Creating and Printing Large Format Posters (Plotting)
Large Format Posters
Posters need to be designed and created in a manner that best communicates your message in a visual, graphical manner, so the viewer can quickly discern your message and determine whether she/he needs to read more or move on to the next poster.
PowerPoint is one of the programs of choice for creating posters because Power Point is a user-friendly program and is readily compatible with other Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, and Access. Other software packages that can be used for posters include (but are not limited to) Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and FreeHand; Corel Presentations; and Microsoft Publisher.
Two common ways to create a poster in Power Point are:
1. Create a poster from scratch
2. Create a poster from an existing PowerPoint file
The following tutorial will help you to create a large format poster in PowerPoint
Create a Poster.
Guidelines for Plotting
Two large format poster printers(called "plotters") are available at the Help Desk (IACC 150) for specialty printing. Color laser printing is also available in the clusters. TLMC learning assistants can assist customers in setting up their print projects and sending them to the Help Desk plotters or cluster printers.
Two plotters for printing large posters are available at the Help Desk in IACC 150. One plotter prints 36” wide and the other 42” wide. Posters can be up to 72” long. The plotters (poster printers) cannot print all the way to the edge of the paper. Therefore, all posters must have a 1/2-inch margin on the sides. This means that the "printable area" is 41 inches wide for 42-inch posters, and 35 inches wide for 36 inch posters.
Always use the largest, highest quality images when creating large posters for plotting. Almost always, images lose quality when they are enlarged.
Resolution should be set to 144 pixels per inch or higher.
Software and File Formats for Plotting
The following software programs are commonly used to create and/or save plots and are available in the TLMC lab:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Acrobat
*The TLMC does not support Corel software.*
In Photoshop, saving your file in native Photoshop format (psd) will retain the highest quality and the layers for further editing.
TLMC staff will assist you with saving your file in the best format for sending to the plotters. Adobe Acrobat is most often used to convert the file to pdf format, a format that usually ensures accurate plotting.
Call the TLMC at 231-5130 or stop by IACC 150C.