Poster Printing Guidelines

6 Steps to Get Your Poster Printed

Step 1: Download a poster template

The poster printers are 42 inches wide, therefore one of the dimensions of any poster must be 42 inches or less.

Step 2: Design your poster

  • Follow the style guidelines posted below.
  • IMPORTANT: Preview your poster on your computer at 100% magnification before submitting for printing, to ensure that your images are clear and not blurry or pixelated when viewed at full size.

Step 3: Name your poster’s file with the following specifications

  1. Start with the professor’s last name –
  2. Department name –
  3. Your (student’s) name –
  4. Follow this example: Kuwata-Chemistry-Jane-Doe

Step 4: Save your poster as one of the accepted file types

  • ppt, pptx, pdf, tiff

Step 5: Send the file for printing with the following to posterprinting@macalester.edu

  • Attach your poster file
  • Due date and time. Example: I need to pick up this poster by noon on March 31.
  • An email from a faculty member approving your poster

Step 6: Send the file within the print production deadline—at least 3 business days before its due

  • In order to ensure your poster is ready for pickup at the time you specified, all of the above information must be received at least 3 business days in advance.
  • Example: if you need to pick your poster up by 1:00 PM Friday, it must be sent by 1:00 PM Tuesday. For groups of 5 or more, please notify us one month in advance of when the posters will be submitted.

Style advice for easily readable posters

  • Use easily readable font sizes, bigger is better. People will be reading your poster from 5 feet away or more.
  • Sample text sizes:
    Title: 110-160pt.
    Large headings: 60–54pt.
    Smaller headings: 40–50pt.
    Paragraph text: 32–36pt.
    Photo captions: 25–28pt.
    Bibliography: 16–22pt.
  • Don’t forget about text in diagrams and graphs!
  • Don’t put text over images.
  • Avoid large blocks of dark color.
  • The contrast on the computer screen is better than on the poster, so err on the side of visibility. (i.e. don’t put black text on a bright blue background).
  • Poster boards in Olin-Rice are designed for 42×42 posters, if yours exceeds this size it will overhang the board and could cause space issues.

Science posters for on-campus sessions must abide by the following rule:

No color backgrounds or other excessive use of color.

On-campus science session poster examples
Just the right amount of color Too much color
DO use a white background. DON’T use a color background.
Science poster sample: Good use of color example On-campus science session: Example of too much color. A replica of a poster with 6 parts and multi-colored background.
A white background uses less ink to print. A colorful background uses much more ink to print than a white background.

Faculty: Are you taking students to a conference or holding a classroom poster session?

Providing the information below will help make the process as seamless as possible for you and your students, as we can prepare in advance.

  • When are you leaving or hosting the session?
  • How many posters would you estimate will be printed?
  • How will students be submitting the posters to you? Via Email, Moodle submission, Google Drive, other.

Poster Printing Questions?