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Creating Research Posters

What you need to know to print a poster at Smith Library Center

Software

You can create posters using PowerPoint (Microsoft Office) or Google Slides, both readily available on campus. Visit the Library and IT pages for locations of Lab Software: https://www.southwestern.edu/library-and-it/infodesk/computing-and-software/.

Templates

Posters can be horizontal or vertical in orientation. The title/author(s) will be across the top with areas below that contain the rest of the poster elements. Make sure you leave plenty of white space in your design—a poster crammed full of text and images is very difficult to read.

Here is an example of a 2 column poster layout using the 5 Ws for headings (who, what, where, when, and why):

Use the links below to download this template and other similar templates in two sizes: 24"x36" and 36"x48". These templates include a variety of placeholder elements for photos and figures. You can also find or create your own template.

Text size

  • The body of your poster should have a minimum 24 point font. Viewers should be able to read your smallest text from a few feet away.
  • The title of your poster should have a 50+ font size, depending on the size of your poster and the length of the title.
  • Do not use all uppercase letters for the title or body of the poster.

Font style

  • Avoid using more than 2 or 3 different fonts in one poster.
  • Stick with basic fonts like Times New Roman or Georgia for serif, or Arial or Helvetica for sans-serif. Avoid elaborate, difficult-to-read, or cartoon-like fonts.