University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Hints & Tips for Poster Presentations

Poster Format - Hints & Tips

  • Be sure to follow the Poster Guidelines  
  • Poster dimensions - The printer paper is 41 inches wide. Keeping the aspect ratio close to 2 x 3 gives two possibiliites:
    • 41 inches high by 60 inches wide (landscape)
    • 41 inches high by 28 inches wide (portrait) 
  • Use graphics software and one of the Pitt-Johnstown Information Technology poster templates. The software is vailalbe in the Pitt-Johnstown student computing labs
    • Microsoft Publisher format
    • Microsoft Power Point format
  • Use the "Rule of Thirds" to aid in graphic design (see
  • Use your poster area effectively!  
    • Do not leave large areas of empty white space.
    • Do not use large type to fill poster space if you lack content.
    • Relevant illustrations are effective ways to fill space and also convey information quickly.
  • Use only standard fonts. For example a really cool font you may have on your personal computer may not be available on the lab machines (or on the machine from which your poster is printed). Font substitution can dramatically alter the appearance of your poster and you may not be happy with the end result. Note that User Services will not be responsible for problems resulting from non-standard fonts.  
  • Graphics
    • Minimum Resolution 150 ppi should be JPEG type and close to the final size needed on the poster.
    • Do not use jpg or bmp files that you "right-click" from a web page (these do not scale up well and are typically poor quality). You cannot increase resolution, or detail, of files upward. Zoom in to view the graphic on your poster to be sure it doesn't appear jagged because of low resolution.
    • To "scale" or resize a graphic element, select the graphic, hold the Shift or Contol key (depending on the application) while dragging by the corner boxes to enlarge or reduce the size of the graphic.
    • It is especially critical to the appearance of the graphic that you use the Control/Shift modification when re-sizing. This ensures that the graphic will be scaled proportionately instead of looking "stretched" or distored.
  • Store the completed file on a flash drive and name it as (makes it much easier for User Services to keep track of things).