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Posters with a Powerful Point: A practical guide to designing academic posters


Informative posters are a popular way to share information and research work at conferences and exhibitions, and PowerPoint is a simple but effective tool for designing them.

Posters with a Powerful Point

Informative academic posters are a popular way to share information and research at seminars, conferences and exhibitions. But what applications should you use? Word? Publisher? Surprisingly good results can be obtained using PowerPoint which, although originally designed for presentations, shares many features with publishing applications.

What are academic posters?

Academic research can be shared with an audience in a number of ways: journals, books, presentations...

One of the ways is via an academic poster: a large paper poster that summarises the research and its findings, a bit like an illustrated and extended journal abstract.

These posters are typically displayed at a conference or exhibition, often in the main circulation space, or as part of a poster presentation session. Typically you will be stood with your poster, fielding questions and potentially talking through its contents.

Developing an academic poster in PowerPoint

We've put together this site to accompany our termly session on developing an academic poster, the slides for which are here:

We've arranged this site into four sections:

In each section we outline certain principles of poster design and then show you how you might implement those principles in PowerPoint.

Our instructions are for recent versions of PowerPoint on Windows, so if you're running an older version, or if you're on a Mac, you might find certain features living somewhere slightly different to the paths we suggest.

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