Large Format Poster Printing


The large format plotter is available to print posters for displays and presentations for staff and students of the University of Birmingham.

The posters are printed on a 36 inch wide high gloss paper roll, length is trimmed automatically by the plotter, width manually by the user.

Standard paper sizes include A0, A1, Arch E.

Custom page sizes can be accommodated up to 917mm (36.1") by 15m (50ft).


Please be aware that the staff providing the printing service are not dedicated to this task, and you are strongly advised to leave plenty of time between your print job submission and the required by date. The usual hours for the printing service are 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.

Job Submission

To ensure that you provide all the right details, and to make plotting your job easier, please use the provided system.


You can bring posters on CD's and memory sticks as a last resort, but the job submission form needs to be completed anyway.

File Formats

PDF is the recommended file format because you can review exactly what will be sent to me outside of the application that created the poster. The only exception is for posters with transparency effects. PDFs don't always do these well.

Alternatively, you can send Microsoft Office, Libre/Open Office, Postscript, and most standard image types.

Unix users should always use PDF rather than an office file.

Mac users should always print to PDF.

Microsoft Office users are recommended to save as a PDF and submit that.

Important: If you send a native document format please make sure all pictures and fonts are embedded in the poster.

Page Costs

Size Cost
Arch E26
Custom page poa


School within college of Engineering and Physical Sciences, only the element two and three account codes is needed. (e.g. ABCD XYZ1234)

School outside college of Engineering and Physical Sciences, we need an internal purchase order, your accounts office will give you a hand written order. Bring it with you when you collect the poster.

We can also accept cash, although if you need a receipt you will have to pay at the Finance Team office (P16) in the College Hub on the ground floor of the Poynting building extension (R13). Please pay account BBM2568. Rachel and Nicola are most familiar with this process.

Paper sizes

Custom sizes: As long as the inked area and the paper length doesn’t exceed a standard size we will use the standard rate for that size. You must put your custom size requirements in the comment section when submitting your poster. The Maximum width is 917mm. (Note A1 posters are auto rotated by the printer so the maximum custom size is 594 x 917 mm)

Multiple small pages printed on one large page: If you send one file with all the formatting already done then I’ll print it.

We can also print on coated paper (matt finish) if you submit sufficient posters to warrant a roll change.

Poster Creation Tips

Example files


Application page size

You should always set your application's page size to the sizes above. If you use an application page size that is very small e.g. A4 and I have to enlarge it to fit your requested page size you may be disappointed with the print quality.

File formats

PDF, Portable Document Format - you should check your poster on another machine to be sure there are no compatibility problems. Remember to set the PDF page size to your poster size, don't leave it at the default A4. It is recommended that you set the output quality to 600dpi.

PPT, PowerPoint - you must embed fonts, search for 'embed fonts' in the applications help system. Or if available you could use 'Pack & go' or 'Pack for CD' (File menu), an optional component of Office 2000 or newer.

ODP, Open office - you should always save as PDF. This eliminates font differences on MAC, UNIX and Windows systems.

Job Submission

Only try to send one poster at a time. The web interface will seem to allow you to send multiple posters, but only one will be in the job queue.


To chop off the excess paper there is a guillotine available outside the office.


The posters can be collected from Poynting Physics (R13), room PB8E. Directions can be found here

The most straight forward access is through Physics West (R8). From the Physics West entrance opposite the clock tower, go down the stairs, then turn right and walk up the basement corridor. PB8 is on the left.

PDF creation from Windows

If you have an administrator account on your computer then installing the free PDF creator 'CutePDF' is recommended. Go to 'Cute PDF' site now.
This will install a new printer that will print to a PDF file. Don't forget to set the paper size and quality from inside the printer driver.
Quick links to the driver 'CuteWriter.exe' and the helper 'converter.exe'.


If you need to contact someone:
Email: posterking[at]
Plot queue administrator: John Bryant ext 4-6471 Poynting Physics Room PB8E.
Web and 2nd line plot administrator: David Stops ext 4-3652 Physics West Room 222.

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Last Updated: 14-Apr-2015