On 2007-April-28 , at 06:27 , Albert Cardona wrote:
We use Inkscape to make posters for scientific meetings. The ease
which we can create beautiful, unintrusive text boxes and flow
unparalleled. And of course cartoons of all sorts. I can't hardly
believe we used to bring in PowerPoint for the task! those nightmarish
days are over. Plus, Inkscape intergrates very well with the host OS,
i.e. dragging and dropping images and text just works.
In this regard, I must mention that exporting to PDF is a big deal.
Figuring out the exact dimensions of the poster relative to the final
print is some sort of obscure magic for us, simple mortal users. With
PDFs, printers (or their drivers) have zero problems to scale on
and thus generate perfect maximized print outs of our gigantic
That's very nice to know! I also use Inkscape to do scientific
posters and as I don't want to bother with scaling computations I
usually design it directly at final size. Inkscape deals as easily
with a 1m*1m page than with an A4 one and it allows me to specify
sizes (including font sizes) in cm and get a better feeling of how
big things will actually be. In addition, raster images (jpeg, png,
tiff and the like) are often imported among the scalable objects and
having them included at their final size allows me to know how
pixelized they will appear in print.
What surpises me, though, is that exporting to PDF seems to leave
uncompressed, resulting in 300+ Mb posters.
I don't know which pdf exporter you used (regular PDF or Cairo PDF)
but at some point these exporters "rasterize" some elements (another
reason why designing the poster at final size in interesting: these
elements still look sharp and crisp). Transparent areas or gradients
for example are converted from scalable entities to a bunch of
pixels. Given how big posters usually are it implies creating a large
number of pixels hence the size. Nevertheless I never experienced
such large sizes!
In short: congratulations! And keep at it! We take time to tell our
visitors (at the poster, during the conference) how the poster was
since they usually comment on how beautiful it looks (no kidding).
Inkscape, Blender and ImageJ are always mentioned.
I usually include inkscape logo in a corner of the poster, together
with the website address, to give credit to the Inkscape team for
their work. Inkscape logo is so nice and original that it can even
There is section on the website dedicated to use cases of Inkscape in
"real life". What about adding a part explaining the design of
scientific posters? I had prepared a few screenshots some time ago
and I re-wrote accompanying texts (see below - please correct my
english where necessary). What do people think? Is it good enough for
BTW Bryce or anyone, it seems I can't connect to inkscape.org
currently (I get a 104 error: "Connection reset by peer" from osuosl)
A scientific poster has to be precisely organized, full of
information, yet visually attracting to gather a large audience.
Furthermore it should be printable at different sizes (final size
poster and handouts). Inkscape gives us scalability and an
unparalleled ease of use which allow to meet these goals elegantly.
It make you forget the nightmarish days when you used PowerPoint for
The poster below was designed entirely in Inkscape for presentation
on a 4-foot-high by 8-foot-wide poster board (1.2m x 2.4m). The page
size was set up to be the final printing size because Inkscape deals
with it as well as with an A4 page.
[WARNING: big file. 7.5 Mb]
Temporarily masking layers and using the outline mode allowed to work
on this complicated file (> 5000 paths, large amount of text) while
keeping things responsive enough even on a mid level laptop.
The gradients and scripts from the "Effects" menu helped to create an
attractive look [note: this was pre 0.45 so blur was not current
yet]. The bitmap tracing feature and Open Clipart Library provided
scale independent eye candy for some illustrations.
The text was flowed into custom shaped frames so that it had a
"clever" position with respect to the graphics. It was edited though
the Text Tool palette which was easier on the eye and helped to focus
on content rather than on layout for a while.
All scientific plots were produced in scalable formats and converted
to SVG. They were therefore completely editable within the poster
which allowed to have a unified look (for the fonts, line width,
colors etc.). The "Apply style" command (SHIFT+CTRL+V), the styles
bar and the swatches panel, helped to work with styles quickly and
Finally the SVG file was exported to EPS or PDF for print. The text
was converted to shapes to avoid font problems when bringing the file
to the printing company. The PDF scaled down nicely to fit an A4 and
hence serve as handouts.