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Poster Design

This guide is intended to help SNHU students use basic design principles to creating professional, academic posters. This guide also provides poster templates and instructions for printing posters at the Innovation Lab & Makerspace.


While text can be used to communicate with your audience with precision, it also takes time to absorb. Here are some important "best practices" when adding text to your poster:

  • Try to minimize text, using bullet points and phrases instead of full sentences and paragraphs
  • Use visuals instead of text whenever possible
  • Shoot for a balance of text and visuals
  • Text should be left justified to make it easier to read


Serif fonts, like Times New Roman and Garamond, are easy to read and should be used for most text. Serif fonts are those that have small lines at the ends of characters (these lines are called "serifs"). Sans-serif fonts like Helvetica and Arial can be used for large text and do not have small lines at the ends of characters. For example:

This text (Times New Roman) uses a serif font

This text (Ariel) uses a sans-serif font

Text Size

Text should be large to make it easier to read and digest. The size of the font used can help your audience understand the hierarchy of the information being presented. These are suggested minimum sizes:

Title = 72 point

Headings = 50 point

Text = 25 point


As a rule of thumb, avoid emphasis in the text of your poster. This includes underlining, italicizing, making text bold, using colors other than black, using all caps, etc.

If you do need to add emphasis, use bold and use it consistently anywhere emphasis is needed. However, if you feel that you need to add emphasis to text on your poster:

  • There is probably too much text in that section.
  • You should emphasis that information in a more distinctive, other way. For example, using a new bullet point for that information, separating it from the rest of the text, or using a visual for that information instead.