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Wide-Format Printing

The Integrated Digital Support Center (IDSC) offers wide-format printing services to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. 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

The wide-format printers are on a first-come, first-serve basis, with work orders processed in the order they are received. If there are more than two lab users waiting to print to the wide-format printer, a waiting list will be started. The IDSC highly recommends printing posters no later than 2 business days before they are needed. Each individual print job can take 30-45 minutes to complete depending on size, ink use, and complexity. Poster turnaround may be impacted when there are a large number of orders in the queue. Large-dimension print jobs or multiple print orders may extend the turnaround time. Please contact the lab for poster printing availability and turnaround time. 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. Please note: the IDSC is not responsible for delays in processing print job orders that are submitted less than 2 business days before they are needed.

Pricing

There are different rates for the Doubleweight Matte (DWM) and Enhanced Matte (EM) roll paper options. When printing to DWM or EM roll paper, you may choose nearly any dimension 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.

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 $36.00 (DWM + Image) or $39.60 (EM + Image). If the width were bigger, such as 48” by 36”, the 48” would become the height, and the 36” the width, making the price $48.00 (DWM + Image) or $52.80 (EM + Image) 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. When printing to posterboard, there is a flat rate of $20 or $26 per sheet regardless of how much of the posterboard is utilized.

  • Lines & Fills (Blocks of text, graphs, line art):
    • Double-weight Matte (DWM): $0.50 / inch
    • Enhanced Matte (EM): $0.60 / inch
  • Image (Photos, graphics or background):
    • Double-weight Matte (DWM): $1.00 / inch
    • Enhanced Matte (EM): $1.10 / inch
  • Enhanced Matte Posterboard (printing included):
    • 24” x 30”: $20.00 / sheet
    • 30” x 40”: $26.00 / sheet

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.

If a file does not meet this requirement, the client can elect to have the IDSC resize it for additional fee at a rate of $20 per hour (1/2 hour minimum). However, design services are only available to graduate students, faculty and staff.

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 9600 and 9800 wide-format printers in the IDSC support a maximum size of 100" x 44" for roll paper and 30" x 40" for poster board. While both printers can print up to 44" wide, there may be additional size limitations due to software or media selected before converting to PDF.

File Format

Effective June 2010, files submitted to the IDSC for printing must be in PDF format. The IDSC no longer accepts other file formats. Please see the File Formats page 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.

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.

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. After the poster has been printed, you will be contacted for pickup. After the file has been printed, 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.
  7. If you find the printed poster to be satisfactory upon review (i.e. containing no errors), we will proceed with providing payment for the poster.
  8. Poster trimming (roll paper) and plastic poster bags (recyclable) are available, and can be requested from the lab attendant at pickup.

Further Resources

Quick Tips

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

  • Some applications (PowerPoint, Illustrator and InDesign) give the option to link files. Make sure images are embedded, not linked.
  • 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.
  • Using a unique font? Convert fonts to outlines in Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign

Contact the Helpdesk for additional assistance.