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Wide-Format Printing

The Integrated Digital Support Center (IDSC) offers wide-format printing services to students, faculty and staff during business hours (Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm). If you would like to have a poster printed using one of our wide-format printers, please bring your print-ready PDF file on a USB drive to the IDSC.

Order Turnaround

Wide-format printing services are on a first-come, first-serve basis, with print orders processed in the order they are received. Standard turnaround for wide-format printing is 2 business days (Monday - Friday) from the time the order is submitted. Turnaround may be extended due to order size, ink use, large dimensions, complexity and number of existing orders in the queue. Please note that the IDSC is not responsible for delays in processing print orders when they are submitted less than 2 business days before they are needed. Please contact the lab for current printing availability and turnaround time and plan accordingly when requesting service on a time-based need.

If your department is hosting an event or you are attending a conference that requires multiple posters to be printed, please contact the IDSC for more information.

Media Selection

The IDSC currently offers several types of media for wide-format printing. For roll paper, there is Heavyweight Coated Matte Bond (CMB) and Satin Semi-gloss Photo (SSGP) paper, and for posterboard, there is Enhanced Matte Posterboard (EM). Please inquire at the IDSC front desk for media samples.

Wide-format Printing: Roll Paper

  • Heavyweight Coated Matte Bond (CMB): The Heavyweight Coated Matte (CMB) paper offers high resolution output on heavyweight (48#) matte coated bond paper. This paper is the most cost-effective output and is a good choice for both short term displays (such as conference presentations, one time use posters, temporary signage) as well as photos and graphics. With instant ink drying for added convenience, this paper can also be easily laminated for a glossy-finished look and as a means of protection from excessive light and moisture.
  • Satin Semi-gloss Photo (SSGP): The Satin Semi-gloss Photo (SSGP) paper offers high resolution output on medium weight (8 mil) satin surface photo base paper. This paper is versatile for a wide variety of printing projects and is ideal for high color density prints such as photography, exhibition graphics, posters, and digital image printing. This paper is the best option for clients seeking high quality photographic output for their wide-format prints and is a good choice for printing photos, artwork, or other high-end digital media.

Wide-format Printing: Posterboard

  • Enhanced Matte Posterboard (EM): The Enhanced Matte Posterboard (EM) has a high color gamut which yields remarkable color reproduction along with a flat matte surface which provides the optimum photographic platform. The Enhanced Matte media is available in 2 sizes: 24" x 30" and 30" x 40". Posterboard is available on a limited basis; please inquire with the IDSC for more information.

Pricing

There are different rates for the Coated Matte Bond Paper (CMB), Satin Semi-gloss Photo Paper (SSGP), and Enhanced Matte (EM) Posterboard options. Additionally, some of the media options have 2 rates available depending on whether the print job qualifies for "Lines & Fills" or the "Image" rate. Please refer to the Wide-format Printing section on the IDSC Services FAQ for an explanation of these two rates.

When printing to roll paper, you may choose nearly any dimension (up to 125") for your large format print within the printer’s maximum dimensions of 44” x 100”. When pricing the poster, the lab attendant will consider the width to be whichever dimension is closest to 44” (without being over), and the height to be the other dimension. The "per inch" charge will be based on the height dimension.

Wide-format Printing: Roll Paper

  • Coated Matte Bond Paper (CMB):
    • Image (photos, graphics or background with 50%+ coverage): $1.20/inch
    • Lines & Fills (blocks of text, graphs, line art): $0.70/inch
  • Satin Semi-gloss Photo Paper (SSGP): $1.25 / inch

Wide-format Printing: Posterboard

  • Enhanced Matte Posterboard (printing included):
    • 24” x 30”: $20.00/sheet
    • 30” x 40”: $26.00/sheet

For example, if your poster is 44" x 36" and qualifies for the "Image" rate, the width would be 44" and the height would be 36". Depending on the paper selected and the ink coverage, the total charge would be $43.20 (CMB + Image) or $45.00 (SSGP). If the width were bigger, such as 48” by 36”, the 48” would become the height, and the 36” the width, making the price $57.60 (CMB + Image) or $60.00 (SSGP) respectively. All posters will be trimmed to size, but if cost is an issue, keeping these dimensions in mind may help to keep your poster as affordable as possible. We recommend contacting the IDSC for current services and pricing.

When printing to posterboard, there is a flat rate of $20 or $26 per sheet regardless of how much of the posterboard is utilized. Please note that Posterboard printing is available on a limited basis; please contact the IDSC to ensure availability.

Submitting a File for Printing

File Dimensions

The document submitted to the IDSC for printing must be the same dimensions as the final output. For example, if the final poster is to be printed at 24" x 36", the PDF should be setup for the same dimensions. The IDSC cannot accept files scaled to any dimensions other than 100% of the final output size.

To check the actual dimensions of the PDF, open your document in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Move your mouse to the lower left hand corner of the document. While hovering over the corner (do not click), the document dimensions should appear. Additional settings can also be viewed by selecting File, then Properties.

The Epson 9800 and Canon iPF 8400 wide-format printers in the IDSC support a maximum size of 100" x 44" for roll paper and 30" x 40" for poster board (Epson only). The Canon iPF 9400 wide-format printer supports a maximum size of 100" x 60" for roll paper. Please be aware that there may be additional size limitations due to software or media selected before converting to PDF.

File Format

Files submitted to the IDSC for printing must be in PDF file format. The IDSC no longer accepts other file formats. Please see the Converting files to PDF and PDF Tools pages for more information.

File Creation

For file creation, we recommend using Adobe Illustrator (.AI) or PowerPoint (.PPT) for wide-format printing, which are available on most Mac and PC workstations in the lab. When you are ready to bring in your file for printing, the file must be saved as a PDF. Although most programs that can print to letter-sized paper can also print to the wide-format printers, there may be size limitations. For example, PowerPoint has a size limitation of 56".

File Accuracy

The client is responsible for checking their documents for accuracy and will be held responsible for cost of printed materials that are incorrect due to error on their behalf. The IDSC will not be held responsible for the cost of any printed materials that contain errors that were contributed solely by the client. If a poster needs to be reprinted, the client will be charged the price of the original poster plus the poster reprint with no discount.

When dropping off the file for printing, the lab attendant will open the document and have the client review the document for any errors. It is important that the client reviews and verifies that the file is accurate. If the client refuses to review the document at the time of drop-off, the document(s) will be printed "as is," and the client will be held responsible for any errors including the cost of both the original poster(s) and the re-printed poster(s).

Once the file has been approved for printing by the client, the print job will proceed. If a content error is discovered after the client has approved the file for printing, the client will be held responsible for the cost of the original poster and the re-printed poster(s) if the file has already started printing. Before converting your file to PDF, thoroughly check your document for errors (spelling, grammatical, layout), missing images, and substitution of special symbols or fonts. Both Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft PowerPoint have spell check tools. Additionally, we highly recommend opening the newly created PDF (post file conversion) and double-checking that everything is correct.

Trimming

Poster trimming is only available for posters printed on roll paper. When dropping off your order, inform the lab attendant of the original and final trimmed dimensions (if different) for the poster. Please note, the final trim dimensions cannot be smaller than the original file dimensions. Please allow an additional 5-10 minutes to trim your poster. However, during peak poster printing periods, turnaround time for poster trimming may increase. If the lab is busy or there are a large number of orders in the queue, please allow for extra time.

We provide trimming services for the following:

  • Large professional conference posters

We do not trim the following:

  • Posterboard: Posterboard is thick and can damage the trimmer. Additionally, the appearance of the edge after trimming is usually rough and requires special handling and finishing.
  • A single poster than needs to be cut into several segments. Cutting a large poster into multiple pieces is time consuming, delicate work that requires frequent handling, which increases the likelihood of damage.
  • Individual posters printed in mass quantities, such as flyers or programs.

Please see the lab attendant for more information.

Printing a Poster

  1. Make sure the poster is setup to 100% of the final output and saved/exported as a PDF.
  2. Review the document for accuracy. Clients will be held responsible for cost of printed materials that are incorrect due to error on their behalf.
  3. Bring your PDF file to the IDSC on a USB drive and inform the lab attendant that you would like to print a wide-format poster.
  4. The lab attendant will copy the file from your USB drive to an IDSC exclusive folder. Upon opening the file, the attendant will request that you review your PDF for accuracy (images, layout, font conversion, special symbols, etc).
  5. The lab attendant will create a work order, at which point you will be asked to provide information on your full name, phone number/extension, department, and method of payment. This information is solely used for communication on work-orders that are in our print queue and statistics. Your request will be entered into the work order system and printed in the order that it was received.
  6. Poster trimming (roll paper) and plastic poster bags (recyclable) are available, and can be requested from the lab attendant at the time of order placement.
  7. After the poster has been printed, you will be contacted for pickup, The lab attendant on duty will make every effort to contact you at the phone number provided. However, if the lab is busy or there are a large number of orders in the queue, the lab attendant may not have the opportunity to contact the customer for pick-up. Please feel free to check up on your poster progress any time after file submission.
  8. If you find the printed poster to be satisfactory upon review (i.e. containing no errors), we will proceed with collecting payment for the poster.

Further Resources

Quick Tips

Here are some quick tips that will help you get off to a good start on your wide-format printing.

  • The IDSC accepts cash (exact change only), check (made out to PSU), credit card (MC or Visa), or departmental index codes and grant numbers. Please have index and grant numbers ready when placing your order.
  • Posters will not be released until payment has been made in full.
  • Some applications (PowerPoint, Illustrator and InDesign) give the option to link files. Make sure images are embedded, not linked.
  • Using a unique font? Convert fonts to outlines in Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign

Contact the Helpdesk for additional assistance.