Printing a Poster at the IMB
About Poster Printing:
Printing an A0 poster at a printing place is typically hundreds of dollars, but we are fortunate
enough to have an A0 poster printer on Level 4 West available for use by IMB staff and students
for next-to-nothing. Most new students will, at some stage, need to make posters to for a scientific
conference and they should definitely read this document before they start!
How to Print Your Poster:
The printer is a: HP4000ps poster printer [see specs] and has been set up to print A0 on high
quality polypropylene paper or fabric (if you specify).
A print will cost $30.
To use this printer, you will need to do the following:
1. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (must be from an IMB email address)
2. In your email include the account code from which the $30 is to be
3. Indicate if you want it printed on paper or fabric. If you want to use fabric you should also
CC Greg Young because he will need to change the spool.
4. Attach an A0-sized PDF of your poster
The poster paper and fabric are both 920mm wide, but it’s best to set the height to 910mm (if you
are using landscape) to avoid cropping.
This service is not automated; it is using the good will of Desla Shand and Barbara Feenstra. It is
your responsibility to get the poster right - they are not a graphics print shop and can't fiddle with
the PDF (which is one reason why it costs $200 to print professionally).
Make sure you have the IMB logo on your poster! If the logo is missing they are not allowed to
Avoid disaster: don’t leave printing until the last minute. Unexpected graphics problems may not
be fixable by your deadline - and you may be competing for time with the 40 other people who
have left it to the last minute. You should aim to print your poster at least two weeks before you
How to Make Your Poster:
It is recommended that you use Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator to create the poster.
Canvas also works well apparently. PowerPoint is not a vector graphics package and advised
against for several reasons.
Adobe InDesign is definitely my favourite program for making a poster. Here is what to do:
1. Set up the page as 1200x910 mm and save it in a new folder called “poster”. Any images
you want to include in the poster you should take at the highest resolution possible, and
copy the folders into a "poster/import" folder in the same directory as the poster.
2. To place each images go: File >> Place… the image is now linked in, so don’t move the
image or the link will be broken.
3. Finish and save your masterpiece.
4. Once you are happy go File >> Export and export it as a PDF. You should make sure the
settings/"compression" is set to 600 dpi for the (linked) images and "output" set to
"Document CMYK - U.S. Web Coated"
5. Examine the PDF (sometimes CMYK can do some funny things with black) and it's should
be about ready to send to Desla for printing (see “How to Print Your Poster:” above).
The IT boys have provided several InDesign templates and extra instructions on using
InDesign on the HelpDesk site. See: http://helpdesk.imb.uq.edu.au/ then click Downloads
and then Posters.zip.
Adobe Illustrator is fundamentally very similar to InDesign, and so I *believe* you can get away
with using the instruction above!
Adobe Photoshop is not a program I’d recommend for making posters because it’s too fiddly and
produces a gigantic file. Photoshop is great for changing the contrast of your images (pictures of
cells etc), but if you make a 1200 × 910 mm with 600 pixel/inch directly in Photoshop it produces
an image 28,346×21,496 pixels and it will more than likely crash trying to save the file!
Microsoft PowerPoint is NOT recommended, but if you want to tempt fate here is what to do:
1. Go File > Page Setup and set your page size. Set your page size to a width of 910 and you
won’t have to crop the sides. (If the poster is in landscape height = 910mm). I recommend a
width of 910 mm and height of 1200 mm so you don’t have to crop the sides ().
2. Design your master piece.
3. Go File > Print and convert your PowerPoint file to a PDF using the operating system PDF
writer by selecting “Adobe PDF”.
4. Click the “Properties” button section and do the following:
a. Under the Layout tab, select “Advanced”.
b. Change the Print Quality to 300 dpi and the paper size to “Post Script custom page
size” Under this section make the page size 900 x 1200 and hit OK.
c. Under the Adobe Tab, change the default setting to “Press Quality”.
d. Hit OK twice and save the PDF file to the desktop (file name does not matter).
5. Open the PDF just created in Adobe Photoshop. It will ask you for input information. Use
the default, except change the 72 dpi resolution to 300 dpi and hit OK. This is best done on
a fast computer because Adobe Photoshop will take a while to import the file.
6. Once the file is open: if it is in landscape, rotate the file 90 deg under Image > Rotate
Canvas to make it portrait.
7. Go File > Save As, and save it as a TIFF. Keep the defaults and hit OK. Save it to a folder
on Transfers with your name and the account number in the title. You will be asked if you
wish to keep layers, as they will increase the file size. You want to keep them so select
YES. Your TIFF will take a while to save as it will be 400-600 Mb (that is big).
8. You then need to inform IMB reception of the file name, location, cost code and if you
want paper or fabric (see “How to Print Your Poster:” above). May the force be with you.
Paper vs. Fabric:
Fabric posters are fantastic because you can easily fold them up and store them in a plastic sleeve
in your suitcase. The disadvantages of fabric are: the image quality isn’t quite as good as paper, the
colours fade slightly over time and the edges tend to fray a little.
My advice would be: if you need to take the poster overseas go with the fabric to avoid having to
carry a cumbersome poster-case every-where you go. If you’re showing your poster locally and
have lots of images, print on paper for that extra sparkle. :-)
Either way I find it’s a good idea to add Velcro the back of poster (you can buy little Velcro sticky
things from Stores) so you don’t have to worry about pins.
Posters Presentation Ideas:
When it comes to presenting your poster her are a few ideas you might want to consider:
Pin up a piece of paper under your poster informing your audience of any other relevant
posters/talks at the same conference (e.g.: see also: wed 3:35, room b, brad marsh)
Print out some A4 colored copies of the poster and hang them in a plastic sleeve next to
your poster so people can take copies (but be sure to exclude any unpublished stuff)!
Take lots of business cards to give away! (maybe attach them in a little pouch).
Include a photo of yourself on / next to the photo, so people know who to talk to.
If you have some fantastic animations, no-one is stopping you from putting your laptop on
a chair to show them off during your presentation session, and I’ve even see people stick
small movie playing devices besides their poster.
Have an empty list of e-mail addresses where people can add their details if they want you
to send them a copy of your future papers.
You are likely to see lots of these clever little strategies at your first big conference. You’ll also
notice lots of people hang around long before and/or after their allotted sessions – and as long as
you’re not conflicting with the guy on your neighbouring poster there is really nothing wrong with
this! Have fun, and don’t be disappointed during quiet periods when no-one is talking to you. If
someone appears really interested in your work, make sure you exchange details/business cards…
you won’t have many chances like this to network with people from outside your institute so take
The major thanks go to Chris Barnett for his work obtaining, setting up and testing the printer (late
2005), and Greg Young for helping establish the option of printing onto fabric. Much of this
document has adapted from e-mails sent to “IMB-announce” by Greg Young and also Lindsay
Hood (both of who have since sadly left the IMB)… I’m just the dummy who put all the
information into a single document! :-)
I hope it helps you,
PS: For further help e-mail email@example.com