Poster FAQ

Ordering and payment

Payment for posters from outside of the Department of Physics can be made by purchase order, cash or cheque. We can also accept debit or credit card payments via the Oxford University Store.

Please note payment for orders under £10 is by cash only.

Oxford University orders should be made out to Physics Central and a copy emailed to or alternatively bring a paper copy on collection.

Getting you files to us

Posters can be submitted in person (please see our opening times on our home page) or via email (maximum 20MB per email).
For larger files please use the University's Oxfile service or a file sharing services such as Dropbox, Googledrive etc.

How long will it take

Our normal turnaround time for paper and fabric posters is 2 working days, laminated posters take 3 to 4 working days.

File formats

We can accept popular file formats such as: PowerPoint, PDF, Jpeg, Tiff and Photoshop.

Important information on submitting Powerpoint files:

To ensure compatibility, please include the following information: Operating System (Mac or Windows) and the Microsoft Office version (for Windows: 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013 and for Mac: 2004, 2008 or 2011).

When saving from the Windows Office 2007, 2010, 2013 and Mac 2008, 2011 versions, please use the default .PPTX format - do not save in compatibility mode or as a .PPT

What Sizes

Common sizes are: A0 (1189x841mm) A1 (841x594) and A2 (594x420mm) the maximum poster size is 1060mm wide and a length of up to 2000mm - longer lengths can be printed if no trimming is required.

Should I use RGB or CMYK

For the best colour reproduction please use the RGB colour space.

Fabric Posters

Usage instructions: The poster should be gently folded avoiding sharp creases. If needed the fabric can be lightly ironed using a low temperature setting on the reverse side.

Why should I have my poster laminated

Lamination adds a tough matte finish protective layer and is highly recommended for posters which are being transported, reused several times or on permanent display

Common Problems

Powerpoint Compatibility

Most Powerpoint problems are caused by printing from the incorrect version.

To ensure compatibility please include the following information: Operating System (Mac or PC) and the version used (for PC 2003, 2007 2010 and for Mac 2004, 2008 or 2011).

When saving from the Windows Office 2007, 2010 and Mac 2008, 2011 versions, please use the default .PPTX format - do not save in compatibility mode or as a .PPT

Mathematical symbols

These often cause problems so please take care to use the simplest method of creating them.

Text too small

Avoid creating text at normal page size, it is difficult to read at poster viewing distance.

Too much information

Some times less is more! Avoid cramming too much information on your poster - include all the essential information using graphs, illustrations or photographs as appropriate and edit your text down to a minimum.

Colour problems

Avoid too many colour changes and keep colour choices simple. Subtle colour combinations which look good on your monitor may appear quite different on the finished poster. Avoid strong colour contrasts, especially red/blue and red/green, and remember that 10% of the male population have a red/green deficiency in their colour vision. Also remember that yellow printed on white is nearly impossible to read.


While it is tempting to sit down at the computer and start drafting your poster immediately it is better to start with a large blank sheet of paper and sketch out your ideas first. Using grids will help at this stage and keep your time spent at the computer to a minimum.

Image problems

Avoid using images found on the web unless the resolution is adequate. Many web images look fine on screen but pixelate and distort when scaled up to poster size, web graphics are, on the whole, low resolution and unsuitable for use in posters. If you need to use an image from a website, contact the webmaster and ask them if they can put you in touch with the owner of the image and request from them a 300+ dpi version. Avoid direct pasting from screen grabs or instrument outputs. Import the image into an editing program such as Photoshop or Photo Paint and re-size the image by choosing an appropriate resolution and saving as a Tiff file for importing into the graphic program.