How To Design & Print a Poster with PowerPoint

Designing Your Poster

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

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.)

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, SUNY 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 shared screen 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 ability to transfer slide to a shared screen.
  • 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.


Scholars Day – Poster Palooza questions: Matthew Kotula (