Printing a Fabric Poster

My colleague Helen Cho has had enough with travelling with poster tubes to academic conferences. She’s decided to instead have her poster printed on fabric, something that can be easily transported in her carry-on bag. In helping her figure out the best way to do this, I found the following review from the American Society for Cell Biology. In anthropology, we don’t use or value posters as much as we should, so the best source of advice could be found among the scientists who do value posters for academic presentations.

If you’re not looking forward to the prospect of traveling with a giant cardboard tube, yet you’re reluctant to return to the days of the multiple-panel poster, consider printing on fabric.

Jessica Polka recommends a service called Spoonflower. She suggests using a performance knit that brings out colors and has good wrinkle-resistance. In 2013 prices, she finds the cost of a 36″ x 58″ poster (including shipping) with a 10 calendar day return time is $25.00 (2014 Update: prices haven’t changed in a year, $24.60 with shipping).

This looks like a much better alternative to paper posters. With all the poster presentations that students have done over the years, my office is covered with rolls of paper. With polyester knit, I can maybe make shirts or other clothing with old posters!