Poster Printer in MGCF in 175 Tan Hall

The MGCF is a computational chemistry facility with a small staff (2 scientists). Poster printing is our side business. We are often busy with other facility tasks, working with a class, at seminar, etc. We fit poster printing in between these tasks. Poster files and billing information should be sent by email (instructions below).

Poster printing Days/Hours: We print posters on most University business days, Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm. This includes semester breaks. Any regular administrative workday is normally a poster printing day even if classes are not in session. We do not print posters on weekends and University holidays.
175 Tan Door Hours: Poster printing hours ≠ Door hours ≠ Staff hours. The door is open Mon-Thur 9am-8pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sun 1pm-8pm, when classes are in session. The door is closed between semesters but we still print posters on most University business days even when the door is closed. Poster pickup is okay any time the door is open. When the door is closed, poster pickup has to occur when staff is present unless you have card key access.

The door to 175 Tan Hall will be closed for Spring Break 3/27-3/31 but we will be printing posters normal hours 3/27-3/30. We will be completely closed (no posters) Friday 3/31 because it is a University Holiday (Cesar Chavez Day).
The American Chemical Society meeting is in SF 4/2-4/6. Kathy and Yinka will be at the meeting on some days so try to print before the meeting. We will update this page once we refine our schedule but you should expect that we will be extremely busy AND have limited availabilty during ACS. See ACS poster Guidelines.


Scheduling: We don't make appointments. Email a PDF (instructions below) 1 or 2 full business days before you need your poster. This is not a hard deadline, just a recommendation. Most PDFs (with 1 dimension below 42 inches) sent to us on regular workdays are printed within a few hours but this is not always possible. Thus, we recommend 1 or 2 full business days.

More time is required before major conferences, new student recruiting and orientation. Please check this page in the days/weeks before you plan to print. Major delays or shutdowns (holidays, part failure on printer, etc) are in red near the top of the page.

Each poster takes 15 minutes to print and 15 minutes to dry. There may be a queue of many posters ahead of yours and we may not be immediately available. PDFs sent early in the day usually result in posters ready for pickup later in the afternoon. You will usually hear from us within a few hours. You get in the queue when we receive your file.

Possible delays? We often suddenly get a large number of poster requests from MCB, Physics, etc. Also, staff has other facility business (classes, seminars, meetings with researchers). Staff unavailabilty for 3 to 4 hours is common and not listed here. Staffing outages of 1 business day or longer are rare and will be in red at the top of the page.

Paper Size: We normally have 42 inch wide paper (on 100 foot roll) loaded. Posters that fit on this (36x48, 42x32, 60x40) are usually printed right away. If both dimensions exceed 42 inches (48x48 for example), then we usually need an extra day to group your poster with like sized submissions for a run on our 60 inch wide (on 100 foot roll) paper.

Paper Details: We use semi gloss, 42 or 60 inch wide paper (on 100 foot long roll). The printer cannot put ink all the way to the edge of the paper on the 42 (or 60) inch axis. It requires about 0.5 inches of space along the edges or it will cutoff (for example, ink can print 41 inches on the 42 inch paper axis). We have a small supply of satin cloth media. That requires at least one extra business day and you should ask us in advance. The material costs are 3X that of the paper.

Costs: We are not a commercial facility and cannot take credit cards or cash. All posters must be charged to a UC Berkeley speedtype or chartstring. We only print University affiliated documents. We don't print obviously personal or commercial posters.

If you need a cash/credit card solution, try Moffitt Copy Center (in Moffitt Library. Call them. They do posters but it is hard to find on their web site) or Inkstone at Bowditch and Bancroft, or PosterPresentations.com (they ship posters, we don't).

Our base handling charge is $45 per poster plus a paper cost of $4.00 per square foot. Excess labor (very rare) is charged at $23 per quarter hour. This may occur for posters that use a lot of our time dealing with format or adminstrative issues, or for last minute, urgent prints where we have to interrupt other projects.

Most posters cost $80-$100 depending on size and how much time we spend on your poster and related administrative details. We charge for ALL paper used in the print process, regardless of how big your poster is. We try to use the roll that best fits your poster but in high demand, short lead time situations, we might use 60 inch paper for all prints, even if that is less cost efficient for an individual poster in the queue. There are instructions near the bottom of our poster file prep page about how to minimize costs by fitting our paper.

FAQ - What is the latest I can send a file and get it printed? I wish I knew the answer! PDFs with 1 dimension under 42 inches are usually printed same day, if sent in regular work hours. This is not a guarantee but is typical. If you are hoping for a last minute print, email us the PDF ["urgent poster" in the Subject line of email; include your deadline and cell phone number]. If we are in the lab and available, it is rare for more than a few minutes to go by without our noticing an incoming poster file. If you are just finishing a poster today and hoping to print in a few hours - let us know. We might be able to adjust our schedule to accomodate. The major issue is how many other people are hoping to do the same thing and this is an unknown. Sometimes, our work load is really backed up and even an "urgent poster" request may wait a few hours before we can respond.

Other Questions: We prefer email. This helps us manage our workload, keep track of who has submitted a poster, which are queued, how to contact you if something goes wrong, etc. Include the word "poster" in the Subject line of your email (this is important!). If you have last minute questions, you can call the lab at 3-0616. We generally answer that phone 9-5, M-F, except around lunch time, although we may be briefly out at other times. Please don't leave voicemail. If there is no answer, send an email to Kathy (include "poster" in the Subject line) or call back later.

How to submit a file for printing (or ask poster related questions):
Email Kathy Durkin

Include the word "poster" in the Subject line of your email (this is important!). Email filters automatically notify other staff members (no need to cc). If you don't include poster in the subject, there may be delays. [Bmail filters recognize words. "poster for my lab" is okay as a subject but "poster_for_my_lab" will not be recognized".] To submit a file, just attach your
poster PDF or include a google drive or dropbox link.

Please include billing and other details in your email:
1. Your name
2. Your PI's name
3. Speedtype: This is a ten digit short version of a UC Chartstring. If you don't have a speedtype, then send a UC Chartstring. If you are new customer from outside of Chemistry, we also need your group administrator (or PI or Fund Manager, etc) to email Kathy approving poster printing charges. If your group is a repeat customer using a speedtype/chartstring known to us, you can skip this approval step.
4. Scaling and trimming: If you have no special instructions, just skip this.
Scaling up/down in size is not recommended. It is better to make and proofread the PDF at the desired print size. If you request scaling, we cannot predict or prevent layout shifts. Scaling has a fixed aspect ratio. Example: 30x40 PDF --> 36x48 print = 1.2x scaling. 30x40 PDF --> 36x36 print = impossible. If the PDF is 8.5x11, this is an error. We cannot scale this to a poster print.
Trimming: We usually trim excess paper to about 1 inch of white space all around the poster. If you have white space edges in the PDF, then the poster size will match the PDF. If there are no white space edges in the PDF, then we normally leave a little excess paper in the trimming process. Example: 36x48 PDF without white space edges => 38x50 poster with white space edges. This will vary based on best fit to the paper. Clearly describe if you want the trimming done differently. Trimming is done manually with a ruler and a razor blade. If you need an exact size, then embed cut marks in the PDF. For example, add a box around the poster area and tell us to trim just inside or outside the box.
5. Time/Day when you need/want your poster: This helps us set priority. "By Friday" is ambiguous. Do you mean by Friday at 9am or by Friday at 5pm? Also, we appreciate if you distinguish hard deadlines (need) from desired deadlines (want). You might want your poster in 2 hours but do we really need to drop everything and put your request first? Please tell us what your real time constraints are.