Poster presentation board that folds down to Letter or Legal size?
August 6, 2019 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a folding presentation board, roughly the size one would use for presenting a graph, a sales pitch, a science fair project. However, I want one that folds up into a very small form factor: preferably Letter size (8-1/2" x 11"), or Legal size (8-1/2" x 14"). I need something that can be folded up and stored in a filing cabinet when not in use. I also need it to fit into a laptop bag, backpack, or small briefcase for occasional transport.

Obviously, I could just fold and refold a large piece of uncorrugated cardboard, but this would not hold up to re-folding, and would not stay up straight. I'm seeking something that will hold up to repeated unfolding. I'm looking for something a bit elegant.

I have Googled for days, I feel like such a product must exist, and I am simply missing the proper keywords. I thought that I might find such a product made in Northern Europe or Japan, I looked for "Miura Fold" boards, etc... Maybe some novel "Sharper Image" or "Hammacher Schlemmer's 'The Foldout Presentation Board'" might have been a thing in the 80s?

I'm open to DIY solutions, I could construct something out of foam board pieces and felt, and devise some sort of collapsible support structure, but I'd prefer not to reinvent the wheel if possible. I'd like to save my creative time and energy for the projects going on the boards.

Thanks in advance for any tips! :)
posted by ethical_caligula to Education (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The hotness the last time I was doing scientific posters was having them printed on fabric, so they could just go in one's conference luggage instead of a poster tube.

Of course, that relies on having something to pin it to and obviously doesn't free-stand. Unsure if anyone has devised like a collapsible frame for them.
posted by supercres at 1:26 PM on August 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wait, sorry, I might have misinterpreted-- is the rigid standing part what you're after, or the medium on which to print?
posted by supercres at 1:27 PM on August 6, 2019

You can have a banner printed and mounted on a collapsible frame. These are used for conferences and expos and such. They collapse very small, though it will be a cylinder when collapsed and not a letter-sized rectangle. They also come with their own carrying bags.
posted by ejs at 1:40 PM on August 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This Noteboard via Cool Tools.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:32 PM on August 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For a DIY option, I'd look to board games for a prototype. Those have a very rigid backing, but are intended to be folded and unfolded multiple times. Usually in half, then in half again.

You'd need some thin, sturdy paper to print onto, and then you could essentially mod-podge that onto the game board.

I don't have much of an idea after that, but thought it might be a good starting point. You'd have to rig something up to keep the unfolded board game from re-folding itself, but that might be accomplished with some strapping on the back. You'd also have to carry a small desktop easel to hold the board.

But lightweight and very portable.
posted by hydra77 at 3:51 PM on August 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far (also, sorry for my late response).

Supercres - What I was seeking was something collapsible into a small enough size to store it in a standard filing cabinet. But that could also be unfolded to something like poster size, and be somewhat rigid. I was not looking for options on material to print on. Thanks! :)

Ejs - The rollup poster is an option, but that would not store in a filing cabinet, nor would it fit in a tiny briefcase/attache/laptop-bag/backpack. I'm really looking for something that can fold up into a small shape (around the size of a "Trapper-Keeper"), for both storage and transport.

I don't have a pre-made image to print onto a poster medium, I want the folding board for an interactive project.
I am working on art therapy to deal with PTSD and trauma and grief, and I need something like a posterboard I can set up in my therapist's office, and work on in my apartment, but also store in a cabinet, out of sight and mind, when not working on it. I will be gluing photos and rearranging stuff on it.

I have considered using an artist's "portfolio" carry case and a rigid board, but that makes transport and storage a lot more difficult in my circumstances.

Thanks for the suggestions though. :)
posted by ethical_caligula at 11:03 AM on August 7, 2019

Response by poster: Umark - the "CoolTools Noteboard" is closer to what I had in mind. It's actually a bit smaller than I need (both folded up and unfolded), and doesn't seem to have an unfolding brace to keep it rigid when held upright unfolded. Still, this seems very useful to me (I need big spaces and visual aids and graphs to communicate), so I will definitely pick one up for my backpack. I can imagine using it during my PTSD/grief therapy sessions, but also plenty of other fun and/or work uses. Thanks! :)
posted by ethical_caligula at 11:05 AM on August 7, 2019

Response by poster: Hydra77 - Thanks, this is actually the closest to what I was imagining. I had not thought of folding board game tables as an example, but that's exactly the kind of rigid folding board system I was imagining, only with some way of supporting it upright in a tri-fold position. For all I know, there may be game boards in production that already do this very thing.

I will look into compact portable folding game boards, DIY game boards, that sort of thing.
posted by ethical_caligula at 11:08 AM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My wild idea would be that you get a small travel umbrella. Modify it a bit so that it can really sit flat on a table. And find a decent way to affix 8.5x11 pieces of paper to it.

Yes, an oddly shaped curved surface. You might have to weigh it down to keep it in place. You might need to tape or otherwise affix the paper to it and draw with a light touch with sharpies or markers.

The umbrella is a cylinder, but it'll all fit in a small bag.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:58 PM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

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