UMass Amherst
Site Search
UMass Amherst Learning CommonsContact Us

Services » Learning Commons Technology Resources » Poster Printing

Poster Printing

About the Service | Pricing and Payment | Before Your Appointment | When You Arrive | Make an Appointment | F.A.Q.

See also:

 About the service

  • Poster printerPrint posters on 42" wide heavyweight, satin-finish photo paper

  • Open to all

  • By appointment only (view calendar/make reservation)

  • Payment by UCard, Guest UCard, or Department Copy/Print Card only

  • Poster must be in one of these formats: PDF or JPEG.
    (PDF conversion software is available on OIT workstations in the Learning Commons.)

 Pricing and payment

  • Posters cost $0.02 per square inch to print (2 cents per square inch).
  • To calculate the price based on square inches, multiply the length of poster by the width of poster to get total square inches.    Then multiply square inch total by .02


        * 36" x 48" = $34.56 (36x48 = 1728, 1728 x.02 = 34.56)


  • Payment must be made using a UCard, guest UCard or Department Copy/Print Card.
    • UCard website (check balance, create debit account, add value, more)
    • Guest UCards are available for purchase from UCard Value Transfer Stations located in the Learning Commons (lower level).

  • We can create custom sizes as long as one side of your poster is 42" or less.  Ask in advance if you have questions!

 Before your appointment

  • Important! The following must be done before your appointment time. Appointments are tightly scheduled.
  • Plan ahead:
    • You will be contacted within 24 hours of your request for an appointment Monday through Friday. Requests made over the weekend will be answered Monday morning.  Allow extra time in the event of unforeseen delays. (In some cases, poster printing can take several hours depending on the size of the file).

  • Format your file:
    • Format your file: The poster must be in PDF or JPEG

    • Proofread everything carefully: if converting your file to PDF, proofread both before and after converting. You can convert your poster to PDF in the Learning Commons on the OIT computers. Please convert the file to PDF BEFORE arriving for your scheduled appointment time at the LC desk.

    • LC staff are happy to help—just come a little early.

  • Preview the converted file CAREFULLY to make sure everything is as you want it:
    • View the file at 100% size so that you see it as it will appear printed out.

    • Look for typos, misalignments, pixelation, stray lines or other oddities.
    • Refunds are only available in the case of equipment malfunction. You'll have a chance to look over your file one last time during your appointment.

    • If you are having trouble formatting your poster so that it looks good at the size of the final product, check out our poster design tips, or ask at the LC Desk.

  • Bring your file:
    • On a USB drive or have it ready to download from your UDrive or other Web-accessible storage location.

    • Know the dimensions of your poster. (This can help cut the cost).

  • Bring your UCard, Guest UCard or Department Copy/Print Card:
    • With enough money on it to pay for your job (plus a dollar or two for wiggle room).

  • Plan on at least an hour:
    • The active part of your appointment should take 15 minutes or less.  Poster printing itself will take longer.

    • You can come back later to pick up the poster if necessary.

  • Transporting your poster:
    • If you’d like a tube for your poster, please be sure to bring one with you. Tubes can be purchased at the University Store in the Campus Center.

 When you arrive

  • Come to the Learning Commons & Technical Support Desk (lower level, W.E.B. Du Bois Library) at your appointment time. A staff person will meet you and work with you on printing your poster.

  • We’ll load your file onto our workstation and review the file with you to make sure it is the correct size and format. It is up to you to make sure the file looks the way you want it before you arrive—but you’ll have an opportunity to give it one last look-over before it is printed.

  • We’ll send the job from our workstation to the printer, which is located in the Learning Commons. You and an LC staff member will swipe your UCard and release the job to begin printing.

  • If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, or if your file is not ready to send to the printer by 15 minutes into your appointment, you may need to forfeit your appointment time and reschedule.

 Make an appointment

  • Go to our Appointments Page: view available appointments on the calendar; fill out the form under the calendar to request a time.

  • Someone will get back to you to confirm your reservation within 24 hours; there is no guarantee that the appointment time you choose will be available.


  • Can I walk in and print a poster? No, you need to make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. See available appointments/request appointment .

  • Can I arrange printing for my class?   Yes, with advanced notice.   Availability depends on scheduling constraints so contact the LC Desk at as early as possible. 
  • Can I charge the poster to my department or program? Only if your department or program can supply you with a Department Copy/Print Card or guest UCard that you can swipe to pay for the poster. UCards, Guest UCards and Department Copy/Print Card are the only forms of payment we accept. Please see your department administrator if you have questions of contact the UCard Office.

  • Can I print a PowerPoint slide? Only if you convert it to PDF first. This can be done easily at any workstation in the Learning Commons--staff at the LC Desk would be happy to help. See also Making a Poster Using PowerPoint 2010, courtesy of Eastern Michigan University .

  • I have questions about planning/designing my poster. We've collected some poster design resources that might help. We're happy to try to answer what we can, but LC staff are not experts at poster planning or design.

  • What kind of printer/paper do you have? We have an 2 HP DesignJet Z3200 42" color printers. The paper we use is 42" wide HP Premium Satin Instant Dry. It is heavyweight, photo-quality paper.
  • What if I have multiple copies? Submit a request stating how many posters are needed. Accommodations to print multiple posters are occasionally made if normal scheduling constraints allow for an exception.

  • Will you trim my poster to a smaller size if the printed area is less than 42 inches? Yes, we have a poster cutter to trim away excess areas.

  • I need exact color calibration/an archival quality print. Our service is designed for student-level work: poster presentations for classes, conferences, etc. While the printed product is very high quality, it is not archival-quality. We do not offer exact color calibration: what you see on the printed page may not be identical to what you see on the screen, although it will be close. We can refer you to other area services that may offer more advanced options.

  • What if I notice a typo or error or change my mind after the job is sent to the printer? When you arrive for your appointment, you'll have a chance to preview your file one last time to make sure all looks as it should. Once you swipe your UCard, guest UCard, or department print card you commit to paying to print the file. Refunds and reprints are available only in the event of printer malfunction, such as the printer running out of ink or paper partway through your job. If you need to reprint your job for any other reason, you will need to make another appointment and pay for the reprint.

  • I have more questions! Email us at Let us know how you'd like to be contacted back (phone, email, etc.). Someone will get back to you within 24 hours on Monday through Friday, or on Monday mornings from weekend inquiries.


Last Edited: 9 January 2014