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Poster Presentation Design

Provides basic design tips for those creating poster presentations for class or research conferences.

Poster Sizes & Templates

Conference guidelines typically require posters to be of a specific size and orientation. Common sizes include portrait-oriented posters of 24in. x 36in. (2ft. wide and 3ft. tall) and landscape-oriented posters of 48in. x 36in (4ft. wide and 3 ft. tall). If you are allowed to choose which size and orientation you will use, you will want to take into consideration the amount of information you hope to include on your poster and the increased cost of printing larger posters.


Click the links below and enter your Tiffin University username/password in the pop-up screen that appears to access and download the Tiffin University branded poster templates. 

Tiffin University Branded Poster Templates

Portrait Orientation Template - Printed Size 24in x 36in

Landscape Orientation Template - Printed Size 48in x 36in 


To begin adding and changing elements to a downloaded template: save the downloaded file to your computer or flash drive, select "Enable Editing" in the alert message that appears along the top of the PowerPoint workspace. From the "View" tab in PowerPoint's top toolbar, select the icon for "Slide Master." An additional slide should now appear in the slide deck preview along the left-hand side of PowerPoint's workspace, which can be fully edited and changed. Insert text boxes, shapes, and images to complete your poster, and remember to save your PowerPoint file often.

Designing Your Poster in PowerPoint

If you wish to create your poster from scratch, simply open PowerPoint and begin a new/blank presentation. You'll then select the "Design" tab from the top toolbar, click the "Slide Size" icon and "Custom Slide Size..." from the drop down menu. Input the correct orientation and dimensions for your poster in the "Slide Size" menu that appears, select OK, and start designing! 

Use the PowerPoint "Insert" tab to add shapes (i.e. for section borders/frames), images, and text boxes to your poster. Remember to save changes often.

Prior to Printing

Since printing multiple copies of a poster to make corrections would get expensive:

  • Test readability before printing: use the Zoom slider in the bottom right-hand corner of the PowerPoint window to shrink the view of your poster to a more manageable size while designing, but then maximize back to 100% to determine if font sizes and images are an appropriate size for reading when standing a short distance away from the computer monitor.
  • Have a friend or two view your draft poster on a computer screen. They will be able to point out elements that are hard for them to read and colors that are challenging on their eyes.
  • Use spell check! Use PowerPoint's spelling feature under the "Review" tab in the top toolbar to check for typos. Spelling errors can damage your credibility with your audience.  
  • Print a small color preview of your poster on regular sized printer paper. This can help you determine how well background colors and font colors will print. That way you can adjust color lightness/darkness as needed before paying for an expensive poster-sized copy.
  • Think about how you will safely transport your poster to your presentation. Creases and folds on a poster presentation are viewed as unprofessional. For a low-cost alternative to a poster carrying case, consider purchasing an appropriately sized cardboard shipping cylinder/tube, which are available from most stores that carry paper craft and office/school supplies. A tube with a diameter of 2in-3in (5cm-9cm) will be typically large enough to prevent extreme curling of posters and will protect your poster from light rain/snow.

Poster Printing Services

On-Campus/Tiffin, OH:

If you are on-campus, you may choose to take your PowerPoint file on a flashdrive to the Print Shop on the 2nd Floor of the Hertzer Technology Center to have your poster printed. Print Shop staff will print the poster for you on their special poster printer. Print Shop staff will provide you with an estimate of when you may pick up your printed poster. Depending on the current volume of items waiting to be printed, it may be a few days. Current costs and paper/finish options for printing posters on-campus may be found on the Tiffin University ITS webpage for Printing Services.

An additional local business option for poster printing is SameDay Signs at 80 E. Market St. Tiffin, OH. Contact the business directly in-person or at 419-448-0123 for more information regarding their current options and costs.



Stores like Staples, Office Depot, the UPS Store, and other similar retailers often provide printing services kiosks within their stores that frequently provide poster printing. Additionally, there are online vendors, such as FedEx Office, who will allow you to upload your PowerPoint file and pay for your poster online, and will then print and ship your poster to your location. Please contact retailers directly to determine costs, printing services, and delivery time.