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CSTEP/McNair Program


Making Posters: Tips

Getting Started

Before starting your poster, be sure to get all the necessary instructions and requirements for your final product. Check with your instructor if it's for a class. Organizations hosting poster sessions will normally have the information on their web site.

Some things you will need to know:

  • size and materials for the poster
  • any information required to be included on the poster
  • any formatting requirements
  • will the whole poster need to be printed, or is posting separate pages on a background acceptable?
  • any instructions for printing the poster
  • due date for the poster
  • if a formal oral presentation is required

These graphic design platforms can be used to create research posters. Check out the software available to Brockport students


PowerPoint is commonly used for creating posters. You will create your poster on one PowerPoint slide. Be sure to set the proper dimensions at the beginning, since the program defaults to standard settings for a slide show.


Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. The app already includes templates for users to use. The platform is free to use and offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality. 

Adobe Illustrator or InDesign

Feature-rich professional software that creates the highest-quality posters. Best for posters with several high-resolution images, but the software is more complex.

McNair Research Posters

Creating an Academic Poster Video

Last Updated: Feb 29, 2024 2:10 PM

Find images to include in your presentation

Stock Images (Public Domain)
These images are free to reuse and alter without citation.




Noun Project (icons)

Creative Commons Images (Use may be restricted)
You can use these sources to find images, but you should check the permissions guidelines for each image. Unless otherwise indicated, images should be cited.

Creative Commons Search

More info on citing and reusing media ethically

Color Schemes
Tools to help you choose a color scheme

Adobe Color


Free Fonts
Customize your presentation with creative, eye-catching fonts

Font Squirrel

Google fonts