Large Format Poster Printing

Updated as of Fall 2019: Everyone loves the ability to create and print large scale graphic representations of our work but we hate the error messages, ink stripes, and “Plotter is down” signs on the doorway to the lab.

Finals week spring term 2014. Not a pretty day for the plotter.

Finals week spring term 2014. Not a pretty day for the plotter.

Like any piece of mechanical equipment that is heavily used, the plotter will occasionally break. Although we usually have no warning when this is about to happen, there are a few things that everyone can do to help us tame the plotter.

Professors –

  • The large format plotter printer is now located in the Davis Library at the print station near Circulation. See the ITS for more information about printing, including information about the plotters.
  • The plotters will only be available when the libraries are open. There will be staff at Circulation that may be able to offer printing advice, but most likely the best choice is to contact the ITS HelpDesk if your students have issue printing their posters.
  • Be sure your students know how to use the best tools to create a poster. (A lot of students use PowerPoint files that can be challenging to scale correctly. We recommend using Illustrator and provide docs for how to do this too!) Faculty can also request a poster tutorial session for their class by submitting a helpdesk ticket here.  
  • If you are requiring posters for your class and want your department to cover the cost of poster printing follow these instructions early in the semester.

Students –

  • Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to create a visual piece of work. It might seem like it will come together faster than a paper, but often there is just one component that you can’t get to look just right, or a feature in Adobe Illustrator that is not working the way you expected.
  • The Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry has some resources to support large format poster creation on their Toolshed & Tutorials site, scroll down and search for “Creating Posters with Adobe Illustrator”
  • More in-depth tutorials for Illustrator are available with your Middlebury subscription to Linkedin Learning. For example, see: Illustrator 2021 Essential Training (login with your Middlebury network email and password to access)
  • Make an appointment with a DLINQ student intern to review poster design tools and your project plan.
  • Fully proof your poster on the screen before sending the file to print on the plotter.


Recycle your scraps and remember that advanced planning is often the key to success!

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