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Poster Hints

Hint for creating posters in Corel and Power Point

The three plotters in the Graphics Services Centre  60" HP photo quality plotters. The plotters cannot plot to the edge of the paper. We stock 50" paper for printing images that are 48" wide. We stock 36” paper, but please note that we will have to slightly reduce 36 inch images for printing. We have limited selection of media in other sizes, but can get special materials and sizes if required.

Corel Hints:

Text size: This is important, as your poster will be viewed by people at a distance of at least 3 feet (~1 m); for this distance and a typical poster size of 36" x 48", you will need a minimum font size of 18 point for text. Titles should be much larger.

Colours: Try to stay away from colour combinations with low contrast, like YELLOW on WHITE or dark BLUE on BLACK. These colours may look good and be ok on the computer screen but they do not print very well.

Embedding: In Windows, using “cut and paste” to move a graphics object from one application to another results in the object maintaining its relationship with its originating software. The second application uses the first application to open and display the object, and only keeps a reference to the object in files that are created. When you bring the final output file to us, it may not contain the actual object and even if it does, we are unlikely to have the originating software needed to properly display the object. Instead of using “cut and paste” try to export the object in a standard image format like tiff or jpeg, and then import the image into your poster. This will prevent the embedding problem.

Transparency: If you would like to make the opaque white box around a bitmap transparent, export or save your work as a gif, choosing the transparent feature in the dialogue box.

Finished work: All new images created in PhotoPaint must be combined to background first or the result may be unprintable.

Bitmaps: Instead of using lens effects to alter the appearance of bitmaps in CorelDraw or Illustrator, edit the images in a Software Package like PhotoPaint or PhotoShop. This produces more predictable results, and significantly reduces the calculation time that is required to convert the image (rip) for printing.

Fills: Fountain Fills in Corel look very nice but do not create a circular blend (two colour mix that creates a rainbow looking fill); while this fill looks good on the screen and may prints very well on your office small printers it may prints solid black on our large printers.  Instead, use the straight blend or create a multi colour blend. If you must create one of these special fills, save them as a bitmap, and then import them into your image.

Backgrounds: Backgrounds must be drawn or they do not print (unless you change your defaults to print backgrounds). Changing the background page colour in the page setup is for viewing only; to add a background you must draw a box and fill it. To create a box the size of the page you have set up, double click on the box icon. Choose the page outline with your pointer and fill with a solid colour, blend, or image of your choice.

PowerPoint (New PPTX should just be save as PDF):

PowerPoint allows slide up to 56" but they may not properly print if they are over 52 inches. If you need to make a poster more that 50” in PowerPoint, design it at HALF the size, and it can be scaled to the final required size. Please be sure to use bitmaps that have sufficient resolution at the final size. Typically 150 dpi is absolute minimum, to images in posters at half scale should be 300 dpi minimum.

If you create a poster in PowerPoint, and save it as a pdf file, it may not be saved to the size you require, since pdfs are created at a default size of 81/2X11. It is necessary to set the pdf file size first, which you may be able to do as follows:

  1. click on the print button
  2. select PDF as the printer
  3. click on the properties button
  4. click the paper/quality button
  5. click on the advanced
  6. click on the paper size.
  7. click on the custom page size
  8. fill in the size required
  9. click on OK
  10. in the next page select the print quality
  11. change the default 1200 DPI to 600 DPI
  12. click on OK till you are back to the print page
  13. click on the fit to page
  14. click on preview to see if your poster is in the right orientation
  15. if orientation is wrong go back to size page and switch the size numbers.

These instructions are typical for a Windows computer which has the full Adobe Acrobat package installed. If you have a different set-up, a somewhat different approach may be required, but if you do not set the page size, you are likely to get a poster 81/2 X 11, which will not look good if printed to full poster size.

Do not use the transparency feature in PowerPoint. This feature assumes you are projecting the image at low resolution and uses a very low tech approach to creating the transparency. When printing at high resolution the result is normally undesirable.  If you want a lighter colour use the “more colors” option, and the “custom” tab to get the colour you want. If you want one image to show through another, use CorelDraw or Illustrator, or some other graphics application.