Poster Design Tips for Students

When designing your academic poster there are 3 main factors to consider before you start the design and layout of your poster.

Before you start!

When creating your poster, you must think about your target audience, in most cases, this will be a lecturer or a teacher. Your poster will be displayed amongst several others, therefore, you want to create a poster that grabs their attention and has that extra wow factor. The question we get asked to allot is how do we achieve this? Well, most will say “think outside the box” but what does this mean? We think it means using modern techniques like infographics and stunning images to enhance the look and feel of your poster, invite them in and try to portray your information in an easy to digest format without the need of verbal comment.

Please remember the objective of your poster is

  • Demand the attention of your reader
  • Clearly identify the question you were trying to answer
  • Clearly display your research, findings, and conclusion.

Creating your poster

There are some great tools online that can be used to create your poster, Canva is our favorite, and guess what? it’s free!

You can also use applications
like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, these are a little limited with their
design capabilities, but we have seen some great designs created on here. [Tip 1] Work with whatever tool you are
most proficient and comfortable with.

Poster Content

  • Make sure your name and title are prominent for the reader to see, you want them to remember you and your poster design.
  • Make sure to include your contact details.[Tip2] You may want to leave a few business cards next to the posters, always a good idea.
  • Try and create a story for your reader to follow. Clearly identify the question you were trying to answer followed by a clear flow of information from introduction to conclusion
  • [Tip 3] Get to the point! try to be concise with your information otherwise, you will lose the interest of your reader
  • Use graphs, tables, infographics and images to really bring your poster alive.
  • Always follow your schools or university conference guideline, these tend to differ from institute to institute so always read this to avoid any penalties.

Design Suggestion

  1. Layout: When thinking about the layout of your poster use all the available space but try and limit the content and information so the poster does not look cramped.
  2. Colour: When we say to try and create a poster with a wow factor, we certainly don’t mean using all the colors of the rainbow, try and select 2-3 colours that complement each other and really bring your poster alive. [Tip 4] Try and using a pixel picker online to find suitable colour that work well together.
  3. Information Flow: A rule of thumb is if you’re using arrows to guide your readers through content in your poster then you may want to reconsider the format and arrangement? If possible!
  4. Text Size: When visualising your poster, you must consider the distance of the reader and your poster, as a safe bet the font must be readable from at least 5 meters therefore anything above 24 pt would be fine for the main body of the text.
  5. Font Selection: With so many great fonts around you can easily get distracted with suitable fonts for a presentation, safe bets are Arial, Verdana, Georgia or Helvetica as they are all very easy to read. However, check out the Google Font sets that are truly awesome!
  6. Word Count: With the use of images and infographics try and limit the word count without missing any vital information as powerful images can speak volumes!

Images and PDF conversion

Most printers will request that your files are sent as a print-ready .pdf so it’s important that when exporting or saving your file the quality of your images is not downgraded.

We recommend:

  1. Design your poster to scale and actual size to avoid any issues that can occur from scaling smaller sizes files to large A sizes. The most common sizes are:
    1. A0 > 841mm x 1189mm
    2. A1 > 594mm x 841mm
    3. A2 > 420mm x 594mm
    4. A3 > 297mm x 420mm
    5. A4 > 210mm x 297mm
  2. When inserting your images, you will see the actual size of the images, if they are too small in the canvas size, we recommend not using these as when scaled up you will start to lose the clarity of the image.
  3. When exporting your file as a .pdf please ensure the DPI is set great then 300dpi but maximum 600dpi as the file will be too large to upload.

Embedding Fonts

Always select “Embed Font” when exporting or saving your file for print, as you risk the font being substituting if the system doesn’t recognise it.P

Name: London Poster Printing (Part of Printpal)
Address: 14 Hendon Lane, London, N3 1TR
Telephone: 020 7193 4514

Big Difference in Printing Quality

There is a “BIG” difference when ordering standard posters to our premium posters…lets list some of the differences:

  1. Printed using 11-colour Epson Ultra Chrome HDR pigment inks and not CMYK
  2. Superb quality with smooth gradations, grain reduction and up to 2880 dpi resolution
  3. Harness an amazing colour spectrum to deliver perfect, consistent images.
  4. Print bespoke sizes with a printable area: 90cm x 250cm
  5. Printed on 200gsm satin or photo-gloss paper for that extra premium quality.

Our recommendations:

  • Printing a university poster? Try our satin 200gsm paper – perfect for displaying graphics and text
  • Printed a photograph? Well the obvious choice would be the 200gsm photographic, however to prevent the glare select the satin.