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Designing Your Own Poster

Poster sizes and prices

Please make sure you double-check the dimensions of your allocated display board area with the organisers of the meeting to determine the size and orientation of your poster (i.e. landscape or portrait layout) to best fit this area.

(N.B. There is no ‘standard’ size or orientation for posters!)

We prefer to work to ‘A’ sizes (see below), but we can accommodate custom sizes if required e.g. 650mm x 650mm (with one dimension of the poster measuring no more than 1100mm, our maximum roll width).

Prices for Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board staff and students

     This is the caption
A01189mm x 841mm (46 x 33 inches)£30
A1841mm x 594mm (33 x 23 inches)£18
A2594mm x 420mm (23 x 16 inches)£10
Up to A3420mm x 297mm (16 x 12 inches)£6
Title Banner841mmx 152mm (33 x 6 inches)£7
 1 metre square£40
Custom Sizes (N.B. max. roll width 1100 mm):
     This is the caption
Band 1up to 1700mm£50
Band 2up to 2300mm£80
Band 3per extra 500mm£30

Poster prices for all External NHS Trusts and Non-staff/Private Orders 

     This is the caption
A01189 x 841 mm (46 x 33 inches)£48
A1841 x 594 mm (33 x 23 inches)£30
A2594 x 420 mm (23 x 16 inches)£18
Up to A3420 x 297 mm (16 x 12 inches)£10
Title Banner841 x 152 mm (33 x 6 inches)£11
 1 metre square£60
Custom Sizes (N.B. max. roll width 1100 mm):
     This is the caption
Band 1 up to 1700mm  £78
Band 2up to 2300mm£115
Band 3per extra 500mm £48

If you require your poster urgently (i.e. within 5 full working days*) then a 50% surcharge will be added to all the prices listed above. (*N.B. Poster files need to be received and booked-in BEFORE 11am each working day to be included within a ‘full working day’.)

Cardiff University Oracle Purchase Orders

For all poster orders from Cardiff University staff and students, an Oracle Purchase Order needs to be raised on the Oracle Finance System to BLS - Media Resources.

Once the requisition has been processed by Purchasing, the official Oracle Purchase Order will automatically be emailed to the Poster Service. Once your Purchase Order has been received it will be treated as confirmed.

If we advise you that the total cost has changed, due to subsequent changes in the job specification, etc., YOU must contact Purchasing to amend your original Oracle Purchase Order to reflect this. (N.B. We CANNOT do this on your behalf in the Oracle System.)

You will be advised via email once your work is completed and is ready for collection. If you then have any queries about the work you have received, then you must contact the Poster Service in the Media Resources Centre BEFORE receipting your order in Oracle.

Once you accept the job, it MUST be receipted in Oracle. Please advise the Finance Administrator in YOUR Department that this needs to be done as soon as possible, so that the funds can be transferred. Reminder emails will be sent if this is not done within 5 days. The funds will then be transferred by FINCE Accounts Payable.

For Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and External Trust Orders

A Chargeable Work Form (CWF) must be completed before the job can be released. The CWF should include an official order / requisition number, brief details of the work required and be signed by an authorised signatory in your Department. To request a pdf of the CWF,

Private work

For all private work, a CWF must be completed before the job can be released. The CWF should include an official order / requisition number, brief details of the work required and be signed by an authorised signatory. Private orders must be paid for, by cash or personal cheque (we cannot accept card payments), at the time of collection.

To avoid any unnecessary delays, CWFs must be sent or faxed to our Reception Desk at the Heath Park Campus - Fax: 029 2074 2120 - as soon as your order is raised. Once the Media Resources Centre receives your CWF, it will be treated as confirmed.

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Help and Advice


Keep text concise! If the basis of your poster is a scientific paper, you will need to radically edit the text. Use bullet point lists wherever possible to condense the bulk of text. The poster should be a brief summary of your research and used as a simple, but attractive, visual aid to present your work.

Any additional information, e.g. Abstract, full list of References, etc., can be supplied as printed handouts at the meeting.

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Design software

We are able to print posters from both PC and Apple Mac computer platforms. Supported graphics software programs include:


  • PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • QuarkXpress
  • CorelDraw
  • Photoshop


  • PowerPoint
  • QuarkXpress
  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop

If you are new to designing posters, it is important to read the advice on our web pages or contact the Poster Service Team before you start your poster, especially if you plan to use a different graphics software program from the ones listed above:

Poster Service

Phone:029 2074 3304


Also, because of different style-sheets and re-formatting problems associated with Microsoft Word, we advise you to cut and paste text from a Word or Notepad document into one of the supported programs, e.g. PowerPoint.

PDF files

We can also print directly from a high-resolution PDF file, but please note that we will be unable to make any corrections to this type of file and, after checking the free A3 poster proof we supply, you will be responsible for making any corrections and returning an amended pdf file for us to print your final poster.

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You will find it helpful if you sketch a rough layout of your poster on paper before working on your computer. This will enable you to plan the best positions for photographs, tables and diagrams, etc.

Most scientific posters are organised under the following headings (N.B. please read and follow the conference organiser's instructions as additional material may need to be added, e.g. Abstract/Poster Number, Conference Logo, etc.):



Author(s) Institutions/Addresses







Whatever headings you use, remember your poster must be logical and easy to follow. Design your poster on a single A4 page layout (i.e. 210mm x 297mm), we will then enlarge it proportionally to your required ‘A’ size.

If your poster needs to be a custom size, set the page proportional (i.e. quarter-size) to the final required size and we will enlarge it (e.g. if the poster is to be 1000mm x 800mm, set the page size in your graphics software program to 250mm x 200mm). Please note the maximum width of our largest paper roll is 1100mm, so ensure that one dimension is less than 270mm when preparing a quarter-size poster.

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Scanned images

One of the printing problems we regularly encounter is related to scanned images at the wrong resolution for large posters. Please either ask us for technical advice or see our Scanning advice web page.

We are able to able to scan hard copy documents or photographs up to A4 in size. Larger documents will need to be digitally photographed. We can arrange for all this to be carried out at the correct resolution for incorporating into a poster, but please allow extra time for this work to be carried out.

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Optimising images

Images need to be optimised (i.e. scanned and/or edited to the correct size and resolution using image-editing software, such as Photoshop) before they can be imported into your poster design. This not only keeps your poster file size small, making it easier to e-mail to us, but it also allows the file to be processed quicker via our poster printer.

Images resourced from the internet are generally not good enough resolution for printing at the larger sizes required for posters. A resolution of at least 300dpi at real size (i.e. as it appears when initially imported into the A4 page layout) is the optimum requirement for any imported image and will sustain enlargement to A0 size and even larger.

A quick check to see if your images will reproduce correctly when printed is to enlarge the screen view of the A4 page layout to 400%. If the image appears too pixelated, then this is how it will appear on your final poster printout.

Please ask us for any help you may require regarding optimising your images.

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The colours you choose for text, graphs and diagrams need to contrast well with the background colour of your poster.

Be aware that some colour combinations do not work well together, e.g. red or orange against a blue background; green text on a red background, etc.

We recommend dark text on a light background for ease of reading. Avoid placing images behind text, as these often distract from the content of the text and can make reading your poster difficult.

When using PowerPoint, avoid the 'transparent' colour option, especially when items are placed over background images, as these can cause print problems.

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Font and type sizes

Please note that we only support ‘standard’ computer fonts. Use either a sans serif font, e.g. Arial or Verdana, or a serif font, e.g. Times or Palatino, which all work well on posters.

Decorative or fancy fonts, including some italicised standard fonts, are sometimes difficult to read and should be avoided or used sparingly and definitely not used for the majority of the poster text. (N.B. If you have to include a non-standard font in your design, then this will have to be supplied along with your poster file.)

Suggested type sizes for an A4 page layout on screen:

     This is the caption
FormatFont sizes
Title16pt to 18pt
Sub-headings12pt to 14pt
Main text8pt to 10pt

To make the text of your titles and sub-headings stand out, use bold text, or choose a different colour, or use a combination of these.

Do not underline text for emphasis, as letters such as 'g' and 'y' will be cut in half by the line, making the text difficult to read. Again, do not underline web or email addresses for the same reason.

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Please ensure that you and at least one other person have spell-checked and proof read your poster content, including any imported diagrams and flow-charts, before submitting the file for printing. (N.B. Especially check English versus American spellings!)

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Poster production

Using our Poster Service