Fabric posters

12 Dec 2014

Don’t you hate having to take a poster to conferences? The tube is bulky, it’s easy to forget in the airport (or on the plane!), sometimes you get charged extra for your “additional carry-on” and often the poster doesn’t look great once it arrives. Plus, it’s expensive to print a poster, and you usually only get one use out of it.

Enter, the fabric poster!

I learned about this wonderful option via twitter, before the Women in Statistics Conference. I was one of three women to bring fabric posters. Shown here are the other two, demonstrating one of the fantastic things about fabric posters– they’re flexible!

Better than that, you can fold them up in your suitcase and they don’t wrinkle (or if they do, you can iron them!). Plus, they have the same DPI as paper, they’re cheaper, and you can easily re-use them (either as a poster or as a superhero cape). Still not sold? Check out these photos from IEEE Vis in Paris. The conference organizers needed to take down the posters quickly, and almost anyone with a paper poster ended up with something ripped, wrinkled, and taped to someone else’s poster.

Okay, so how do you do it? This post is fantastic, and it’s where I learned how to print a fabric poster. For whatever reason, that link keeps changing, so I’ll summarize the main points:

  • use the website spoonflower.com
  • choose the “performance knit” fabric, which should cost around $25
  • upload your poster as a png (ignore at your peril!)
  • make sure it looks right, and order!

Printing and shipping is variable, but Spoonflower has a data-driven page that will tell you how many days production is currently taking. If you need your poster quickly, you can pay for rush shipping, but either way the poster will come folded up in one of those soft plastic envelopes that fits easily into any mailbox. What are you waiting for?