How To Design & Print a Poster with Power Point

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2019 Scholars Day Workshops

Join us for hands-on help in developing your poster or powerpoint:

  • Tues, March 19: 3-4 pm
  • Wed, March 20: Noon-1 pm
  • Wed, March 27: 3-4 pm

(Workshop registration will open February 1, 2019.)


Tips for Designing Your Poster

There are many creative options for your poster design, and it is a simple process for the novice designer. 

1: Poster Dimensions & Setup

  • Your poster will be created as ONE slide in PowerPoint.
  • Open a new slide presentation.
  • Select the Design Tab. You may use preset backgrounds to take advantage of templates provided.
  • Locate the Page Setup on the ribbon at the top.
  • Under Custom, select your width & height. (Typical sizes range from 24 high x 36 wide to conference posters as large as 36 high x 48 wide. Be sure to select "Ensure Fit" to avoid lost information.)
  • You must do this step before you create your poster. Your print quality will be grainy or pixelated if you design your poster and then change the size.
  • To prevent cropping when printing, be sure you have a 1 inch margin around the edges of the poster.

2: Design Tips

Unless you are presenting some type of visual art or graphics project, information is king in poster design. Posters should be informative and graphically appealing.

  • The poster should clearly detail the project’s topic, thesis, scope, methodology, results, and conclusions.
  • Be sure to include: presenter name(s), co-authors, academic program, faculty advisor(s), and project title. (If presenting your poster at an off-campus event, The College at Brockport should be included. Check the conference website for specific guidelines.)
  • Work drafts of the poster through your faculty advisor to be sure class or conference presentation guidelines are met before you print.

Color Choices & Backgrounds

  • Normally, your poster should read from top left to bottom right, like you are reading a page. But as long as layout is not confusing, you may prefer a different, less traditional layout.
  • It’s important to maintain a good contrast between the background color and the text color. Consider using a light color background and dark text.
  • The colors that you see on your computer monitor will not reproduce exactly on a printed poster, as monitor color settings vary. You can expect that there will be a color shift of 2 or 3 shades.


  • Many images copied from the web are low resolution (72 dpi) images and are not proper quality for inclusion in your poster.
  • Limit image resolution to 150 dpi to ensure their ability to print.
  • All graphics should be pictures (.tif, .gif for transparency, .jpg for non-transparent images) inserted directly into PowerPoint (NOT linked from another program). The preferred image format for all inserted images is JPEG if you do not need a transparent background.
  • If you have graphs or charts from Excel to include in your poster, simply copy in Excel and paste into PowerPoint.
  • When necessary, don’t forget to caption images, tables, etc. for clarity.
  • Do not enlarge images after they have been inserted into PowerPoint.


  • It is best to use a font that is cross-platform to ensure that your poster retains the text, spacing, and “look” you want. If you use a downloaded font that is specific to one environment (i.e. only Mac or only Windows), you must embed that font in your PDF.
  • The most common fonts are Times New Roman and Arial. Other fonts include Arial Black, Franklin Gothic Heavy, Tahoma, Trebuchet, Verdana, Garamond, Book Antiqua, or Bookman Old Style, just to name a few. This is not an exhaustive list, just a few examples.
  • You will have to adjust the font size depending on the amount of text in your poster and the style of font you choose. Rule of thumb for Font sizes: Title 72-120; Subtitle 48-80; Section Headers 36-72; Body Text 24-48.
  • Sans-serif fonts are the best for posters, particularly for the title, subtitle, and headers.
  • For consistency, it would be best to make all the headers the same size and use the same font size throughout the poster for all body text. The title should be at least half the width of the entire poster with the main text broken into multiple columns, usually three or four depending on the size of the poster. You may also want to use section headings within the columns at the start of each section for better organization of your text information.

3: Saving to PDF

  • All printing services need a PDF file set to your custom page size for proper printing.
  • When you have proofread and edited, "Save As" a pdf.

4: Printing Your Poster

  • Brockport Student Government (BSG) will print color posters for Brockport students with a minimum 10 days advance notice. Remember you will need a PDF file. The printing fee is due when you pick it up from the BSG Office in Seymour Union. (Check on fees as costs are size dependent with a higher fee for larger posters.)

Need Assistance?

Contact Becky Bird in the BSG Office with printing questions:

Contact Jules Oyer for Scholars Day or Workshop questions:

Last Updated 8/13/18

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