microsoft Publisher is the recommended software platform for designing and submitting your poster. Adobe products such as InDesign or Illustrator are also good for design purposes but must be converted to PDF format before being submitted. Microsoft PowerPoint, although widely used, is discouraged for anything but the simplest poster designs as PowerPoint files frequently look different printed than they do on your computer screen. It is not uncommon for PowerPoint posters to print with missing graphics, mismatched colors or incorrect formatting. Publisher has a similar interface to PowerPoint and is included with the University licensed MS Office package installed on most campus computers as well as the computers in our lab, so we advise you to use it instead. Please email us if you plan on using any other format to make sure we have the ability to open it.

Formatting & Design

Posters must be no larger than 44 inches on one side. It is usually advisable to set the paper size to exactly 44" to avoid unnecessary cuts after it is printed. The second side can be either smaller or larger than 44", theoretically up to 100 feet. Remember when sizing your document that larger posters tend to be more difficult for viewers to navigate (in addition to being more expensive). Note that margins of 0.5 inch or larger are required on each side, so depending on your software you may need to set your page to 43" if it is measuring editable space rather than paper size (as in PowerPoint).

If you are using non-standard fonts be sure and enable "embedded fonts" in your poster file. If you cannot or do not know how to do this then make a copy of the font files you are using and bring them with you. In Windows your fonts are stored in a folder that is easily accessed from the Control Panel.

Other Tips

  • Don't attempt to 'up-scale' your graphics and photos. Printing pictures larger than they actually are will make your final product look pixelated or distorted.
  • Choose font sizes that can be read from about 4 feet away. Anything smaller than 20-point is probably too small, though obviously this depends on your needs.
  • Dark backgrounds are discouraged. Besides consuming very large amounts of ink, dark backgrounds may oversaturate the paper and cause it to wrinkle or smudge.
  • Always preview your poster on your screen at 100% and have a colleague proofread it before submitting. It is also a good idea to print a small copy on a regular color printer for proofing. Printing a full size draft copy is cost-prohibitive and we will have to charge for printing multiple copies due to design errors.
  • Our new printer's ink is pigment-based ink rather than dye based so colors fading over time is no longer an issue. The new ink is also much more resistant to moisture, though we don't recommend testing this (as it is still printed on paper).

Institutional Communications can provide high resolution UWF logos for use on posters.