Academic Poster Design and Printing Guide

Choose a Poster Template

Please note: Clearinghouse requests the use of one of the templates provided above in order to ensure your design meets their requirements.

Poster Template Elements

  • Our templates use the following poster structure: introduction  research goal – methods – figures and results  conclusion – acknowledgments  references. The text in the headers can be changed to suit your project.
  • The NIU logo is not editable.

Poster Tips


  • Choose legible fonts (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond).
  • Use bold or italics to emphasize a point. Underlined words can be more difficult to read.


  • Contrast is important. Use dark font colors on light backgrounds and light font colors on dark backgrounds (easiest to read).

Communicating your Message

  • Your poster tells a story and conveys your takeaway message, but avoid overcrowding your poster with content.
  • Use of bullets and short phrases helps keep your content concise and easy to follow.
  • Use graphics (i.e., figures, photos, graphs, charts) to convey most information.
  • Avoid using images directly from the web. The quality may be poor and may not print clearly.
  • Ethically use copyrighted materials or find openly licensed content. Contact your subject specialist librarian if you have questions or need help finding free-to-use images.

Save the Poster

  • Save as a PDF.
  • Select "export" from the PowerPoint drop-down menu.
  • File must be no larger than 10MB in size.
  • File name should include your last name and keyword/s from the poster title (e.g., Reilly_PeerModeling).

Submit your Poster

  • Submit your poster when it is final and has been proofread. We will not reprint a revised version of your poster.

Contact Us

Library Information
Founders Memorial Library
217 Normal Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828
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