Best Practices: Solving Poster Problems
Poster Day was causing problems, and Jim Sabulski knew he had to do something about it.
At the end of each semester, Misericordia Univeristy’s Division of Health Sciences requires students to construct research posters, which are displayed for the community during “Poster Day.” These final projects are printed at the university’s Dallas, Pa., in-plant. While the influx of work may seem like a boon for an in-plant, the procedure of producing the posters was causing more than its fair share of headaches.
Professors were requesting the projects be completed on PowerPoint, but not all students had the same version. Files were riddled with mistakes, such as text boxes that hadn’t been removed and low-resolution images. Posters had to be sent back to the students for corrections. Professors were also frustrated because they could not provide a concrete price for posters, since prices would vary depending on how much time the shop had to put into each one.
“It just got to be crazy to the point where I just threw my hands up and said, ‘We need to do something about this,’ ” recalls Sabulski, manager of Print and Mail Services.
Sabulski called a meeting with approximately 10 faculty members and explained his idea to create templates for students to use to make their posters. The faculty members were enthused by the concept, so Sabulski went to work.
They were created in two sizes, 48x36˝ and 56x42˝. Each size had eight versions of the same template, ranging from basic black and white, to posters with fancy colors, including a consistent representation of the school’s colors. The templates also included instructions and a reference guide for using PowerPoint, both produced by the in-plant.
Professors were also able to inform students of the price: $25 for the smaller poster and $35 for the larger size. Posters were all submitted as PDFs and were generally mistake free. They were printed on the in-plant’s Epson Stylus Pro 9880 driven by a ColorBurst RIP.
When poster day rolled around this past semester, Sabulski said the changes did not go unnoticed, and he and his in-plant received an exorbitant amount of praise.
“The one big thing that I heard is there were a lot fewer students going to faculty members asking PowerPoint questions, PDF questions and font questions, and stuff like that,” Sabulski recalls. “There was a lot of time saved there for them.”