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Poster printing

This guide covers how to Print Posters in the Davis Family Library or Armstrong Library.

Plotter/Printer Locations

Davis Library: The plotter, (which is the big poster printer) lives on the main floor of the Davis Family Library (DFL) on the same side as the circulation desk, where the printers and copies are located.

Armstrong Library: There is another plotter in BiHall, on the main floor of Armstrong Library. If you want to print to here instead of the library (a good hack if the DFL plotter is down), just follow these same steps and then release it from the print release station in Armstrong.

Instructions

Prepare your poster

  • First, log on one of the Wilson Media Lab or Library Mac computers. Make sure to log into the computer with the same account that you’ll be using to log into Papercut when you print the poster.
  • Open Adobe Illustrator. This works best for printing posters (better than Print Preview etc)
  • Take a look at the poster size guide in the corner of Wilson Media Lab for reference and then create a new document, making sure to change the UNITS from “points” to “inches”.
  • Punch in whatever dimensions you want. Bear in mind that the maximum width of the paper is 41 inches, but you can make the length however long you want. Make sure to check that your orientation (landscape or portrait) is correct.
  • Once you’ve perfected the set up, go ahead and click “Create”.
  • If you have an image or PDF ready to go, just download it to the  go to “File” > “Place” and then simply place and resize your image to fit the document. Hold down “Shift” while you resize it in order to keep the proportions of the image right.
  • If you need to create a poster from scratch, you can do this on Illustrator, too. Here is a helpful Illustrator guide. The DLINQ interns on duty in there are also happy to help you anytime!
  • When you have created your poster, you’re ready to print.

Print your poster

  • Go to “File” > “Print”
  • Set the “Printer” to be “Posters”
  • Set the “Media Size” to be “Custom”
  • Check that you can see your whole poster in the correct layout in the preview box in the bottom left corner.
  • If everything looks good, click “Print”!

Release your poster

  • Head over to the print release station, log in to Papercut and hit “Print”.
  • The plotter can seem a little slow, so be patient.
  • It pauses for a while once the poster has printed to let the ink dry – don’t tug or tear it, it will cut the paper itself once it’s finished drying.

Help, something went wrong!

  • If the plotter is out of paper, low on ink, has a paper jam or is broken in any way, go and tell the walk-in IT Help Desk at the front of the Library. Do not try and fix it yourself, the plotter is a fragile beast!
  • If the poster didn’t come out the way you wanted and it seems like an issue with the document and not the plotter,  don’t hesitate to go and ask the DLINQ interns in the Wilson Media Lab for help.

A Note to Professors

  • Please send an email to dlinq@middlebury.edu to notify us of the timeframe when your students will be working on and printing poster projects. It can get pretty busy!
  • Be sure your students know how to use the best tools to create a poster. A lot of students come to the lab with PowerPoint files that can be challenging to scale correctly. We recommend using Illustrator and following the steps above.  Faculty can also request a poster tutorial session for their class by submitting a helpdesk ticket here.
  • If you are requiring posters for your class and want your department to cover the cost of poster printing follow these instructions early in the semester.

A Note to Students

  • Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to create a visual piece of work. It might seem like it will come together faster than a paper, but often there is just one component that you can’t get to look just right, or a feature in Illustrator that is not working the way you expected.
  • Ask a DLINQ intern in the Media Lab for help if you need it, or book a consultation with one here if you want a longer one-on-one session.

 

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