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Designing Effective Posters: Home

Learn how to design and publish effective posters. This guide includes sections on design elements, the poster design process, and using software to create posters.


Welcome! The purpose of Designing Effective Posters is to help you communicate through a poster. This research guide includes the following sections:

Starting the Poster Design Process: Describes the tasks for creating a poster. Refer to this section for help with planning and carrying out your poster project.

Getting Started With PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign: This is where you'll find introductory information on setting up your poster. PowerPoint and InDesign are two of the most common software programs used for poster creation. 

Design Elements: Several design elements make up a successful poster. 

  • Layout and Text: Learn more about details like alignment, spacing, and fonts in this section. 
  • Images and Graphics: Images and graphics are essential to posters. Here are some notes on finding and using images.
  • Adding and Revising Content with PowerPoint: If you don't have experience with InDesign, we recommend using PowerPoint to create your poster. It's very user-friendly and is compatible with both Windows and Mac. 
  • Adding and Revising Content with InDesign: If you want to incorporate advanced design features into your poster, try Adobe InDesign. It has a much steeper learning curve but it very versatile. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac. 
  • UNC Logos: Students, faculty, and researchers associated with UNC are encouraged to include a relevant logo design on their poster
  • Evaluation Checklist: We created a sheet that you can save and download when you want to evaluate a poster. This is where you'll find it!

Before & After Examples: See some real examples of posters for inspiration. 

Printing Your Poster: Gives a listing of various places you can have your poster printed.  Even on cloth!

Archiving Your Poster: Put your poster in a permanent location to link to on your CV.

Poster Templates: Not sure where to start? We've created a handful of free PowerPoint templates that you can download and edit.

Good luck!