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FAQ

We print our posters with an HP Z5200, an HP DesignJet T1100ps. and a Canon IPF 8400S. We now offer printing on paper as well as on polyester fabric, a foldable material so you can carry your poster in your suitcase!

Our other frequently asked questions are answered below. If you still can't find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us (215-746-4471, biopost@pobox.upenn.edu or stop by the Biomedical Library.

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Who can use the poster printer?

The poster printer is open to all current Penn students, faculty, staff, UPHS staff, and affiliates.

What size can I print?

The paper is 42" wide, but requires at least a half-inch margin on both sides. Your poster can be as long as you wish.

How much does it cost?

Starting March 7, 2015 we charge $0.03 per square inch for paper posters and $0.06 for polyester fabric posters. Posters for school and research purposes are non-taxable. An additional 8% tax is added to posters printed for personal use.

Here are some common sizes:

Dimensions Size in Square Inches Paper (no tax) Paper + tax Fabric (no tax) Fabric + tax
18 x 24 in 432 sq in $12.96 $14.00 $25.92 $28.00
36 x 48 in 1728 sq in $51.84 $55.99 $103.68 $111.98
42 x 48 in 2016 sq in $60.48 $65.32 $120.96 $130.64
36 x 60 in 2160 sq in $64.80 $69.98 $129.6 $139.99
42 x 72 in 3024 sq in $90.72 $97.98 $181.44 $195.96
42 x 90 in 3780 sq in $113.4 $122.47 $226.80 $244.94
How do I pay?

Acceptable forms of payment (no cash or checks):

    • Credit Card (Mastercard / Visa only)  
    • Departmental Account Number:

      • Invoice (CLICK HERE to download) with a 26-Digit Budget number, signed and EMBOSSED by the department's business administrator. The invoice needs to have the original embossing - faxed or scanned copies will not be accepted.

      • We are sorry but we cannot process CHOP departmental accounts, unless these include 26 digits. CHOP patrons are advised to pay by credit card and request reimbursement from their department.

      • Business administrators! We no longer accept Departmental Copy Cards. But if many people from your department plan on printing their posters with us, we can create a mass invoice for you so that you don't have to approve separate requests. Just send us your department's information and the list of names of the people who will use our service to varvarak@upenn.edu.
    • PennCash: NOT currently accepted, sorry! We recommend to use a credit card and get reimbursed by your department. If this is not an option, you may want to check out the poster printer at the Vitale Digital Media lab.

What file format should I use?

We recommend PDF for faster service, but we can handle most common file formats: TIFF, JPEG, PNG, Illustrator (.ai), PDF, Photoshop (.psd), PowerPoint (.ppt), etc. At this time we do NOT support Mac's Keynote (.key) or Microsoft Publisher (.pub).

Do you have a high-resolution version of the Penn logo I can use on my poster?

We recommend not using a Penn logo that you simply downloaded from a generic Penn webpage, because when printed at poster-size, the image can appear fuzzy or pixelated. The University provides higher resolution versions of the Penn logo and shield for "members of the University community in applications supporting the University's mission." Logo images and usage guidelines are at http://www.upenn.edu/webguide/style_guide/logo.html

I'm not happy with the way my poster turned out. Will you reprint it for free?

Because we charge only a fraction of what other places charge, we cannot reprint posters for free unless the printed colors are unreasonably different than the colors on the monitor, or if we make a mistake when printing the poster for you. If you require reliable color reproduction, you should print a test strip first, or have your projects printed somewhere that offers a color- calibrated output.

We will not be responsible for errors that are consistent with the file. Please make sure you proof-read your poster before the file is sent to the printer (our staff will give you the time to do so).

Will you design a poster for me?

No. If you want your poster designed for you, you may want to check out Biomedical Art & Design (http://www.med.upenn.edu/art/, 215-898-0874), located on campus in room 79D of the John Morgan Building. They provide professional poster design and custom drawing services for a fee. Samples are available on their website.

We can, however, help you design your own poster.  Send us a consultation request with as many available dates and times as you can - slots are limited, but we promise to do our best to accommodate your schedule!

 

You can also check out our online resources design help section or use one of our poster templates.

Can I make edits or changes to my poster during my appointment?

Appointments are scheduled every half hour. In order to begin printing your poster within the scheduled time slot, any changes and edits must be made within the first 15 minutes of your appointment. We strongly recommend thoroughly proofreading your poster prior to your appointment. If edits will take more than 15 minutes, you will be asked to reschedule.

Can I trim my poster?

The lab's paper cutter handles sizes up to 72 inches. If your poster is longer, we can either center it in order to distribute the extra space evenly at the top and bottom, or you can fold it over or cut it yourself with scissors.

Can I mount or laminate my poster in the lab?

No, we do not offer this service.

Can I print 10 copies of my poster?

We can print multiple copies of a poster, but require sufficient notice. Your presence is required only while printing the first copy of a poster. Please mention the number of copies you will need when scheduling your appointment, and try to schedule your appointment for as far in advance as possible. One week should be sufficient for most quantities. You will still need one entire appointment for each unique poster to be printed.

How long will it take to print my poster?

This varies depending on the size and resolution of the file, but usually about 90 minutes from when you start printing. This does not mean that your poster will be ready in 90 minutes, though! Other posters in the queue, paper jams, and other mishaps can get in the way. We recommend that you allow 48 hours between your scheduled appointment and when you need to pick up your poster.

Do you provide cardboard tubes I can use to safely transport my poster?

Yes, you can buy a 42" cardboard storage tube for $4.00.

Are the posters archival quality?

No. Our paper is not archival, and we use dye-based inks which are not waterproof or fade-resistant. For archival-quality printing, you may wish to check out TAWS (1527 Walnut Street, 800-221-2341) or an online service.

What other poster printing options are available on campus?

 

Can I print 4x6 prints of my photos with the poster printer?

No. If you just want regular prints, go with a local store (on campus: CVS in the food court at 3401 Walnut Street).

What font should I use on my poster?

See our guidelines and design help sections.

What resolution should my file be?

We find that 150dpi provides a good balance between file size and print quality. Posters printed at higher resolutions are often too large, cause printing problems, can tie up the print server.

Why did the image on my poster turn out fuzzy when I printed it out?

Images with a low resolution (100dpi or less) will appear fuzzy and pixelated when enlarged. This is common with images you may have downloaded from the web. Use images that are at least 150dpi at their final size.

Are there any special considerations when printing a poster from a PowerPoint slide?

PowerPoint was not developed as a print layout software package. It is important that the proper steps are taken to ensure your file will print successfully.

  • When designing in PowerPoint, never "copy and paste" image graphics into your file. Always "insert as picture."
  • There are occasionally inconsistencies between the screen version of your slide and the printed output. These include text shifting or wrapping to the next line, or colors appearing somewhat differently than they do on your monitor. If these issues are of concern, we suggest using software designed for handling print layout, like Photoshop.
  • Avoid using preset pattern fills for graphs and other objects as they may not show up clearly.
  • "Ungroup" all graphs, charts, and formulae generated outside of PowerPoint after insertion to prevent printing errors.
  • All symbols must be "inserted". After placing your cursor in a textbox, go to the Insert menu, then choose Symbol and select the symbol you want to place in your file. If the symbols are not placed in your file through the Insert menu, they may not print.
  • We strongly recommend saving your PowerPoint slide as a PDF, JPG or TIFF, preferably on the same computer you used to create the slide, before bringing it to the lab for printing as a poster. Make sure your final file is at least 150dpi at the size you wish to print it. We also recommend bringing your original PowerPoint file to the lab, just in case of any problems.

 

For more info, check out this awesome tutorial on using PowerPoint to design a poster.

What kind of paper do you have?

We only offer satin photo paper. It has a semi-gloss feel to it.

Wait! I have more questions!

Feel free to call us (215-746-4471), email us biopost@pobox.upenn.edu, or stop by the Biomedical Library and we'll be glad to answer any other questions you have.