Poster Printing

Large Format Printing-

  • All poster printing is done by Staff and the service is available to anyone but payment is required. We prefer a BU works source number that we can charge but also can accept check or cash. We are unable to accept convenience points nor IST student print accounts.
  • All printing is also scheduled in advance.  Please let us know when you will need the output and we can advise on when we would need to receive the file in order to meet your deadline.

We currently operate an HP Z6200 commercial inkjet printer capable of printing full color posters of up to 42″ x 120″. We print with optimized CMYK inks onto coated gloss photo paper only.


If you have any design questions or are unsure how to proceed with making a poster, e-mail Todd, I have many years experience with scientific poster design.

The printer operates on a native PDF engine so a print-ready PDF is best option***(see notes below about ensuring a PDF that you make is print ready).  The entire process, once your file is submitted, is done by center staff.  There is NO independent usage of the printer or the system.
Your poster should be a single file, ready to print. Bring the file on a ZIP disk ,CD or USB key (in Mac or PC format). External hard drives can be used in rare cases but we would prefer not to have them. Email attachments are fine if we have advanced warning, We will not accept files sent by FTP. If your file is too big to send, you may send a link to dropbox but please do not invite us to share it (explanation here)


Create your poster in any of the file formats listed in the table. Please note the comments. We do not guarantee results for certain file formats. Do NOT use google slides!

If you want to print a poster with a solid- color or gradient background, please carefully consider the drawbacks- it will take longer to print, and it may make the poster more susceptible to damage when handled (more ink area to be scratched or water- damaged).  We will not attempt to print posters with a solid black background except with full ink costs being billed.

Unless there are time constraints or bulk jobs, everyone printing a poster will receive, free of charge, a reduced size (25%) test print to PROOFREAD and CHECK FOR MISTAKES before the full- size poster is printed.

When submitting via e-mail, If you would like to see a proof copy prior to final printing, be sure to inform the staff.  All posters will be assumed to be print ready.

CorelDraw X4,X6
Adobe Illustrator CS6 Recommended.
PowerPoint OK but be careful if using a mac (graph axes and fonts)**Also, color matching is awful with Powerpoint
Google Slides We CANNOT print from this format
JPG or GIF (picture file)* OK but size of file and resolution make for tough trade offs.
PDF* PDFs are the preferred format.Make your canvas and image size as large as the final poster . Also be mindfull of DPI in the output file.
PostScript files (.ps, .eps)* Can works fine but only if done properly. You may create your own PostScript file for direct printing. Remember to use the final poster size as your paper size as with PDF.  (NOT for novices)

*Always bring the original file as well. These formats cannot be directly edited if you discover an error.

The Poster Process- FYI

The poster printer software works with rasterized postscript files and not directly with the software used to create posters. When we receive your poster files, our first step is to copy them to the PC and convert them into PDF files. This takes a minute to half an hour, depending on the type of files. These files are then sent to a special printer application, which rips them to the printer. The actual printing can take between 5 minutes to hours (most jobs print in 10-20 minutes), depending on the size and complexity of the final poster.

Important points to keep in mind

>Embed all fonts to ensure that symbols print correctly. If working with proprietary fonts, a PDF is the ONLY option for fidelity of reproduction>>>NOTE: embed the fonts in the PDF and  un-check use system fonts only.

>use CMYK color instead of RGB. Occasionally color matching issues arise. We can operate with full color matching but at an additional cost and lead time.

>make certain all graphics are embedded( not linked). As above PDFs from MATLAB can be incorporated into the poster and print correctly. ChemDraw files can be saved as tiff prior to insertion.

>** Excel for Mac and Powerpoint for Mac are notorious for linking. It is a great idea to have all of the images in your poster available in a folder in case you need to re-embed them

> use appropriate BU logos. The university seal should not be used on posters. We have high resolution logos for the university and the medical school. If you clip a logo from the web and use it it will look fuzzy or pixelated when blown up.

If you are making a power point poster, this site has some helpful general information about poster making in PowerPoint.

We have PowerPoint templates available that already have the required logos and layout.

How large should my poster be?

In general, you will have  maximum dimension from the host of your meeting and your poster should smaller than the maximum size.  One very important point to consider is the smallest dimension of your final poster cannot exceed 42 inches.

Many posters have a set aspect ratio of 3:4 so 42×56 and 36×48 are very common and fits on the majority of meeting boards.  If your poster will be square the max size is 42×42.