NC State University
Poster Printing

The Department has two large format printer in Gardner Hall and Grinnells Laboratory. The printers are available to everyone in the department for preparing posters for meetings and other presentations. These printers can be high maintenance items particularly when too many people operate them. As a result, we have established a policy in-line with that used by CALS for its large format printers in that the actual operation of the printer is restricted to a group of approved individuals.

The following people will work with you to prepare your poster:

Name Printer Location Phone No. Email address
Steve Denning Grinnells Lab 515-1663 steve_denning@ncsu.edu
Paul Labadie Gardner Hall 515-1662 paul_labadie@ncsu.edu
Dan Mott Gardner Hall & Grinnells Lab. 515-8877 dan_mott@ncsu.edu
Rick Santangelo Gardner Hall 515-1820 rick_santangelo@ncsu.edu
Mike Waldvogel Gardner Hall 515-8881 mike_waldvogel@ncsu.edu

Posters can be printed to a maximum of 56” length in either 36” or 42” widths. We usually have 42” wide paper loaded on the printer. In order to cover the cost of printer maintenance and supplies, there is a user fee of $1.00/sq. ft. of printed poster. This translates to $3.50 per linear foot of 42” wide paper. Users from outside the Entomology department will be charged $5.00 per linear foot. The table at the end of this memo shows the costs for different lengths of poster.

Note: CALS maintains large format printers in 1400 Williams Hall which is accessible from the small courtyard facing Yarbrough Drive (i.e., the railroad tracks). Those printers are free to authorized student users only for printing two drafts and one final copy for each poster sheet. After using your free allotment, you must use the Grinnells printer or another campus fee-based printers. As with our printer, the use of the Williams Hall printer is requires and appointment and they recommend you contact them three business days in advance. Please consult the following web site:
http://harvest.cals.ncsu.edu/caat/index.cfm?pageID=781

 

DEPARTMENT POLICY FOR USING LARGE FORMAT PRINTER

  1. Priority for use of the printer is for Entomology personnel. As noted previously, users from outside the department will be charged a higher production fee. Please bear in mind that the designated operators have other work responsibilities to their respective supervisors and research programs. We cannot impose on them by turning this into a college–wide accessible facility.
  2. Hours of Operation: The printer is available Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm unless you make special arrangements with one of the designated operators. We will leave such arrangements to you, the designated operator and their supervisors.
  3. Reservations for printing must be made 48 hours in advance. During peak periods of use, we encourage you to make your reservations at least 72 hours in advance. Please allow two hours for completion of the poster and to make sure the ink has dried.  We are not responsible if you decided to move the poster too soon and the ink smears.
  4. At this point, only PowerPoint ® Presentations or PDFs are accepted for printing.  You can try a large jpg or TIFF image, but it may not print as seen on the computer monitor (bitmapping may occur). A set of recommended guidelines for preparing your PowerPoint file are included below.
  5. Please bring the following items with you for your appointment:
    • Your poster file stored on a USB "thumb drive" or a CD (please test the CD’s readability before you bring it over to the facility).
    • The FAS account number to which your want the printing costs charged. Billing will be done monthly. NOTE: Many 5-accounts do not allow charges for producing graphics. Please make sure that the account you plan to use can be billed for such charges.
    • We recommend you bring a cardboard or plastic storage/mailing tube or plastic trash bag to protect your finished poster when you take it from the building
       
  6. The Designated Operator assisting you will open your PowerPoint file on the computer. Both of you will preview the document’s format to make sure that it will print properly and appear as you expect. Please review your poster carefully before your appointment so that time is not wasted unnecessarily with making corrections. You are responsible for the poster’s content and layout (follow the enclosed recommended Poster Design Tips).
  7. Once you are satisfied with the document’s appearance, you will then approve printing by the Designated Operator.
  8. Reprinting of flawed posters. If a poster has to be reprinted because of typographical or formatting errors found after you approved printing, you will be charged for all copies produced. There will be no charge for posters that are unusable due to flaws resulting from software or hardware problems or from operator error.
  9. The ink dries fairly quickly, but that depends on factors such as your poster background (i.e., white color versus something that uses a mix of colors). Also, please check your poster carefully before you handle or roll-up the poster in order to avoid smudging it. And remember - this is a shared facility. Space is limited and the room must be kept uncluttered. Do not plan on leaving posters in the room overnight.
  10. Laminating - We do not have equipment for laminating posters. WolfXpress next to the Atrium Food Court can laminate posters of 36" x 108".  FedEx/Kinko’s at 2712 Hillsborough Street (across from Scott Hall).  You may want to call there first (919-832-4533 ) to confirm that they can laminate the poster in the time you require. There are other companies in Raleigh that offer this service (at a significant cost).

RESEARCH POSTER DESIGN TIPS

The following information was adapted from the CALS-IT Website: http://www.ncsu.edu/project/posters

A successful poster will attract the reader's interest, summarize the information and encourage discussion. To be effective it needs to be visually dynamic, holding the attention of your reader long enough to communicate your message. The main advantage of a poster is that it is available for extended periods of time, allowing readers to browse through the materials at their own pace and revisit the display. It also frees the presenter to answer questions and discuss the details of the poster.

There are several limitations of a poster display that should be considered. These include the physical restrictions on space, limiting the length and width of the poster. Also, there may be a number of posters presented at the same time, each competing for the viewer’s attention. As the poster's message becomes familiar, it quickly loses its ability to catch and hold the attention of the reader.

You will have the best chance of attracting the interest of your audience if:

  • The lettering is large enough to be legible.
  • The display is attractive and has a professional finish.
  • The content is well structured and easy to follow .

Points to consider when creating a poster

  • Most people tend to skim a poster. They first look at the title and the pictures. Only then might they try to read the rest of the poster if they think the material is interesting.
  • The relationship between text and graphics is especially important. The text should be placed so that the reader can read it systematically.
  • Posters incorporate visual combinations of images, lines, color and words. The basic elements of a poster are the main heading, supporting text and visuals.
  • The main heading should be brief, to the point, and designed to capture interest. Using a simple font ranging from 140 to 200 point sizes (about 2 inches high) is recommended. For maximum legibility, use capitals with lowercase lettering.
  • Visuals are the focal point of a poster. Photographs, illustrations, diagrams and charts can all present the same information in different ways. Labels must be close to any diagrams.
  • Selective use of color enhances a poster. Colored boarders, bullets and blocks serve to draw attention to specific details.
  • If the poster is to be used a number of times, it can be laminated in clear plastic for protection.
  • Research posters are meant to be a synopsis of your work. Try to limit your text to the most important points.
  • It is recommended that the poster have a header that includes the name of the student(s), the name of the university and department. Where appropriate, you should acknowledge the funding agency.
  • While the layout and design of the poster is up to you, the first element in your display should contain the title of your project, a list of all project collaborators, and an abstract .

Simple Checklist for Design

Have you...

  • Used visuals whenever possible to illustrate ideas
  • Presented a single concept with each visual
  • Broken down complex visuals into simpler ones
  • Chosen visuals because they add information
  • Eliminated distracting backgrounds
  • Avoided centering every element on the display
  • Used graphs to present data
  • Used bold, plain typefaces for headings
  • Avoided using more than two different typefaces
  • Used italics, bold, underlining or color for emphasis
  • Used capitals and lowercase lettering.
  • Used the brightest and lightest color to focus attention on important elements
  • Used lettering and visuals that contrast with background color
  • Used consistent background colors in a series of posters
  • Limited the number of colors on each poster
  • Made the design as simple as possible
  • Made sure your elements appear balanced
  • Made sure it is legible. If the audience can't read it, don't use it

TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF POSTER DESIGN

General Information

  • PowerPoint is currently the only recommended software for poster design.
  • Open a blank presentation and set slide size to desired finished product. Paper size limits one dimension to either 36” or 42”, so set the other dimension to the necessary size (e.g., 48”x42”, 48”x36”, 56”x42”, etc.). You can use smaller dimensions then increase print size to 200%, but you will likely lose resolution and quality of the poster.
  • Use a 2” margin; 1” is the minimum margin, but you may run into format/printing problems.
  • If you make changes to your file before printing, save the file under a different name. Always preserve your original file in case you need to revert to it. Keep a backup copy of the file stored on another disk and/or hard drive.

Graphs

  • Imported graphs cannot be edited in PowerPoint. Be sure that the graph is correct before importing.
  • Graph titles and axis titles cannot be resized once imported into PowerPoint. If you need to make corrections, use the original graphics program to edit the figure and then import the revised graph.

Pictures

  • Scanning resolution should be between 150 and 300 dpi. Lower resolutions will result in poor quality images, particularly when printed. Higher resolutions do not produce noticeably better images but they will increase the PowerPoint file size and may make it more difficult to manage.
  • Pictures must be sized prior to importing into PowerPoint. Once in PowerPoint, resizing pictures may result in a visually acceptable format but it will print in the original, uncropped proportions. 
  • Do not try to enlarge a graphic beyond its original size or it will pixelate which negatively impacts on appearance on a poster.
  • Do not place text boxes, graphics, etc over the slide edge.

Sample Layouts


 

POSTER PRINTING CHARGES

Poster Length

Printer Paper Size

Poster Length

Printer Paper Size

Inches

Feet

36" paper

42"paper

Inches

Feet

36" paper

42"paper

        1

 

$0.25

$0.29

       55

 

$13.75

$16.04

        2

 

$0.50

$0.58

       56

 

$14.00

$16.33

        3

 

$0.75

$0.88

       57

 

$14.25

$16.63

        4

 

$1.00

$1.17

       58

 

$14.50

$16.92

        5

 

$1.25

$1.46

       59

 

$14.75

$17.21

        6

0.5

$1.50

$1.75

       60

5.0

$15.00

$17.50

        7

 

$1.75

$2.04

       61

 

$15.25

$17.79

        8

 

$2.00

$2.33

       62

 

$15.50

$18.08

        9

 

$2.25

$2.63

       63

 

$15.75

$18.38

      10

 

$2.50

$2.92

       64

 

$16.00

$18.67

      11

 

$2.75

$3.21

       65

 

$16.25

$18.96

      12

1.0

$3.00

$3.50

       66

5.5

$16.50

$19.25

      13

 

$3.25

$3.79

       67

 

$16.75

$19.54

      14

 

$3.50

$4.08

       68

 

$17.00

$19.83

      15

 

$3.75

$4.38

       69

 

$17.25

$20.13

      16

 

$4.00

$4.67

       70

 

$17.50

$20.42

      17

 

$4.25

$4.96

       71

 

$17.75

$20.71

      18

1.5

$4.50

$5.25

       72

6.0

$18.00

$21.00

      19

 

$4.75

$5.54

       73

 

$18.25

$21.29

      20

 

$5.00

$5.83

       74

 

$18.50

$21.58

      21

 

$5.25

$6.13

       75

 

$18.75

$21.88

      22

 

$5.50

$6.42

       76

 

$19.00

$22.17

      23

 

$5.75

$6.71

       77

 

$19.25

$22.46

      24

2.0

$6.00

$7.00

       78

6.5

$19.50

$22.75

      25

 

$6.25

$7.29

       79

 

$19.75

$23.04

      26

 

$6.50

$7.58

       80

 

$20.00

$23.33

      27

 

$6.75

$7.88

       81

 

$20.25

$23.63

      28

 

$7.00

$8.17

       82

 

$20.50

$23.92

      29

 

$7.25

$8.46

       83

 

$20.75

$24.21

      30

2.5

$7.50

$8.75

       84

7.0

$21.00

       $24.50

      31

 

$7.75

$9.04

       85

 

$21.25

$24.79

      32

 

$8.00

$9.33

       86

 

$21.50

$25.08

      33

 

$8.25

$9.63

       87

 

$21.75

$25.38

      34

 

$8.50

$9.92

       88

 

$22.00

$25.67

      35

 

$8.75

$10.21

       89

 

$22.25

$25.96

      36

3.0

$9.00

$10.50

       90

7.5

$22.50

$26.25

      37

 

$9.25

$10.79

       91

 

$22.75

$26.54

      38

 

$9.50

$11.08

       92

 

$23.00

$26.83

      39

 

$9.75

$11.38

       93

 

$23.25

$27.13

      40

 

$10.00

$11.67

       94

 

$23.50

$27.42

      41

 

$10.25

$11.96

       95

 

$23.75

$27.71

      42

3.5

$10.50

$12.25

       96

8.0

$24.00

$28.00

      43

 

$10.75

$12.54

       97

 

$24.25

$28.29

      44

 

$11.00

$12.83

       98

 

$24.50

$28.58

      45

 

$11.25

$13.13

       99

 

$24.75

$28.88

      46

 

$11.50

$13.42

    100

 

$25.00

$29.17

      47

 

$11.75

$13.71

    101

 

$25.25

$29.46

      48

4.0

$12.00

$14.00

    102

8.5

$25.50

$29.75

      49

 

$12.25

$14.29

    103

 

$25.75

$30.04

      50

 

$12.50

$14.58

    104

 

$26.00

$30.33

      51

 

$12.75

$14.88

    105

 

$26.25

$30.63

      52

 

$13.00

$15.17

    106

 

$26.50

$30.92

      53

 

$13.25

$15.46

    107

 

$26.75

$31.21

      54

4.5

$13.50

$15.75

    108

9.0

$27.00

$31.50