Poster Printing

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How to print posters.


We are equipped with Canon ImagePrograf ipf4000 and Canon imagePrograf ipf8400 plotter-printers serving faculty, staff and students. The units print on 42" & 36" wide, roll feed, heavy coated inkjet paper (a bright photo-glossy surface), with a printable area of 41.5" & 35.5". The printer's 2400 x 1200 dots per inch color output, combined with special-purpose paper, produces high-quality output that is ideal for banners, signs, posters, and displays. 


Effective March 1, 2016, poster printing is charged at $8.00 per linear foot.


To print a poster perform the following steps:

Step 1 Make sure you have a valid short-code for the poster
Step 2 Fill out the Poster Printing Request Form. You will need to login to our system to submit your poster request using UMROOT\uniqname and its password.

All fields must be filled in before your request can be submitted.

Step 3 Please prepare your poster as a PDF format. If you need software to convert your files into PDFs, CutePDF Writer is a free tool we recommend for converting files into a PDF.
Step 4 Paper options are 42" or 36" wide. The actual print maximum is 41.5" or 35.5". One dimension (height or width) must be less than or equal to 41.5" or 35.5".
Step 5 Save your the file to USB thumb drive (or other portable media) to take to 2428 Randall Lab.
Step 6 Visit the LSA IT - Randall office between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday–Friday, and see a consultant who will help load your file and show you a preview. Any print jobs that are not completed by 4:45 PM will have to be picked up the following business day.
Step 7 Once you approve the preview and your funding arrangements are verified, your file will be printed.
Our service is first come, first served, from the time you arrive at our office with your file ready to print. However, jobs submitted by local departmental users will have the highest priority. The consultants will make their best effort to print your file. However, we cannot guarantee results in every circumstance. Be prepared with an alternate plan to use the plotter at the Media Union or a commercial printer, if necessary.

We do have a poster trimmer.  It is next to our office in room 2416 Randall, known as the "PAUL" Lab.  If you need assistance trimming your poster, please let us know.

Additional notes

Conference, symposium, seminar, poster session or high volume printing

If you know of a conference, symposium, seminar, poster session or have a high volume of printing to do, please contact ahead of time and let us know the approximate number of posters that will need to be printed and the desired time frame for completion. This will allow our team to make sure we have enough printing supplies and resources available to print your request on time. 

Finish your poster completely 

Your poster should be proofread and in a finished state when you arrive. Correcting typos after you have printed the poster requires reprinting and is wasteful, expensive, and time-consuming. Pages will be printed to the resolution and size specified by the electronic file format. We will not scale or retouch documents.

Allow enough time

Most jobs take approximately 30 minutes to print; however, in some cases the process can take more than an hour. We will not accept new print jobs after 4:30 PM. In addition, the printer may be in high demand for several days before a conference.

Know your software

You should be familiar with the software application you have chosen. Consultants are not able to give you detailed instructions on its use, especially when others are waiting to preview and print their posters

Have funding arrangements in place

Printing is charged against a U-M account at $8.00 per linear foot to cover the cost of the paper, ink, printer maintenance, and administration. Increments of a foot are rounded up to the next half foot. Billing arrangements should be made in advance. We do not accept cash, checks, credit or debit cards.

Optionally, have a poster tube

Printed posters are susceptible to damage if mishandled. The plotter prints using water soluble ink and could run or smear if exposed to the elements. Bring a 42-inch long (or longer) poster tube if possible. If you don't have your own poster tube, we will be happy to provide you with a plastic bag to protect the poster from the elements.

Creating a poster sized PDF from your Mac

  1. Select File > Print
  2. Click the "Page Setup" button near the lower-left.
  3. Click the "Options" button on the Page Setup dialog. Go to the “Paper Size” drop-down menu, and click “Manage Custom Sizes…” (usually it's the very last item). Note: Set all of the margins to zero.
  4. Click on the "OK" button in the various dialogs until you are taken back to the main Print dialog window.
  5. Click on the "PDF" drop-down menu in the lower-left corner of the main Print dialog window.
  6. Select "Save as PDF".
  7. Click the "Save" button to generate the PDF file.

Check out the U-M Print Style Guide and these tips on color choices.

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