IMB - making a poster

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This wiki page is an abridged version of an instruction manual I wrote for my institute during 2008, as a guide to using the poster-printer.


Original Instructions from the IMB

The printer has been set up to print A0 on high quality polypropylene paper. A print will cost $30.

To use this printer, you will need to do the following

  1. Send an email to (only works from IMB email addresses)
  2. In that email include the account code from which the $30 is to be deducted.
  3. Attach an A0-sized PDF of your poster

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 - we are not a graphics print shop and can't fiddle with the PDF (which is one reason why it costs $200 to print professionally).

It is recommended that you use Illustrator to create the poster; Canvas also works well. PowerPoint is not a vector graphics package, and so you need to set the page size before you start to a custom 830mm x 1154mm (resizing in PowerPoint from A3 to A0 looks very ordinary).

NOTE: Posters are NOT printed unless they have the UQ/IMB logo on them.

My Advice

Adobe Illustrator is a good program, I've been told the best program to for posters is Adobe InDesign - which is fundamentally very similar to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

The printer prints paper or fabric at a width of 91.3 cm, so the best idea is to set up the page as 1200x913 mm (can be wider if you want) and save it in its own "poster" folder. 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.

To place each images go: "File >> Place". (the image is now linked in)

When you are happy with the poster you can 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"

Examine the PDF (sometimes CMYK can do some funny things with black) and it should be about ready to send to Desla for printing.

The quality of the fabric is significantly less than the polypropylene paper - and tends to fray a lot at the edges - but being able to fold the poster into your suitcase instead of carrying a gigantic poster case is a big advantage.

Poster Presentation Ideas

During the poster presentation time there are a few ideas:

  • Put sticky velcro on the back of poster
  • Write on separate pieces of papers references to any other relevant posters/sessions at the same conference (e.g.: see also: wed 3:35, room b, brad marsh)
  • Can have a laptop playing animation sitting on a chair.
  • Can print out copies of the poster (A4) to hang in a plastic sleeve and give away. (unless there is too much unpublished/valuable info)
  • Have lots of business cards to give away!