Feb 28, 2012

How to Setup Your Poster Size Correctly (PowerPoint)

One of the most common issues that we have encountered when printing posters for our customers is the incorrect page size specified in their PDF files.  For example, a customer wanted to print a 36" x 56" poster, but the PDF file that he sent to us only had a page size of 7.5" x 12".  Enlarging a 7.5" x 12" page into a 36" x 56" poster likely would generate a poster that does not have enough resolution for quality viewing.

Since the page size problem of a PDF file is most likely caused by the incorrect slide size set in a PowerPoint file, which is later used to generate the PDF file, in this post we want to talk about the slide size setting of a PowerPoint file.

When you create a poster in PowerPoint, you are essentially creating one big "slide" that is your poster.  The default slide size of a new PowerPoint presentation is 7.5" x 10".  As mentioned previously, the page size of 7.5" x 10" cannot be printed into a good quality poster.  Therefore, you have to set the slide size to the desired size of your poster.  

Feb 24, 2012

Why PosterSmith.com Takes only PDF Format Files?

We ask our customers to send us only PDF format files for print. WHY? 

This is because PowerPoint files don't always print the way they look on-screen.  A great number of PowerPoint files encounter problems when moved from one computer to another -- graphics disappear or misprint, text and labels shift position, Greek letters vanish. 

While other printing companies may take your PowerPoint files, what they actually do is to first convert your files to PDF format and then send them back to you for "digital proofing".  This will inevitably delay the printing and shipment of your order by at least one day.  We ask for only PDF format files because we don't want to surprise you with this unexpected extra day.  We understand very well that our customers all have a presentation deadline to catch.

Feb 23, 2012

The Material of Our Fabric Poster

Many users wrote us inquiries wanting to know more about the material of our fabric poster.  We will provide some information about our fabric material in this article. 

First of all, our crease-resistant fabric posters are finding great acceptance among our customers.  A great number of positive feedback that we have received so far were all about the premium quality of our fabric and its unexpected use for printing.  In fact, the choice of our fabric material was the result of a three-month search process.  We had tested more than 20 fabric materials to finally land in our current pick, and 
we take great pride in offering our customers the highest level of service.  

The fabric poster offered by PosterSmith.com is made of 100% polyester fibers with UV inhibitor coating.  This crease-resistant fabric is light and durable and is specifically designed for high resolution printing.  Because of the UV inhibitor coating, the ink printed on our fabric poster will last much longer than a paper poster whose color typically fades after just one year.  The printing quality of our fabric poster is better than printing on the widely-used matte paper.  Your poster printed on our fabric material will resemble the feeling of printing on a glossy paper (which has tighter surface and looks brighter) but generates no glossy-paper reflective glare.

The following picture is a close-up view of our fabric poster.  As you can see from this picture, our ink will not "bleed" or make your type and photo fuzzy as other fabric will.

To give you a better idea about our fabric material, we have prepared the following 30-second demonstration clip.  Please feel free to contact us if you have more questions or concerns about our printing service.

Feb 17, 2012

When Will I Receive My Poster? (Our Delivery Schedule)

We understand clearly it is of utmost importance that we deliver our customers' posters in time for their upcoming conferences.  To better assist our users in planning ahead for their poster printing, we have added in our website a new page of estimated delivery for orders placed with us!

Estimated arrivals for orders placed with us are summarized in the following table.

Please note that this delivery schedule is only valid for continental United States.  If you have any need for a worldwide delivery, please feel free to contact us.

Just a final note that please add one more day to the estimated arrival if a holiday is encountered. UPS and FedEx do not deliver on holidays.

Feb 16, 2012

About the PosterSmith Logo Added to Our Free Posters

Some of our users are interested in trying out our Free Poster deal.  This Free Poster deal is our sincere invitation to all of our users, no matter used or never used a free poster before, to experience the service that we are providing.  We invite you to use our fabric poster to believe it is the future.

Our Free Poster deal is simple enough: You pay $78 for shipping and handling, and we will print you a free poster with a small 1/2 inch border of PosterSmith.com logo applied to it.  

While curious about trying out our Free Poster deal, some of the users asked us what would their posters look like if a 1/2 inch border of PosterSmith logo is applied to their posters?  Should they prepare for the worst case that their professional poster turn out looking like a commercial billboard?!  

Feb 15, 2012

Converting PowerPoint to PDF (Mac)

In our previous post, we talked about how to convert a PowerPoint file to PDF format in Windows environment.  This post will talk about how to do so on a Mac.  

Suppose you are making a poster that is 48 inches (width) by 36 inches (height).
  1. With your poster file open, go to File on the menu bar and select Page Setup.
  2. In the size section, you should see the following:  
    • Slides sized for: custom 
    • Width: 48 inches
    • Height: 36 inches
  3. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  4. Go to File on the menu bar and select Save as to open the dialog box.
  5. In the Format drop-down list, select PDF.
  6. Click on Save.
As a final reminder, please proof your new PDF file carefully before submitting for print!  PowerPoint is famous for not printing things exactly as they appear on screen.  We will talk about some tips of proofing your PDF file in our future posts.

Feb 14, 2012

Converting PowerPoint to PDF (Windows)

This post will talk about how to convert your poster made by PowerPoint to a PDF file so that you can submit it to PosterSmith.com for print.  We will talk about how to do so in Windows environment first.  If you are a Mac OS X user, we will cover this topic in our next post.

First of all, before making any conversion, please make sure that your PowerPoint poster is set at the size that you want it to be printed into.  

If you are using PowerPoint 2007 to prepare your poster, converting your file to PDF format can be accomplished by the following steps:
  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF or XPS.
  2. In the File name list, type or select a name for the poster.
  3. In the Save as type list, click PDF.
  4. If you want to open the file immediately after saving it, select the Open file after publishing check box. This check box is available only if you have a PDF reader installed on your computer.
  5. Next to Optimize for,  click Standard (publishing online and printing) since your poster requires high print quality.
  6. Click Publish.

If you are using PowerPoint 2010, please follow these steps to convert your file to PDF format:
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Save As.
  3. In the File Name box, enter a name for the file, if you haven't already.
  4. In the Save as type list, click PDF (*.pdf).
    • If you want the file to open in the selected format after saving, select theOpen file after publishing check box.
    • Click Standard (publishing online and printing), since your poster requires high print quality.
  5. Click Save.

If you are using an earlier version of PowerPoint, the easiest solution for converting your file to PDF format is to use a third-party tool:

While you can use Adobe Acrobat (Pro or Standard) or Adobe Distiller to convert your PowerPoint poster to PDF format, many third-party providers offer software for converting Microsoft Office documents to PDF files. Here are some of the Office Marketplace providers that provide PowerPoint-to-PDF converters.

As a final reminder, p
lease proof your new PDF file carefully before submitting for print!  PowerPoint is famous for not printing things exactly as they appear on screen.  We will talk about some tips of proofing your PDF file in our future posts.

Feb 12, 2012

PosterSmith BLOG is now Online!

From time to time, users would come to us for various issues of their poster making or printing.  Very often we discovered that the issues actually can be resolved with just some simple tricks.  Though simple enough, it could cost plenty of valuable times for our users before submitting their posters to us for print.

To help the users of PosterSmith.com, we have created this blog as a knowledge base of preparing a poster for professional printing.  We will publish in this blog some of the most often encountered issues of making a poster and their solutions.  Hopefully, these information will give our users a lift whenever help is needed.