28 January 2010

From printer to posterboard

You’ve printed your big, beautiful poster and are ready to take it to the conference. What you want to get it there, good citizen, is a document tube. Or perhaps a blueprint tube... or a portfolio tube. The names vary.

Regardless, these wonderful little items seem to be a surprisingly rare commodity, if the number of times I’ve loaned mine to colleagues is any indication. This might be because they are often found more in specialty shops catering to graphic designers and artists, which academic researchers maybe don’t visit as often as they should.

I highly recommend that anyone who presents at conferences regularly get one of their own. Just remember to make sure that the length of the tube exceeds the width of your paper. For example, the printer I normally use for posters takes 42 inch paper, and I see many otherwise nice, snazzy tubes that are only 37 inches long.

I have not yet found any tubes that have a spot to include identifying information. I suggest attaching your name and contact information quite clearly on the tube, because as you get on a plane traveling to a major conference, several other people may have tubes like yours, and it would be a shame to walk away with someone else’s poster.

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