Research Poster Design

Basic design principles for powerpoint slides, infographics, and research posters.

Tips and Tricks to Help Avoid Mistakes

Remember: you're not making this poster or infographic for you-- you're making it for your audience. Engage them with a good design, a succinct message and targeted content. 

Great rule of thumb:  20% text, 40% graphics and 40% white space.    

Powerpoint tip: It’s easy to just cut and paste an image from somewhere into your Powerpoint poster, but this does cause problems down the line. Instead of cutting and pasting, save the image to your hard drive (or where ever you are saving images) and then insert the image into your poster.  Remember to check for copyright use permissions.

Printing Tip: If your poster or Powerpoint is going to be printed out on paper, always make sure your resolution is 300 dpi or higher. A quick and dirty technique to determine if images are ok for printing is to zoom into the image until it is 200%. If the picture still looks great with no blurriness or pixilation, then it is ok to print.

Font and color tip: If using Powerpoint, try any of the preset designs available to have colors and fonts already coordinate. Pulse offers a download of a U Health Powerpoint template as well.

Color tip: Adobe created an online automatic color wheel to make color choices a breeze: After picking one color, the program will automatically show you all the best corresponding colors:

Graphics Tip: There are many free-to-use images out there

The Noun Project (icons):

Unsplash (stock photos):

Creative Commons (everything!):

Ohio State University also has a list of public domain and open resources:

Poster tip: An easy way to make a research poster's design better is to give it a patterned or textured background and solid, light color boxes.

Software tip: Though Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the height of design software, there are many other, easier alternatives. Microsoft Powerpoint works great, as well as free online software like Canva or Lucidpress, that makes good design easier to accomplish. Many free apps and tools can also be found here!


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