Tips for Creating Posters
Software for Posters
The software most commonly used for creating large computer-printed posters are Microsoft Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop and Canvas. The "Custom" page size in Powerpoint will not print a single "page" larger than 40" tall by 56" wide (in landscape setup). The preferred saved format is .pdf file type to preserve your design and content.
Images as backgrounds for your poster
Remember that the poster you are printing will be very large. Using low quality images will create a blocky appearance, and the image may not be as discernible or clear as it is on the computer screen. We suggest using pictures that are at least 4 megapixels large (2272 x 1704 as a resolution). To search images this size in Google:
- Go to the Google Images search section and put in your search terms.
- Click on "Search Tools", located to the right of the search type bar (Web, Images, Videos, etc).
- Select "Size."
- Select "Larger than..."
- Select "4mp (2272x1704)"
Fonts, Titles, and Subheadings
Most organizations require that you use simple (block lettering) fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and that you make text readable from 3-6 feet away.
A. Titles typically should be 2" tall lettering
B. Authors and departments should be 1" tall lettering
C. Subheadings should be 1/2" tall lettering
D. General text should be 1/4" tall lettering (typically 24 pt. fonts)
Most posters include subheadings for a project abstract (1-3 paragraphs summarizing your project and its results), an introduction, project methods, results or observations, interpretations and conclusions. Consult your advisor as to the appropriate poster subheadings for your project.
Poster presentations may also be constructed of numerous individual blocks of text and relevant graphics. These are typically mounted on some type of stiff backing board material (card stock or 1/4" foam core paneling). As with one-sheet posters, there should be separate panels with a title and an author listing, bodies of properly sized text, and graphics with figure captions. Plan so that all of your individual panels fit within the allotted space.
Poster Sessions Can Present More Than Posters!
Any two-dimensional art project (a collection of photographs, a painting or collage) can be presented in a poster session. Like multi-panel posters, these presentations should be accompanied by a separate title and author/creator listing. You should also consider producing at least one text panel that explains the rationale/inspiration for the art and any relevant reflection on the result of the project. This will help viewers to understand your art when you are not available to discuss it.
A "Word to the Wise" About Poster Content
It’s tempting to take the exact text of your project report and present as much of this text as possible. However, too much text will discourage viewers. Present a summary of the most important aspects of your project:
- reasons for doing the project
- your methods
- your most important data/trends
- your major interpretations
- thoughts about the relevance of your work
After all, you will be present for part of the time to discuss additional details with those who are interested. Don’t skimp on the graphics (that will help you explain your project).
Installing Poster Presentations
Your poster will be on display all day at a location specified in the program. You will be asked to accompany your poster for at least 1 hour to discuss it with interested viewers. One-sheet posters and board-mounted panels may be installed on walls using materials provided for that venue (tacks, tape or Velcro tabs). Make sure that you place all your materials near standing eye height, so that you can point out features and information while standing.