Poster Design Guidelines

poster design guidelines

Please follow the guidelines below for poster formatting to ensure that we are able to print your poster and that it matches your expectations.

At the Symposium, we will provide thumbtacks or ticky-tack to hang your poster on a large wall; please do not attach it to a trifold or make it too heavy.


  • Dimensions should be 3’ tall x 4’ wide. We recommend that you use PowerPoint to create your poster. You will want to make the poster one slide (or one page), sized at 36”h x 48”w (you can do this in page layout under the “File” or “Design” menu).
  • Fonts. Do not use non-standard fonts. The best way to avoid disappointment is to embed fonts in your file. In PowerPoint, click Save As in the File menu, and click “Tools” in the upper right hand corner of the toolbar of the box that opens. Then click Save Options, select the Embed TrueType Fonts check box, and then do one of the following: To embed only those characters used in the presentation, select Embed characters in use only (best for reducing file size). To embed all the characters in the font set, select Embed all characters (best for editing by others). In Publisher, on the Tools menu, point to Commercial Printing Tools, and then click Fonts. In the Fonts dialog box, do one of the following: Set embedding options for all fonts in your publication. To embed the entire font, select Embed TrueType fonts when saving publication. Do not embed common system fonts. To embed only a subset (font subsetting: Embedding a limited number of characters specific to one font, reducing file size.) of the font, select Subset fonts when embedding. Set embedding options for individual fonts in your publication. Select the font. Click Embed or Don't Embed. Mac PowerPoint cannot embed fonts.
  • Graphics. Design to Web standards for maximum resolution, and minimum size. Use graphics that are saved in .gif, .jpeg, .eps, or .png format (this means exporting them if you’re using a special program to create them), and make sure that they do not exceed 300dpi. You should embed objects in your poster, too, just like you would fonts (you can check the help menu on the application you’re using for this). Color may not appear printed as on the screen.
  • Backgrounds. Do not use busy, complicated backgrounds, as this will increase the size of your document and make it more difficult to print. When in PowerPoint and Publisher, you should make sure that you set the text box background color to transparent to avoid having the background print over your text.
  • Borders. There will be an approximately .5” white margin around your poster when it is printed. Make sure that in designing your poster, you do not exceed the margins and force the printer to cut off your text.
  • Logos. We ask that all students presenting at the Aresty Symposium please include an official Aresty Research Center logo somewhere on the poster (preferably in one of the upper corners). Aresty logos can be downloaded here.