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Research Posters

Four Design Elements for Research Posters

Learn about typography, balance, color, and composition and how to use them to make a well-designed research poster.


Find the right poster design template by visiting the Template Downloads page.


  • Keep it simple, no more than two fonts—generally one for the titles and one for the body text.
  • When selecting a font you can’t go wrong with the classics: Arial, Times New Roman or Helvetica.
  • Be sure to use a consistent width for your columns.

Font Suggested Sizes in Power Point

  • Title – Font Size: should be at least 48 points or greater
  • Sub-title – Font Size: should be at least 48 points
  • Body text - Font Size: should be 24-32 points, including captions


  • Your poster should be more than just words.
  • Where possible include images and graphs to create balance and to communicate your content in a different way.
  • Avoid copyright materials on your poster.
  • Always give credit to the photographer or cite the source.


  • Avoid large areas of black or extremely dark colors. Dense areas of ink can make the paper weak and takes a long time to dry.
  • Consider matching your color palette with your imagery.
  • Some institutions require you use their brand colors. For more details about the HSC brand visit the Office of Marketing & Communication resource page.

HSC Color Codes

  • graphite - RGB 37 55 70, CMYK 88 57 27 65
  • teal - RGB 0 119 139, CMYK 100 0 24 30
  • green - RGB 132 189 0, CMYK 48 0 100 1


  • Do not over crowd poster with information.
  • Be conscious of the margins, information too close to the edge may be cut off.



A PDF will be the final file you will send to the printers. PDFs maintain fonts and composition. They also have good quality resolution for printing.

If you are printing a physical poster, HSC has an arrangement with One Stop Printing to print approved templates. For more information, visit the research poster page.

Pro Tip - Proof before Printing

  • Open PDF in Adobe Acrobat Print – Actual size
  • This will allow you to see a sample section of your poster to know if they font is legible and the images are not pixelated.