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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.

Visuals - Basic Rules

Using visuals on posters is very important. Visual elements like pictures, graphs, charts, and tables can quickly communicate key concepts and data to your audience. However, only use visuals to convey information that can and should be absorbed quickly (e.g. trends). Text should be used when more details or precision is required (e.g. specific data).

Also, make sure that any text used in a visual follows best practices for size and font (see "Text" page on this guide). If the text in a visual is not easy to read then the visual is not enhancing the information you are presenting.

Line graph showing the the popularity of Petey

Visuals - Graph Communicating Key Data

Pictures can make posters more attractive but shouldn't be used without a specific purpose or just to fill space. They should be a high resolution and appear clearly when printed. Blurry or pixilated visuals make posters appear unprofessional and may distract viewers from your content.

Graphical elements draw attention. Your reader's eyes will naturally gravitate towards your larges or boldest visual element on your poster, so carefully select visuals that draw attention where you want it and provide information you want viewers to see first.

Image of poster with a bright graphic to draw attention

Visuals - Eye Catching Image

Visual elements like columns or boxes can help organize information, reduce white space, and improve overall appearance. They can affect the flow of information on your poster and be used to direct viewers to follow patterns.

Image of a poster with columns and boxes

Visuals - Columns and Boxes for Organization