The Printing Guidelines page consists of some of the most frequently asked questions about printing at FaCIT. Please look through this listing, and then if you have any further questions, contact our Graphic Designer
Select a Frequently Asked Printing Question:
Who can use the Large Format Printing service through FaCIT?
While we would love to be able to support Graduate and Undergraduate Students in their research endeavors, at this time our services are only available for free to current CMU faculty. The CMU faculty member must be listed as First Author on the research poster in order for the cost of the printing to be waived. We can help Graduate Students with printing if they are also teaching at CMU during the current semester or have a CMU faculty member also listed on the poster, but the cost of both time and materials will be charged to the graduate student. Payment must be received at the time the poster is picked up.
How do I initiate a Poster Printing project?
To get started, simply fill out our online Printing Project Request Form
with details about your project. Once we receive your project request, we will get back to you within a couple of business days to let you know whether we can accomodate your request and, if necessary or approved, to arrange a consultation meeting and to receive your files.
What format should I supply my files in?
We can accept files in PowerPoint, PDF, EPS, TIFF, and JPG formats. In addition, we can accept Publisher, and InDesign files, but these types of files must be "packaged". A packages file is contained is an organized folder and includes all linked images, fonts, and miscellaneous files associated with the document. If you have any questions about your file format, please contact our Graphic Designer
How can I deliver my files to the Graphic Designer?
You are welcome to drop off your files in person or through campus mail, on either a flash/thumb drive or on CD/DVD. Alternately, you can e-mail your files directly to our designer, providing that the total of attachments does not exceed 8MB.
Are there templates that I can use to get started on my research poster?
We have a growing number of Research Poster templates in InDesign, Publisher, and PowerPoint formats in our most commonly requested sizes. Please check this page
for our posted templates. If you would like a custom template created for your poster, or would like design assistance, please contact our Graphic Designer
Where can I find the CMU logo to use on my poster?
We can provide the CMU logo for you to use in your research poster. Please contact our Graphic Designer to request the files
. You will want to specify:
- What color you would like the logo to be (solid marron, solid black, solid white, or maroon and gold)
- How you will use the logo (printed or on screen)
- How large you would like to use the logo (2 inches, 10 inches, etc)
Are there guidelines for how my CMU research poster should look?
Because many conferences have strict guidelines for the research posters that are presented, it is difficulty to create CMU guidelines that can accomodate those restrictions. Therefore our guidelines are loosely defined. Here are some guiding principles to follow:
- Legibility: Assume that a portion of your audience has some visual difficulty (color blindness, reduced contrast due to cataracts, difficulty reading fine print). Accomodate for these by employing Universal Design principles that ensure that all viewers can access your content. Do this by avoiding distracting backgrounds and using higher contrast between your background and text. Text over patterned backgrounds or detailed images can be very difficult to read. Finally, be sure that your font size is large enough so that your poster can be comfortable read trom 3-5 feet away. This means that your smallest text (captions, tables, column content) should be between 20pt-32pt (the needed size may vary depending on your font choice).
- Visual Hierarchy: To establish the importance of elements on your poster, make sure that there is a clear hierarchy of size and prominence for important information. The title of your poster should be the largest text, followed by main headings, then sub headings, and then your content. Within your content you can distinguish importance by adding bold or italic styles to your text, changing the color of a key word, or adding a background box to highlight key information.
- Logo Use: Leave breathing room around the CMU logo. Calculate the amount of space that the logo needs by taking a third of the height or width of the logo, and leaving that amount of open space around the logo on all sides. If the logo is 3 inches wide, leave 1 inch open on all sides.
- Column Width: Keep your columns of text to a comfortable reading width. When estimating how wide your text column should be, think of reading a book. Visualize that each column of text is a very long page of text. In the average text based book, or magazine a publisher would put 8-12 words on a line (2-4 for narrow side captions) In a magazine or newspaper, the average is lower at around 4-7 words per line.
- Colors: When colors are not pre-determined by the conference you attend, use only approved CMU colors. CMU Maroon and Gold are specific mixes of colors, and depending on the program you are using to create your poster, it is possible to use the exact CMU colors. In addition to these two "primary" colors, University Communications has created a set of "complementary" colors that provide variety, while still maintaining a clear visual "connection" with CMU. Visit UComm's website to view the "mixes" for the approved colors.
What if my project is Grant Funded?
Large format printing is costly, and in order to be able to continue to offer this service to faculty in the future, we need to recoup our costs when we can. If your project is or has been grant funded, then we will need to charge the standard rate of $36/hr* for staff time along with the cost of materials (ink and paper)
for the poster. For a list of our rates for please contact our Graphic Designer
. * Rates may change at any time based on fluctuating supplies cost, or changes in the billable hourly rate.
What if I am co-presenting with faculty from another institution?
If you are co-presenting your poster with faculty from another institution, we can still help you with the design and printing of your poster as long as you meet a few guidelines.
- CMU's visual prominence must be equal to or greater than that of the co-presenting institution. The CMU logo must be used appropriately.
- Cost will be incurred if the poster is grant funded.
- The first CMU person represented must be a CMU faculty member. If the first CMU author is a student, cost will be incurred.
- The conference must not be sponsored by CMU.
I can't afford to print at FaCIT, where else can I print my poster?
While we work hard to keep our rates affordable and to meet reasonable timelines for the faculty and students that we serve, at busy times of the year, another department or service on campus may be able to meet your printing needs more quickly or may even be able to provide the service at a lower cost. If we cannot accomodate your request for any reason, or, if you have a custom print job and cannot afford the custom paper stocking fee, please contact these other campus printing locations to meet your needs:
- Printing Services - (989) 774-3612 Printing Services is a well staffed printing bureau serving CMU departments and faculty, and community non-profit organizations. Printing Services stocks a wider variety of paper than we do here at FaCIT, and therefore may be able to turn around prints on custom paper more quickly that we can if they have your desired paper in stock.
- Media Graphix - (989) 774-2570 Staffs numerous student workers, and may be able to beat our billable hour rate for projects that incur a cost. Rush fees may apply, so be sure to check whether your project meets the standard timeline rate.