Intro to designing conference posters

A guide to help students design effective conference posters using PowerPoint or Google Slides.


In addition to the following links, you can find many great templates by doing a Google search for "free PowerPoint conference poster templates".

Creating a poster

Set up your poster

  1. Create a new PowerPoint presentation
  2. Clear the layout: Home > Layout > Blank
  3. Set the poster size: Design > Slide Size > Page Setup
    1. Size slide for: Custom
    2. Enter the dimensions of your poster. Common sizes include 40in x 36in and 56in x 36in.

Prepare your work environment

  1. Display ruler and guides: View > Ruler and Guides
  2. Customize grid line options and automatic alignment: View > Guides > Snap to grid

Create a visual theme

  1. Customize the theme colors: Design > Variants (drop down menu) > Colors
    • Colorzilla: Browser add-on. Hover over any color to get RGB values
    • Design Seeds: Get color schemes and use with Colorzilla
    • DeGraeve: Color palette generator based on an image
  2. Customize the fonts: Design > Variants (drop down menu) > Fonts

Insert text, images, and data

  1. Use the Insert ribbon to add elements to your poster. The ones you will use most often are:
    1. Text box: Use to create headers and short sections of text
    2. Shapes: Use to create discrete sections. Place text boxes over the shapes with enough white space
    3. SmartArt: Use to visually illustrate a process, cycle, hierarchy, or relationship



Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024 2:34 PM