Spoonflower Research Posters

research poster printed on fabric

Poster Printed by Spoonflower

OK, so I received the fabric research poster I had printed at Spoonflower. The quality of the printing was actually not bad, although it was a little darker than what comes off our equipment. Photos will probably be darker than you like.

Two more things. First, the satin fabric that we ordered takes a hefty crease. It ships in a plastic envelope all folded up, and the creases will need to be ironed out.

The other issue is that the fabric has not been heat cut, and it frays quite a bit. If you don’t have a hot knife, you are going to have frayed edges, which are not only unsightly, but with handling will grow. The poster is printed on 57″ wide fabric, so if you trim this down to 48″ you are going to have frayed edges all the way around.

It took them 8 days to ship this research poster. When I ordered it, they said it would take 8-10 days. It was delivered a few days later by the US Postal Service. They caution you that delivery can take as long as 2-3 weeks, and our experience with the mail confirms that. Which is why we don’t ship that way. We use Fedex, and find their on time performance to be outstanding.

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Canvas Research Posters

fabric scientific poster

Happy Customer!

We’ve had a number of orders come in recently from customers asking for a canvas poster. I gotta tell ya, canvas is the wrong material to use for a research poster. I think a lot of it happens when people hear about our foldable fabric posters, and their mind thinks “canvas”.

What you want is a material that doesn’t crease, like the one pictured at the right. It’s a fairly thin polyester material that we searched really hard for, spent a lot of time qualifying, and have gotten to work quite well on our equipment. It gives us results that are comparable to paper. Which we think is pretty important.

The reason we want to use fabric is so that it can be folded and put in your carry-on luggage. That’s a whole lot easier to do than carrying a big poster tube, and it can save you a fee for an extra piece of luggage.

photos printed on canvas

Canvas Prints

Canvas prints, while great for photos and artwork, are really not the stuff to be folded. We print a lot of both, and both have their place. Canvas for stretching as permanent artwork, foldable fabric for research posters.

The good news- the cost of both is roughly the same.

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Fabric Posters from Spoonflower

testing spoonflower

Test File

OK, so I’ve seen a few posts out there from people saying they can make a fabric research poster cheaply at Spoonflower. So I thought I would order one and see how easy it was and how well it turned out.

First of all, they only accept a jpg, tif, png or gif file. If you are designing your file in PowerPoint, you can save as any of these file formats. You can save a 72 dpi gif, but gif is only 256 colors (tif is 16.7 million)  and that will really change your photos. The other file formats are saved at 64 dpi. We consider 72 dpi as the lowest resolution that will give you a decent looking poster.

Spoonflower requires that things be printed at 150 dpi. That will make your 48×36″ poster 20.5 x 15.4″ in size. I could find no way to print the photo any larger. So you are going to have a poster that’s way smaller. Like pillowcase size.

What could be done, if you have Photoshop, is to save a pdf out of PowerPoint, open it at 150 in Photoshop, and save as a jpg or tif. That can be printed in their system. So I did that, went through the order process, and it shows me only a corner of my file in the preview. I really didn’t know what I was going to get, and I sent them an email asking the question. Their reply- yes the preview is showing you just a corner of the poster, but it will be OK. So I finished my order, and am waiting the 2-3 weeks it will take to see what I get.

At postersession.com, your poster is printed by someone who has the experience of printing thousands of research posters looking your poster over and fixing problems. We fix something in about 75% of the files people send us. We replace the logo you copied from the website with a good hi-rez one, ask you for a better photo, and fix type that collides. That gives you a better poster.

Standard delivery is 8-10 working days at Spoonflower. We ship same day if we have your file by noon. They can do rush service that ships in 3 days for an extra $25. If you have a question, they promise to return your call in 24 hours.

Net result, in my book, is that Spoonflower is for people to make fabric for sewing projects, not for printing a research poster. I’ll let you know what I think of the poster when it arrives.

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Solar Power at MegaPrint Inc.

solar power at megaprint

Solar Construction Begins!

A few months back we did the analysis to see if solar made sense for MegaPrint Inc. It does!

Last week they started site work on our solar project. We will install 152 pedestal mounted solar panels that should generate 48KW at peak output. It will save us about 2/3 of our power bill. With all the rebates and tax savings, the project pays back in 3 years. They say.

We decided to put the array in the field behind the building. Since we have a flat roof, it is actually less expensive to put them on the ground. The big reason, though, was that the snow will slide off them this way, but would have obstructed them for several months a year if roof racks were used.

We are excited to see the meter start to go in reverse on a bright summer day!

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Foamcore Mounted Poster

poster mounted on foamcore

Foamcore Poster

Here’s a poster we printed for the Loon Preservation Committee about a study of loon populations on Squam Lake (otherwise known as Golden Pond).

In this case, the poster needs to stand on a table along with other things, and it works best to have it elevated just a bit with an easel holder. So, they bought a poster mounted on foamcore and put the edge trim around to protect the edges.

They could have used a trifold poster, but then it would have been right down on the table. This setup works really well for the way they do their display.

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Economy Tri-Fold Posters

conference self standing poster

Economy Tri-Fold Display

We are announcing our Economy Tri-Fold Display. This self standing poster is printed directly onto foamcore, which is a less expensive way of printing on board. We pass the savings on to you!

We are charging $99 for a 36×48″ Economy Tri-Fold, and $79 for a 30×40″. Everything is set up in our online ordering, and you can securely order there.

The Economy Tri-Fold Posters fold down to half size for easy shipping. The “wings” swing back out to allow the poster to stand on a table, as shown.

One thing, though, is at this price we can’t give you free ground shipping.

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Resizing a Poster

poster proportional app

Poster Resizing Tool

This great little app is now showing on our home page at postersession.com.

Often, you’ll want to start with a template from a colleague or a poster you created in the past. The conference where you are presenting has different size requirements. This handy poster sizing app lets you input the size of the file you have, and see what poster sizes you can get out of it without having to redesign the poster.

For instance, if you have a 36×24 poster and want us to print it 48″ wide, the tool tells you that it will be 32″ high. Order that size when you place your online order, and we’ll scale your poster up to the size you order. Everything will be beautiful!

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Square Research Posters

scientific posters square

Square Posters at a Conference

We print a lot of posters that are the same height and width, i.e. they are square. People ask for a template for whatever size they need, often 1 meter square, 48×48″, 44×44 ore 42×42.

The answer is to use the 48×48″ research poster template posted on our site. Since we can print at any proportional size, simply use the template and then tell us what size it needs to be when you place your order online.

That works for any of our templates. For instance, the 36×48″ poster template is set up in a 3:4 ratio. It can be used for any poster you want in that ratio, such as a 30×40 or a 48×64.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

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Fabric Research Posters

foldable fabric posters

Fabric Poster

People ask how our foldable fabric poster compares to a paper poster. The answer is:

  1. It prints just like paper, with the same bright colors and sharp type. Even fluorescent stains show up with good contrast.
  2. It is a polyester fabric that doesn’t crease sharply, so it can be folded and still look good for your presentation.

We sure sell a lot of them! Give our foldable fabric poster a try for your next poster session.

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Logo Issues on Research Posters

low resolution logo

Pixellated logo

One of the most common problems we see with research posters is low resolution logos. This is caused by people copying and pasting the logo from their institution’s web site into their poster.

The low resolution logo looks fine an inch across on your screen (which is 100 dpi), but starts to get pretty choppy when you make it six inches across on your poster, and then 16 dpi.

It’s always best to view your poster at 100% (200% if we will be printing at 200%) to see how your logos, charts and graphs, and photos are looking. If they are blurry, or stair-stepped, that’s usually a resolution problem.

A few suggestions to avoid this:

  1. You can usually get a good logo, either from the PR department or a colleague.
  2. Often a search for “logo” on the website will yield a good quality jpg or png file.
  3. We have an archive of good logos from hundreds of institutions, call us and we’ll email one to you.
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