Poster Tips

Off to the right start - Branding

UNMC branding standards have been established for scientific and departmental posters. Branding resources are available online. Guidelines include:

Customer designed posters:
You can create your own posters to run on our large format printers. The following guidelines will be useful for easy production and quality output.

Powerpoint, by far, is the most popular and recommended application for making your document. Adobe Illustrator, for those of you that have it, is also a good choice. NOT recommended are Microsoft Publisher or Word. These programs are designed for smaller sized documents and do not interface well with our printer software.

Size Matters
Our printers use rolls of paper that are 42 inches wide by 100 feet long with a printable width of 41 inches by whatever length is desired. Papers are available in an uncoated bond or gloss finish as well as matte. Whenever possible, create your poster document at the finished size you desire. In Powerpoint, you will often find that it limits you to a maximum size of 35.5 inches by 56 inches. This restriction can easily be overcome by creating your poster document half size and we can output at twice size on the printer for the required dimensions. An example would be to create a 20" x 30" Powerpoint document for output of 40" x 60". The "half size" option also makes for easy math when determining the scaling of fonts, pictures and any other poster elements. All scaling of your document will be proportionate. We can not stretch or shrink one axis and not the other.

A Word About Fonts
Use fonts that are relatively common and easy to read. Suggested are Arial or Georgia, Stone Serif or URW Grotesk if you have them. Fonts that should be avoided would include Comic Sans and Papyrus script fonts. Recommended font sizes are 24 point for text 72 point for subheads (Abstract, Methods, Conclusions, etc.) and approximately 1.5 inches tall for the title. When making a half size document the sizes would be text at 12 point for a 200% size of 24 pt. These guidelines are general rules. The common sense approach is to make your poster legible from a distance of 3-4 feet for the reader.

Color Is Good
Use of color is recommended. Studies show that use of color promotes far more readership than black and white documents. Please try to use the colors offered by the UNMC color pallette, also available from the Branding Resources web site in the UNMC Brand Book. Colors to avoid inlude pruple as well as "neon" colors. Incidentally, color and the amount of ink coverage does not affect the cost of poster production. When using color text on a color background, make sure that there is sufficient contrast between the two for legibility.

Picture This
Pictures and graphic elements add interest to your poster and are also recommended. Resolution issues are the major pitfall here. A guideline would be to have a minimum resolution of 150 dpi for final output size of a particular element for optimal printing. A common undesirable scenario is getting a 1" x 1" picture off of the "web" which is 72 dpi, enlarging it to 2" by 2' for your half size document with an output of 4" by 4" on the final print. The effective printed resolution is only 18 dpi and it would look like a checkerboard instead of a picture. When importing graphics and pictures into Powerpoint, Jpegs are the preferred format. Tiffs do not work well.

Custom designed posters:
We have an excellent staff of graphic designers that can design a poster for you from your text and graphic documents if so desired. Please contact us for cost analysis or consultation.