Before starting your poster, you should know that the University offers a wealth of experts that can help with planning, designing and printing your poster.
The Faculty Exploratory, Knowledge Navigation Center (both on the 2nd floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library), or the TechDeck (on the 1st floor of Shapiro Undergraduate Library), are resources on campus that can help you. They created a handout on using Adobe Illustrator to create a poster. [PDF]
Faculty Exploratory: For one-on-one consulting, call 647-7406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowledge Navigation Center (KNC): Call 647-5836 or email email@example.com
Tech Deck (closed during the summer; open limited hours during the academic year): Call 647-1926 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
On North Campus, the Poster Shop at GroundWorks provides printing services and their website provides a wealth of information on creating and printing posters.
You can easily create posters using one of several software options. These software options are all vector-based, meaning they create graphics that will not get pixelated when you scale them to larger sizes. Appropriate software includes:
- Adobe Illustrator
- Microsoft Powerpoint (not the best choice)
Both of these software options are available on SITES computers. While Adobe Illustrator is not available on library computers, you can connect through Virtual Sites to a SITES computer in order to use this program from the library or from home. For brief instructions on how to set up the file for each program, see the boxes below.
You can also use programs such as Adobe InDesign, but these layout-only programs require you to create your graphics in other programs (such as Illustrator) first before placing them into your InDesign file.
- Open Adobe Illustrator
- Create a new "Print Document"
- Set the dimensions of your document as desired (48"W x 36"H recommended, but check with the venue at which you are presenting)
- Do not worry about any of the other settings on this page, they are what you want!
- Click "OK"
And you're ready to get started with content!
There are a myriad of tutorials available online for how to use Illustrator. The Faculty Exploratory created a handout for creating posters which you can access by clicking here. If you are confused about something, you can consult with experts on campus or just Google it!
A Note About PowerPoint
PowerPoint uses color in a way that is optimized for a computer screen (Red/Green/Blue) as opposed to printing (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black). Colors you choose in PowerPoint may not appear on your printed poster the way you intended. For example, colors may shift (blues shifting to purples). Photographs and gradients are especially at risk of changing.
However, if you insist on using PowerPoint to create a printed poster, here's how to do it.
- Open PowerPoint
- Create new slideshow
- Go to the "Design" tab and click on "Page Setup" ("File > Page Setup" if you are using a Mac or earlier version of PowerPoint)
- In the "Slides sized for" menu, select "Custom"
- Adjust the height and width for the size poster you would like to create (48"W x 36"H recommended, but check with the venue at which you are presenting)
- If you would like your poster to be portrait orientation instead of landscape, change the setting in this same menu
- Click "OK"
And you should be ready to go!
Many of the items you will want to add to your presentation will be easy to find on the "Insert" tab or menu.