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Academic Posters

Academic Poster Template

There is no APA Poster format, but this PowerPoint template uses APA citation and tables/figures format. There are other tools you can use to create a poster; just be sure to follow APA guidelines for figures/tables and citations.

Poster Headings/Sections

Typical Poster Sections 

See your professor or conference for your required sections. Typical posters follow the IMRaD format: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion/Conclusion. See the Humanities Poster page for more section ideas. 

Other sections include:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Research Question/statement/hypothesis
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Future Research
  • Funding Acknowledgement
  • References

Academic Poster Setup

PowerPoint Setup

Most of these instructions are for Powerpoint on a desktop.

  • Change the size of a slide to create a poster (see screenshot below):
    • Go to the Design tab > Slide size > Custom Slide Size > Set the width and height, and choose landscape (if a message pops up that "the current page size exceeds the printable area of the paper in the printer" just click OK)
    • Standard Poster size is 48” wide x 36” tall - but check with your professor or with the conference and your printer (if you are presenting at a conference)
  • Create a header:
    • The header in this poster is created with a rounded rectangle
    • Go to the Insert tab > Shapes > choose a rounded rectangle (or other shapes) 
    • This header box is 4" tall x 47" wide
    • To see and manage box sizes, use the grab handles on the shape OR go to the Format tab > size
    • Change the shape, fill color, and outline on the Format tab - this shape has Lynn blue fill
  • Create columns:
    • Three columns are common but not required
    • The columns in the poster template are rectangles
    • Go to the Insert tab > Shapes > choose a rectangle (or other shapes) 
    • The two side boxes are 30.5" tall x 14" wide; the center box is 30.5" tall x 17" wide
    • To see and manage box sizes, use the grab handles on the shape OR go to the Format tab > size
    • Change the shape, fill color, and outline (in the template, the columns have no fill and Lynn blue outlines)
      • On a desktop: on the Format tab
      • On an iPad: click on the shape to select it, then on the "Shape" button near the top right
  • Save your poster as a PDF (for printing). Go to the File tab > Save as Adobe PDF > choose "yes" to save the file, then name it and save

PowerPoint: change the size of the slide to poster size

screen shot of powerpoint set up for a slide

Google Slides Setup

  • Change the size of the slide to create a poster (see screenshot below):
    • Go to the File tab, select Page Setup > In the drop-down menu, choose custom, enter the numbers, and click apply.
  • Create a header and columns:
    • Go to the Insert tab > Shape > Shapes > choose a shape
    • To see and manage box sizes, use the blue grab handles on the shape OR go to Format Options > Size & Rotation

screenshot of the google slides page setup dialog box

Style: Fonts, Colors, & Sizes

Required Font

See the Lynn Style guide.

  • Use Helvetica Neue Light, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic.
  • Ariel is an acceptable substitution if Helvetic Neue is not available.

Lynn Colors

See the Lynn Style guide.

  • Lynn Blue
    • PMS 293
    • CMYK
    • RGB 0.61.165
    • Web (Hex)  #003DA5
  • White
    • CMYK
    • RGB 255.255.255
    • Web (Hex) #FFFFFF
  • Lynn Gray
    • PMS Cool Gray 5
    • CMYK
    • RGB 177.179.179
    • Web (Hex) #B1B3B3

Suggested Font sizes

This depends on the size of your poster. Follow these suggestions for best accessibility.

  • Main title: 72 point (minimum) - 158 point (ideal)
  • Section headings: 42 point (minimum) - 56 point (ideal)
  • Body text: 24 point (minimum) - 36 point (ideal)
  • Captions: 18 point (minimum) - 24 point (ideal)

Image Size

  • For printing, each image in your poster should be 150-300 dpi. Resolution below 150 dpi will result in a pixelated image.
  • For the best outcome, see Creative Services in the library before printing to ensure your images will print clearly.

Note that an image that looks good on the computer screen will not necessarily print well (Elements drawn with PowerPoint’s drawing tools will retain their sharpness at any size)

Compare 72 dpi (left) and 300 dpi (right)

Balloon at 72 dpi    balloon at 300 dpi

Image Source:

About Tables, Figures, & Images

Tips for images, figures, and tables:

  • Follow copyright law and university policies for the university logo and any images (do not use the university seal, that is reserved for official use only).
  • Follow APA format for Figures and Tables. Graphics should have clear labels; if you did not make the table, figure, or chart, include an APA citation in a note below the chart (see sample image). 
  • Insert images directly into PowerPoint, do not copy and paste.
  • Do copy and paste excel charts and graphs into PowerPoint.
  • Use the corner “grab handle” (the small box in the corner when an image is selected) or the size section on the format tab to resize images– this will avoid skewing or stretching the image out of proportion.

APA formatted table