How To Design a Fabric Research Poster with Canva

JUN 28, 2018

Does the thought of lugging an oversized cardboard tube storing your poster for an upcoming presentation have your heart racing and palms sweating? If you know this stressful feeling all too well, today’s research poster hack will be your saving grace. Follow along as one of Spoonflower’s Customer Service Advocates, Jennifer, shares how to create a one yard poster on Performance Piqué using the free design program Canva. By the end of her tutorial you’ll be saying goodbye paper, hello piqué!

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog
Pro tip: Adding a headshot at the bottom of your poster lets people easily know which poster is yours.

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

Jennifer: Canva* is great to create professional presentation posters without having to download any software programs and something I love to recommend to our community when they’re looking for a free design resource. Before we get started, you might be asking yourself, “Why should I print my poster on fabric?”, but the real question you should be asking yourself is, “Why haven’t I been printing my poster on fabric?”! 

Spoonflower’s custom-printed fabric posters travel wellnever crease or tear and can be easily stored in a backpack or carry-on… all for a fraction of the price of a traditional paper poster: a Performance Piqué poster starts at just $18/yard with your automatic designer discount! Bonus: When you order your poster on our preferred poster fabric, Performance Piqué, no hemming is required–simply trim the edges and display your work!

*Please note, Canva should be used for posters that are no larger than 52″ in length or width.

Ready to see how it’s done?

Part 1: Design Your Poster on Canva

1. After creating a free Canva account, choose “use custom dimensions” in the top right corner.

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

2. Next, enter the dimensions you would like to use for your poster* and select the green “Design!” button. I want to create a 48 x 36″ poster so I entered 48 for the width and 36 for the length. Remember to switch to inches in the drop-down menu to the left of the green design button. 

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

3. Once on your design page, you can explore all of the options Canva has to offer. There are different font, text and template options. You even the ability to upload your own images. Once you’ve determined your poster layout, enter all of your information and research as needed. 

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog
Example of a poster layout on Canvas

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

4. When moving photos or text around on your poster, guides will automatically appear to help with alignment.

Pro tip: If you need to include graphs and charts on your poster, save each one individually as a JPG or PNG prior to uploading to Canva.

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

5. When you are ready to save your poster design, name your file and then choose the “PDF – PRINT” option under the download tab. Once your design has downloaded to your computer, you’ll need to adjust the file type prior to uploading to Spoonflower.

For Mac users, you can open your design file from your desktop. From top toolbar, choose “File > Export”. From that window, choose PNG as the file type. Make sure you keep the file at 150 for the DPI (resolution). This will ensure it will print to scale once uploaded to Spoonflower.

For Windows users, you can convert this PDF into a PNG using any software program you have (GIMP, Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat) or you can use a photo converting website to change your PDF to PNG. Make sure you keep the file at 150 for the DPI (resolution).

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

Now, you’re ready to upload your file to Spoonflower!

Say goodbye to cardboard tubes! Fabric posters are compact enough to fit into bookbags and suitcases.

Part 2: Upload Your Poster to Spoonflower

1. From the Spoonflower top navigation choose Design > Upload. From this page you can choose your PNG file from your computer and upload it to our site.

Pro tip: If your original poster size was 36 x 48″, rotate your design 90º before uploading to Spoonflower to ensure it fits on 1 yard of fabric.

2. Once uploaded, you will automatically see your poster on a design page. You can choose your fabric, yardage amount and repeat option. I chose 1 yard of Performance Piqué and the center repeat option so my poster prints directly in the center of the fabric. Text might appear blurry in the preview window, but as long as your image shows up sharp and clear when viewed at 100% in Canva, it will print out clearly with Spoonflower.

3. Once your poster is on the right fabric base and repeat, you’re ready to place your order and focus on perfecting your presentation!

Anatomy of a 1 Yard Research PosterHow To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

  1. The preview window is the best way to predict how a design will print. The rulers along the edge of the preview are also a great way to estimate the finished size of a print.
  2. The repeat options available for your poster. Choose the center repeat to ensure your poster prints once on a yard of fabric.
  3. The dimensions (width x height) of the poster you uploaded to Spoonflower. If you are making a 48 x 36″ poster and these dimensions are smaller than 48 x 36″, double check your original file!
  4. If you make a change to the repeat or scale of your poster, “lock in” your changes by selecting the Save This Layout button.
  5. The type of fabric your poster will print on. The default is Basic Cotton Ultra, so but sure to adjust to the preferred fabric base for a poster, Performance Piqué, in the Choose a Fabric dropdown menu.
  6. The amount of fabric your poster will print on. To ensure your poster prints in its entirety, make sure to choose the yard option in the Choose a Size dropdown menu.

The popularity of printing posters on fabric at Spoonflower has grown in popularity and I’ve noticed two common issues: ordering the wrong fabric base and choosing the wrong repeat.

Common Issue #1: Incorrect Fabric Base

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

Common Issue #2: Incorrect Repeat

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva

Pro Tip: If you are working under a deadline, we do always recommend choosing Rush or Guaranteed Delivery from the shipping options available in the shopping cart screen. These options work on a fixed schedule, and will also display a delivery date.

How To Design A Fabric Research Poster With Canva | Spoonflower Blog

For even more information about Spoonflower’s research poster printing services and group rates, click here.

Have you used Spoonflower for printing a research poster? We’ve love to know! Share your poster pictures on social media with #spoonflower or leave a comment below.

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  • Kimberly Goddard

    Clearly I’m late to the poster/display party! What a great idea! Does anyone who’s done this have any pics of how they displayed their poster on the road?
    Thanks all!

    • Hi Kimberly,

      So glad you found this helpful! I found this article and it looks like push pins work great for displaying.

      Best of luck!
      Amy
      Spoonflower

  • Jamie Leslie

    My poster is 52 inches X 36 inches in power point. I save it to other formats (TIF, JPG…) and when I upload into Spoonflower, it is sized to 36 X 24 – even if I choose the correct fabric and change the ppi to 150. Any other suggestions?

    • Hi Jamie,

      We’re sorry for the trouble and we’d be happy to assist you further! If you’d be able to send an email to help@spoonflower.com and include the file in your email, we’ll be happy to take a look and see what might be causing the trouble.

  • Never thought of making banners or posters with spoonflower!

    But, ok, which repeat should be used? The centered one?

    • Hi Rowan,
      Once you try printing your poster on fabric, you may never go back to traditional paper posters!

      To ensure your poster prints once, please select the center repeat option. Keep in mind that the preview window is the best way to predict how a design will print once you’ve adjusted your repeat option. Please send us an email at help@spoonflower.com if you have any other questions!

      -Meredith at Spoonflower

  • Perfect! thanks for this because I’m planning to make a banner. My page logo is deigned by CANVA. love it!