Poster Projects


Select a topic below to get started

Getting Started


General Design Tips

Advanced Design Tips

Including Data (Charts, Graphs, Data Tables)

Additional Help


Tips for Getting Started

1. Decide where to you will save your work:

2. Create a folder in your designated space and give it a name. Here you will store the poster template (save it there) and all associated documents (spreadsheets, images, exports from SPSS, etc.) **Please note: make sure to store all images that will go on this poster here**

3. Start with your content – create a document that has the appropriate headings that also appear on the posters and templates:

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Method
  4. Results
  5. Conclusions
  6. References
  7. Acknowledgments

** This list may change according to the specific guidelines or preferences of the faculty member.**

4. Do all text editing in the document, including spelling and grammar checks.

5. Choose your software - Campus computers come installed with 3 different programs you can choose from. - PowerPoint can be used on both a Mac and PC. - Publisher is a PC program. InDesign can be used on both Mac & PC and requires in-depth training. Contact the DLC for more information.

6. Begin creating the poster using one of the templates located here:

7. Simply copy and paste the text into the appropriate box. Insert images and choose colors.

8. ***Make an appointment early if needed with the DLC***. We are located on the first floor of the library, second room on the left. Please call 4420 or send us a help request online

9. Working with a print shop:

  • Consult the Print Services website for information about submitting and formatting your project
  • The final format of your poster should be sent as a PDF [File > Save As > Format >PDF]
  • It’s always good to send the file at least 3-5 days in advance.
  • Include contact information with file, in the event that there is an issue with the printing of the final product.
  • Final product should contain images with a max export setting of 300 dpi. (Unless you are having issues with the quality of the exported image)


Basic Templates (Microsoft PowerPoint)

Landscape Templates:

Portrait Templates:

Advanced Templates (Adobe InDesign)

Tips for General Design

1. Be able to answer the following questions about your poster design:

  • Who is the audience of the poster? - Is it for the general public use more general terms?
  • How will the poster be used? - Is the poster going to be displayed in the hallway of the department or used for some outside agency?

2. Think about your use of fonts, font points, colors, and images.  Check out this PDF guide on Design Tips for Creating Large Format Posters.

3. Check your final size and alignment before printing or publishing:

  • For Instructions on checking the size of your final Microsoft PowerPoint project, See this article
  • For Instructions on checking the size of your final Adobe InDesign project, See this guide
  • Use guides in both PowerPoint and InDesign to ensure that images and text align properly. For help with using these features, contact the Digital Learning Team

Tips for Advanced Design

  • Balance - Be aware of your use of whitespace and bounding boxes. Boxes tend to draw the eye and make a poster look busy.
  • Visual contrast - Symbol classes should be easily distinguishable
  • View - Set the view of the poster at 100 % to ensure that you are satisfied with how your final printed product will look.
  • Color - Humans can distinguish a maximum of 5 colors.
    • Sequential Colors: Good for showing progression in Quantitative data
    • Diverging Colors: Good for showing contrasts in Quantitative data
    • Random Colors: Good for qualitative data.
  • Images - When taking images from search engines make sure you are saving the full- size image. Make sure that you have proper rights to use these images in your project.

Including Data Visualizations

The most commonly used data for visualizations is from Excel charts and tables. Summarized below are some tips to consider when transferring Excel data to a poster. For specific questions related to the visualization of data from any software offered, please contact the Digital Learning Team.

Charts and Graphs:

  • Consider creating a chart of data on a new page of the workbook. This will increase the size of chart on screen and make it easier to see and work with. This will also create an image large enough to successfully insert into a poster.
  • Print the chart page to a PDF file. This software function is available on all campus computers. Go to File > Print and choose PDF from the dropdown. This will save the chart to an 8.5 x 11 sized chart. In most cases this PDF can then be added directly to the poster.
  • If the PDF is not of sufficient quality, convert the PDF file to a jpeg or TIFF image. In most cases this chart can now be placed on the poster without loss of image quality.

Data Tables:

Data stored in tables can be difficult to transfer to a poster for a number of reasons. Frustration often arises over blurry and hard-to-read text. To increase the readability of the text try the following:

  • In Excel, use the built-in formatting tools to create a formatted table (different shades applied to alternating rows in the table)
  • Increase the line weight of cell borders or dividing lines of the table
  • Increase the font size and/or make the type face bold for the text in the table

The idea is to create contrast between the text and the background without using black on white, which can often lead to blurry and unreadable text.

Additional Help

For additional help on your project, please contact the Digital Learning Team:


Article ID: 68537
Fri 12/7/18 8:41 AM
Tue 9/13/22 9:51 AM