There are two ways to go about making a large format poster.
We design it.
You give us all the pieces, the finished print size, and the deadline. It is also helpful to have a small sketch of how you would like the finished poster to look like. We will give you a small copy, usually an emailed PDF, for revision before it is printed in its large format. 2 weeks.
You design it.
You put it together in whatever software in which you are comfortable but it needs to be submitted in an acceptable format. PC or Mac. You are limited by our printer. Our printer is 42 inches wide so one dimension (height or width) must be 42 inches or less, and the other is (virtually) unlimited. 1-2 days.
Adobe Pagemaker, Microsoft Word
Cardboard poster tubes for carrying and storing are provided and included in the price of each poster.
If you prefer to make your poster on small sheets of paper and would like only the title, we provide that service as well. We will place your information with Penn logos in a long banner to be placed at the top of your poster area.
All posters and poster titles are printed on a very high quality gloss paper.
The best way to submit a poster is to give us the pieces in their orginal format. For instance: text in Word files, tables in Excel files, images as jpeg, tiffs, or Photoshop files.
This is the preferred application for making posters. You can work full size or small size which can be blown up to poster size on the printer but be sure to work proportionally. Photographs (JPEGs or TIFFs) should be "Placed" into the Illustrator file and then embedded. Illustrator can be used as a layout program with the images separately linked to the file but you must be careful to keep all the image files with the Illustrator file. To avoid worrying about mutliple files, simply save the Illustrator document and when you get the prompt, make sure you check the box next to "Include Linked Files." This action will automatically embed all your images (and increase your file size).
When any type of file is opened on a computer other than the one on which it was created, font problems can arise; Illustrator is no different. If you were to use any non-standard font, or even a differing version of a standard font, your poster may not print as you envisioned. Bullets and tabs can shift from one computer to another. Illustrator has a simple solution.
When you are completely finished laying out your poster, save the file. Then, make a copy of that file. Open the duplicate, click on "Select All", under the Type menu, click on "Create Outlines". This replaces all the type with shapes of type. For example, the letter "e" is no longer a letter but drawing of the letter "e". It is important to keep this file separate from the original finished file because the text is no longer editable. If you were to discover a typo you could not quickly correct it. You would need to go back to the original finished file. The benefit of saving type as outlines is the preservation of your layout.
Submitting a poster as a PDF file allows you the flexibility of creating your poster in any application you prefer. When completed you could save your file as a PDF or "print" it to a PDF Writer. To "print" the file you must have a PDF Writer (for example, Adobe Acrobat Writer and not just the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
When making the PDF, please make sure the resolution is set very high. If the resolution is good enough, not "Draft" or "Standard" but "Press Ready", the resulting poster will appear as if it had been printed from the original application.
Photoshop files are fine as long as the resolution is high enough. Photoshop is pixel-based application. The workspace is a grid made up of tiny dotes. Each dot (or pixel) is give a color that will blend into an image. If you were to zoom into a photoshop file, you see a fuzzy pattern. If those dots are too big, the image itself would be fuzzy. Make sure to pack your Photoshop file with dots to get a sharp and clear image.
Like Illustrator, InDesign is a layout program and works in much the same matter as Illustrator. InDesign is a program for laying out multiple pages (for a newsletter or brochure). Like Illustrator you would just make on huge sheet to design your poster.
This is the most popular poster way of making posters. An important fact to keep in mind is that PowerPoint is a slide-making application; not a drawing or poster-making application but that doesn't mean you can't draw or design a poster in it – you will just be limited by rudimentary restrictions. For instance, the biggest slide/poster you can make is 44" by 56". No larger. However, you can get around that restriction by working at half the size of the finished poster and it will be blown up during the printing.
Important to remember in PowerPoint: when you insert images to be printed on a poster they must be at a high resolution (300 dpi at the height and width they will be reproduced.) Since PowerPoint was created for slides; images on a screen or a monitor can be fairly low resolution and still look good. A poster is like a publication. The resolution of the images needs to be high.
Canvas is a drawing program much like Illustrator but slightly more problematic.