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Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Health Sciences and Technology Library: FBRI Plotter

FBRI Plotter

General Information

The FBRI has a Canon PRO-4100 Plotter located in the FBRI HS&T Library in Riverside 4. This printer can be used for large prints, posters, and drawings. 

WHERE: Riverside 4, FBRI HS&T Library, Room G112

WHEN: Monday - Friday, 9:00AM - 5:00 PM, by appointment only (

WHO: The plotter is available at no cost to:

  • FBRI faculty and Staff
  • FBRI Graduate Students working in an FBRI Lab
  • VTCSOM Students, Faculty, and Staff
  • Roanoke-based TBMH Students
  • Roanoke-based IHSR Undergraduate Students

HOW: Bring your prints on a properly formatted USB drive (PDF only!)

Media / Print Sizes:

Media Width 8” - 44” (Cut-Sheet and Roll)
Minimum Print Length 8"
Maximum Print Length (Single Page) Roll Feed: 59’ (18 m)
Borderless Printing Widths (Roll Media Only) No Size Restriction - 0”/14”/17”/24”/36"/42"/44" + Micro Margin

Feel free to contact us, Roberto Silva or Jerelle Hamilton, with any questions via email at


Poster Design Tips

Making a better poster

  1. Cut down on text - this is the number 1 mistake!
    • Packing too much information is just "too much"
    • Make it easy for people to get the essence of your message
    • Use bullet points - there is no need to use full sentences
    • Justify your text on the left side - this can help make it easier to read
    • Your figures are the heart and soul of your poster
  2. Tell a story
    • Structure - present your ideas in logical order
    • People naturally read from left to right and from top to bottom
    • One popular option is to split a horizontally oriented poster into 3 columns
    • Regardless of the pattern you choose, make sure it's clear to readers where to start and where to end
  3. Let your poster "breathe"
    • Don't be afraid of white or negative space
    • As much as 40% could be blank
    • If you fill every inch, your poster will look cluttered
    • Be strategic about paying attention to your most important messages
  4. Choose the right color palette
    • Be selective - find a compatibly color palette (up to 3) and use them consistently
    • Avoid colors that are too bright or print poorly
      • Use an accessibility checker to check for contrast between colors to be inclusive to all audiences
    • Do not use patterns or dark colors for the background
    • Keep it simple, white is the easiest to work with and the cheapest to print!
  5. Font size matters
    • Good rule of thumb is to have everything visible from 6 feet away
    • Don't use anything smaller than 24 points
      • Title (100 point bold)
      • Authors (36 point bold)
      • Sub-titles (54 point bold)
      • Main text (32 point)
      • References (28 point)
  6. Don't go crazy on the fonts
    • Don't use unprofessional fonts (comic sans) or combine too many
    • For body text, use Serif font (extra strokes at the end of letters like Times New Roman, Courier New, or Bell MT)
    • For titles and headings, pick a non-serif or sans-serif font (Arial, Calibri, or Helvetica)
  7. Think of a concise, interesting title
  8. Re-figure your figures
    • Do not assume your figure can simply be added onto your poster
    • Simplify graphs and provide titles and maybe even arrows to help your readers along
    • Use a high quality / resolution image to be embedded in your poster
    • Do not copy/paste or use a low resolution file; otherwise, the image will become pixelated on a large poster
  9. Remember to think about how to present your poster as well
    • Your poster should draw people in with visuals, incite their curiosity, provide just enough information to stand alone, and serve as talking points that you can dive into and elaborate more upon during your poster session

Poster Design Tips (Video)