Creating and Printing GREAT Day Posters

Follow the instructions below or use the Google doc version of these GREAT Day poster instructions to create and print your GREAT Day poster.

You're also welcome and encouraged to use our GREAT Day poster template to create your poster.

Basic Requirements

  • GREAT Day posters should be 42" x 36" to fit on the board stand.
    • We will not be able to hang larger posters on the walls of the union.
  • Posters must have been submitted by April 10, 2024 to be printed (extended from April 8th due to the Eclipse!)
  • Posters must be submitted through the duplicating center website 
    • When submitting your poster in PDF format, ignore the information on cost of printing. You will NOT be charged for printing standard GREAT Day posters! (See below for non-standard options.)
    • For Poster Paper Type, select "Standard" 
    • For Poster Tube, select "No" (your poster will come with a plastic sleeve to protect it)
    • When you get to the bottom of the submission form, select "Yes" for GREAT Day posters.
    • Under "payment type," select "chargeback." You do NOT need to enter an account number.
  • Non-standard posters: if you pick a different paper type (standard glossy, high glossy, satin etc.) or non-standard size, you will either have to pay the extra cost OR need an account number from your sponsoring Department if the department is helping pay for the poster.
  • Make sure you also upload a PDF of your poster to Oxford Abstracts (by Friday April 19th) so that it can be included in KnightScholar. Note that if your poster contains proprietary information, you may opt out of having your poster archived in KnightScholar. Students, please check with your faculty sponsor. To upload your poster: usethe original confirmation email or login via this link; click on the Edit tab of your personal dashboard or your submission title; edit question 5, Poster Upload.

Best Practices

(Things to keep in mind as you create your proposal)

  • Consider the 11 second rule
    • People will look at your poster for 11 seconds before they decide to read it in detail; if they stay it will be for 3-5 minutes reading and asking you questions.
    • Keep that in mind and make sure your poster is visually appealing and uses bold headlines to inform passersby immediately what your poster is about.
  • Keep it simple!
    • Someone standing three feet away should quickly understand what each component of the poster is and why it is there. 
      • This is not your paper. 
      • Have supplemental material for visitor to take with them. 
      • Most passersby will absorb one take-home message.
  • If a passerby only carries away one idea from your poster, what do you want it to be?
    • Or in other words, what do you want your main theme to be?

Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating GREAT Day Posters

Using Microsoft PowerPoint (Windows/Mac)

  1. Create a slide of the correct dimensions
    • Go to the "page setup" menu
      • On a Mac, go to "file" and then "page setup"
      • On a Windows computer, go to the "design" tab and then "slide size"
      • Set width and height of your poster (posters must be within 36" x 42")
  2. Apply a background, if wanted
    • On a Windows computer, go to the "design" tab, click on "format background" and choose a color, fill, and transparency. 
    • On a Mac, go to the "design" tab, click on "slide background," then "format," and click "background." 
    • The background of your poster should be a solid color, not a pattern, and avoid too many colors or it will look cluttered
  3. Turn on gridlines or guides
    • On a Windows or Mac computer, go to the "view" tab, and on the ribbon under "show" there are options for showing gridlines or guides, and you can pick what you want. 
    • You can also right click on the background. That will bring up the menu with an option for a "grid and guide" menu, where you can also change the spacing of the grid.
  4. Apply graphic elements
    • When applying graphics, group, align, and distribute them around the poster so it makes sense and looks nice
    • To insert images, go to the "insert" tab
      • It’s important to use high resolution images, so aim for images with between 240 and 300 DPI/PPI, with a 150 DPI/PPI minimum (if the image isn’t high resolution, on the printed poster it will look pixelated and low-quality)
  5. Format your text
    • You shouldn’t use more than three or four fonts throughout your poster
    • Titles should be in between 144 pt and 216 pt, which will look like 2-3 inches of height on the printed poster, and should be in sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Trebuchet, or Verdana)
      • Note on titles: it should be short and comprehensible to more than just people in your major, and it should be short, sharp, and compelling
    • Subtitles can be from 36 pt to 72 pt, which will be between ½ and 1 inch on the printed poster
    • Body text should be at least 24 pt, which makes it able to be seen and read from 4 to 6 feet away, and should be in a serif font (such as Times New Romans, Baskerville, Century Schoolbook, or Palatino)
      • If you don’t have enough room for all your text, make it shorter and briefer
      • Make sure the text color is highly contrasted with the background color
  6. Proofread your poster! 
    • Make sure everything is aligned and put together so it looks professional!

Converting Your Microsoft PowerPoint Poster to a PDF

  1. In PowerPoint, click on the "file" tab or menu
  2. Click "save as"
    • On Windows, click "browse" and choose a location and folder
  3. In the "file name" box, enter a name for the file if you haven’t already done so
  4. Windows: In the "save as" type list, click PDF (*.pdf)
    • If you want the file to open in the selected format after saving, select "open file" check box
    • Choose "standard" (publishing online and printing)
  5. Mac: In the file format list, click "PDF" under "export formats"
  6. Click "save"

Proof Your Poster and Then Proof It Again

Make sure you check your poster very carefully at 100% zoom before submitting! 

  1. Verify the size of your PDF file
    • Windows: Open your poster in Adobe Acrobat or Reader
      • Put your mouse in the lower left corner of the window and you should see the poster dimension
    • Mac: Open PDF poster in preview 
      • Click on the "tools" menu and click on "show inspector" and verify the size
  2. Looking at the whole poster, make sure the overall appearance is how you want it to look
  3. Zoom to 100% and check for clarity, scrolling through every inch of the poster
    • Do any of your graphics look grainy or pixelated? Even if it looked okay in PowerPoint, it may look different in PDF. Even if it looked okay from the whole-poster view, close-up it can look different. If the graphics are grainy or pixelated, you may want to go back and choose a higher-quality graphic.
    • Do all the graphics look the way they’re supposed to? If your embedded Excel charts or graphs don’t look right, it could be solved by converting them into graphics.
    • If you used any Greek letters or other symbols, do they look right? If not, try using the "symbol" font.
    • Is any of your text clipped or obscured? If not, try making sure the PowerPoint text boxes are no larger than the text they contain. 
    • Is your text positioned correctly with respect to other pages elements, like box borders or chart axes?
  4. If you need to make adjustments, go back to the file in PowerPoint, make the necessary changes, and then save as a PDF and check again.