Poster Printing


CSURF will print research posters for undergraduate and graduate students. Please keep in mind that printing posters is just one of many things that CSURF does. We will provide this service free of charge but do not have the personnel to print posters on demand. UNCW Printing Services is often a good option if you need a quicker turnaround than we can provide.

To submit a poster for printing, upload the PDF of your poster to the appropriate folder below. Generally, posters will be printed every Thursday, though that may shift depending on Dr. Liu’s schedule, including holidays. The listed dates are the dates the posters will be printed. To get your poster printed on that day, you must upload your file by 11:59pm the night before. For example, if you would like your poster printed on Thursday February 2 2023, you must have your poster uploaded by 11:59pm Wed Feb 1 (the links will automatically expire). The timing of when your poster will be printed will be determined by how many posters have been submitted and Dr. Liu’s schedule. Please keep an eye on your email as Dr. Liu will email with any problems and when your poster is ready to pick up. Posters sent by email will NOT be printed.

If you are an instructor of a class or organizer of an event requiring posters, please contact Dr. Liu (liuk@uncw.edu) well in advance (i.e., many weeks) of when the posters need to be printed. There will likely be different deadlines and submission processes that will need to be communicated to the students. We also want to make sure there will be staffing and supplies available to complete the requests. If these get submitted to the general dropboxes, there may be delays getting all the posters printed.

November, December, April, and May are very busy months for poster printing (and CSURF in general). If you predict needing multiple posters during this time, we recommend you reach out to Dr. Liu (liuk@uncw.edu).

Rules for uploading posters:

  • Your file must be a PDF and named with LastName_StudentID at the beginning of the filename. For example, “Smith_si1234 Showcase Poster.pdf”. Other file formats will not be accepted.  Incorrectly naming your file will cause delays in communication if there are problems or once your poster is printed.
  • Do not leave multiple files in the main folder.  If you upload the wrong file and OneDrive won’t let you delete it, move it to the Do Not Print folder and then upload the correct file into the original folder. This can result in significant delays or the incorrect poster being printed.
  • All files submitted for printing MUST be “Printer Ready.” We will not make changes or corrections to poster files.  This means all proof reading must be done and approvals received from your mentors and co-authors before the file is submitted.
  • We will print posters ONCE. If it becomes necessary for you to make a change to your poster file after the folder has been closed, email Dr. Katherine Liu (liuk@uncw.edu) so the job can be put on hold. It is your responsibility to make the changes and submit a new PDF file for printing in an appropriate timeframe. CSURF will only print one poster per student, per event, so if the original poster has already been printed, you will need to find another printer (UNCW Printing Services, Office Depot, FedEx, etc). If the error is due to something we did (e.g., the colors are off due to an empty cartridge), we are happy to reprint but this must be brought to our attention immediately.
  • Please upload only one poster per file. If a file has more than one poster, we will not print anything.
  • Please follow these rules and the guidelines for making posters found below. We reserve the right to decline posters that do not meet these rules and guidelines.
Folders for uploading posters: [Important note: You must use these provided links to access the folders. If a friend asks for the link, sending them the URL of the folder will not work and we are not likely to provide individual access to the folders.]

To be printed February 02, 2023; Due Feb 01, 11:59pm

To be printed February 09, 2023; Due Feb 08, 11:59pm

To be printed February 16, 2023; Due Feb 15, 11:59pm

To be printed February 23, 2023; Due Feb 22, 11:59pm

To be printed March 02, 2023; Due March 01, 1159pm

[No posters will be printed during Spring Break]

To be printed March 16, 2023; Due March 15, 11:59pm

[No additional posters will be printed until after the Spring Showcase]

To be printed April 06, 2023; Due April 05, 11:59pm

To be printed April 13, 2023; Due April 12, 11:59pm

To be printed April 20, 2023; Due April 19, 11:59pm

To be printed April 27, 2023; Due April 26, 11:59pm

To be printed May 04, 2023; Due May 03 11:59pm

Guidelines for making posters

  • The very first thing you should do is set the dimensions in your PowerPoint file. Making your poster at a smaller size and then scaling it up can lead to formatting errors and blurry images.
  • One of the dimensions of your poster must be 36 inches or 42 inches. We recommend posters be 36x48 inches but make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the conference or event organizers. Any files submitted at different dimensions (i.e., neither dimension is 36 or 42 inches) will likely be scaled to 36x48 inches during the printing process. If you intentionally need your poster printed smaller, please let us know at csurf@uncw.edu (you must still upload your file to the appropriate folder, though, to get it printed) *note that the boards UNCW uses for poster events are 48 inches wide
  • Backgrounds must be white or very lightly colored.
  • Leave a small margin around the edge so that nothing gets cut off during the printing process.

Picking up posters

You will receive an email from CSURF or Dr. Liu when your poster is ready to be picked up. They are kept in a public space so we recommend picking them up as soon as possible so that nothing happens to them. This also lets you check for mistakes that may have occurred through the printing process. If the mistake is because of something we did, we can reprint it for you. If you wait until the day of your event, however, we will not do emergency reprints.

Saving PowerPoint files as .pdf files

For Windows Users:

  1. Click on File in the top left-hand corner of the PowerPoint window, then click “Save As”
  2. Choose where you want to save your file and enter your file name (following the naming scheme presented above).
  3. Select “PDF (*.pdf)” as your file If given the option (or under “More options…”) select “Standard (publishingonline and printing)”. Then click Save.

For Mac Users:

  1. In PowerPoint go to “File” in menu, select “Export.”
  2. Select “PDF” as the file
  3. Save the PDF version of your

**Regardless of Windows or Mac, check the page size of the PDF before submitting to make sure it is the size you want for your final poster.


Resources for poster design

There are many ways to design great posters. Every project has a different story, and different stories benefit from different designs. Here are some collected resources:

Artwork and photos used in your poster should be original work. If you use material that is not yours, make sure youhave permission to use the material before submitting your file for printing, and your poster includes appropriate acknowledgement.

The image resolution for all artwork and photos should be at least 100 pixels per inch (ppi) after it is placed and sized  in your poster file. If the image resolution is less than 100 ppi, the artwork and photos will appear jagged when printed. For example:

  • A 4"x6" photo that is 300 ppi can be enlarged 300% to become a 12"x18" photo at 100
  • A 4"x6", 100 ppi photo that is enlarged 300% will become a 12"x18" photo that is only 33 ppi. This image willappear very

Test image quality by setting the zoom to 100% and checking the clarity of all images and photos.

Information about using UNCW logos – Make sure to use high resolution files!

For questions about workshops or poster making/printing in general, please email: csurf@uncw.edu