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FAQ: Formatting a presentation poster for print in the Digital Imaging Unit

What are the main formatting issues I should be aware of when designing a poster?

If you are designing a poster in PowerPoint you may find it helpful to check the size of your poster by clicking on File>Page Setup. The maximum dimension which can be printed in one direction is 43.5 inches (110 cm.) while there is no limit on the other dimension.

Please keep in mind that sometimes (rarely) Greek letters and other symbols created on one machine (or version of PowerPoint) are transformed into wingdings and other strange things on another machine, so please make a .pdf copy as a backup.

If you are using a program such as InDesign, the same dimensions apply and you may submit a .pdf file to print.

Preferred Software suggestions:
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop (resolution of at least 240 but not more than 300 ppi – save file as a tif – LZW compression)
CorelDraw (File>Publish to pdf, & in ensuing dialog, “Save Text as Curves”)

When incorporating graphics into your posters both PowerPoint and the Adobe Suite of applications can utilize the commonly used .eps vector format files and high resolution .jpg raster files. If possible, the best reproduction for the latter is at a resolution of at least 300 ppi in RGB format.

Please do not use Word, Visio, Pages or Publisher to create your poster if you wish to have it printed here.

To ensure you have the sharpest rendition of your faculty logo, please visit the Western Visual Toolkit and download the appropriate .eps file to insert it into your PowerPoint slide. Please note: These logos are intended for Western faculty and staff and require a valid Western ID to access. If you or your supervisor cannot access the graphic, please contact Mitch Zimmer.

What file formats can the Digital Imaging Unit print?

For posters, .pptx and .pdf files are the standard routine formats that are printed in the Digital Imaging Unit.

Common files such as .jpg, .psd, .png and other files recognized by the CC 2015 version of Photoshop may also be printed, but please keep in mind that for a sharp print, the resolution of the file should be set to at least 300 ppi in RGB mode.

What options are available for printing stock?

44-inch wide photo quality paper is the preferred medium in use within the unit, but 42-inch fabric is a printing option. The advantage of fabric is that the material can take a loose fold without any signs of wear and the matte finish doesn't show fingerprints. The disadvantage of fabric is that tight folds or kinks will leave creases and dents which can not be ironed out.

What are the typical sizes for posters and how much will it cost?

Printing is charged by the square foot and the printers can accomodate any custom size within limits of the chosen medium. Photo paper costs $7.00/ sq.ft. while fabric costs $11.00/sq.ft. Some of the most common poster sizes are listed below to act as a pricing guide. You may also download a presized PowerPoint template from the table below.

Length in. (cm) Display Height in. (cm) Square Footage Paper @ $7.00/sq.ft. Fabric @ $11.00/sq.ft. Pre-sized PowerPoint Template
36 (91.44) 24 (60.96) 6 $42.00 $66.00 36x24.pptx
36 (91.44) 36 (91.44) 9 $63.00 $99.00 36x36.pptx
43 (109.22) 36 (91.44) 10.74 $75.18 $118.14 36x43.pptx
48 (121.92) 36 (91.44) 12 $84.00 $132.00 36x48.pptx
56 (142.24) 36 (91.44) 14.01 $98.07 $154.11 36x56.pptx
40 (101.6) 40 (101.6) 11.09 $77.62 $121.99 40x40.pptx
42 (106.68) 48 (121.92) 14 $98.00 N/A 42x48.pptx
43.5 (110.49) 43.5 (110.49) 12.09 $84.62 N/A 43_5x43_5.pptx
Once the desired template is downloaded and opened in PowerPoint, you can change the orientation of the template from landscape to portrait (or vice-versa) by clicking on the "Design" tab and then clicking on the "Slide size" tab on the right side of the menu bar. Depending on the version of the program, you will either see "Custom Slide Size" or "Page Setup" in the drop down menu. Click on that and you should see choices for slide orientation.

Where can I find Western logos?

You may download a selection of Western logos from this PowerPoint slide ( logo-source.pptx ) any of which you may copy and paste and resize into the poster you are creating.

What are the Digital Imaging Unit's operating hours?

The unit is open Monday to Thursday and every other Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. While it is probable that walk-in traffic will be served in a timely manner, it is best to set up an appointment with Mitch Zimmer ahead of time to ensure that the printing process can be followed from beginning to end. You can see the availability of the unit by clicking here to view the schedule.

How do I submit a file to be printed?

You can bring both the .pptx and .pdf files in a USB thumbdrive to the Biological and Geological Science Building (BGS) room 2026 where we will review the final product before we print. Once you provide a speedcode or state a means of payment, the print process will start.

As we’re set up only for Western University speedcodes, to make an alternate form of payment I need to ask for a cheque made out to Western University or exact change for payment; regrettably we simply aren’t set up for debit/credit cards. No HST.

Alternatively, the file may be emailed to Mitch Zimmer with a note detailing the dimensions of the poster and a speedcode.

It usually takes just under an hour to print the average poster, however the number of print jobs in the queue that day determines the wait time. In times of high demand (such as a series of posters for a course) the turnover may be 24 hours.

If there are any further questions, please contact Mitch Zimmer at mzimmer4@uwo.ca