How To Design & Print a Poster with PowerPoint

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2019 Scholars Day Workshops

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

  • Tuesday, March 12: Noon – 1 pm
  • Wednesday, March 13: 3–4 pm
  • Wednesday, March 27: 3–4 pm

All workshops will be held in Drake Memorial Library, Room 224.

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.
  • Under "Custom," select your width and 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.

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

  • Maintain good contrast between the background color and the text color. 
  • Colors 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 two or three shades.


  • 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.
  • Rule of thumb for font sizes: Title 72-120; Subtitle 48-80; Section Headers 36-72; Body Text 24-48.
  • Sans-serif fonts are best for posters, particularly for the title, subtitle, and headers.

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 the Seymour College 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 with Scholars Day questions:

Last Updated 2/7/19

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