Step 1: What makes a good poster?

A poster should never consist of columns of lengthy narratives in footnote-sized fonts. At the same time, it also should never consist entirely of images, graphs and photos. Save all of that for your dissertation!

A poster is something you'll be presenting at an academic symposium where your audience may not be entirely familiar with your topic of discussion. This means you'll need to make your point(s) as clear as possible without overburdening them with dense content. Follow the guidelines your instructor has given you with regards to naming of each section, their format and order on the poster. Never assume what the instructor expects of you.

For the de-facto guide to every aspect of creating a poster, as well as advice on how to present the poster to your audience, visit Colin Purrington's excellent guide: Designing Conference Posters

Step 2: Use CI templates

We have designed CI-branded poster templates in Powerpoint for you to download and use right away. These templates contain the basic information found on most posters, but you should customize them based upon the requirements outlined by your instructor. Choose from 7 different colors and two different sizes: 24"x36" and 36"x48". The size of the poster is dictated by the amount of available presentation space, so be sure to verify this with either your instructor or the symposium organizers.

To get started, simply click on the links below to save the Powerpoint template to your computer.

To view Microsoft Word documents, please download and install Microsoft Office.

Red (24"x36") or (36"x48")
Orange (24"x36") or (36"x48")
Gray (24"x36") or (36"x48")
Green (24"x36") or (36"x48")
Teal (24"x36") or (36"x48")
Blue (24"x36") or (36"x48")
Purple (24"x36") or (36"x48")


Plagiarism and copyright?

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that carries the potential for expulsion. Be sure to properly cite all works referenced in your poster. This includes text as well as images; whether they come from a textbook or a site on the internet. To that end, never copy and paste images directly into your Powerpoint poster template. Rather, create a folder for your poster with the following files:

  • Powerpoint poster template (e.g. johndoe.ppt)
  • Images you've downloaded and renamed (e.g. 01.jpg, 02.gif, 03.jpg)
  • A Word document with URL's of the images saved (for your bibliography)

Once you have all images in one place, insert the image into your poster from the main menu by:

  1. Clicking on INSERT, then down to: PICTURE > FROM FILE
  2. Navigate to the folder where you saved all your images
  3. Choose the image you wish to insert

Text & Graphics

If you're having difficulty getting started or need help with the written portion of the poster, visit the CSUCI Writing Center online or on campus in the Broome Library, 2nd floor Room 2360. For an appointment, call 437-8409 or email

As for images, the major rule of thumb is that you should never scale an image larger than its original size because it only makes it look worse. If you need a larger image, either find one or scan one in from a textbook.

Step 3: Review before you print

Be sure to run a final spell check in Powerpoint and read through your text thoroughly or have a friend proof read it for any grammatical errors. It is also highly advisable that you seek your instructor's approval prior to printing the final large-format poster.

Printing Services & Pricing

The Coast Copy Center, located in the Town Center on campus, can print your posters for you. Typical costs are as follows:

36" x 48" = $24.67 (Total including taxes)
24" x 36" = $15.00 (Total including taxes)

For more information, contact them directly at:
805-484-6633 (or)

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