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Guidelines & Poster Templates

The Knight ADRC will accept several different general file formats for poster printing:

- Microsoft PowerPoint -- Please let us know if you are sending a Mac or Windows-based PowerPoint file.

- Apple Keynote presentation files

- While the Knight ADRC accepts Keynote files, we'd prefer that you submit a PDF. View instructions on exporting a PDF from within Keynote at the highest quality settings.

- Adobe Acrobat PDF 9.x+ if the native file is the same size as the final poster size or saved as High or Press Quality.

- Windows Adobe Creative Cloud InDesign or Illustrator files that are Packaged to contain all used fonts and images. You can also choose to embed all images and convert all text to outline. If you don't have a Creative Cloud membership, you should embed all images and convert all text to outlines.

Consider using one of our templates:

- 36" x 70" Microsoft PowerPoint Template (final printed size; AAIC/ICAD compatible)

- 42" x 70" Microsoft PowerPoint Template (final printed size)

Tips to create/print your poster:

If you don't use one of our templates above, your page size should be exactly half of the final print size if you are using Microsoft PowerPoint. The printer will correctly scale your file 200%. If you create your poster in another program at full scale, you must export that file as a PDF (unless you follow the rule above for Illustrator and InDesign files). Flatten all the layers if there are any! Make sure once you create the PDF that the page size of the PDF is the correct size for your desired poster.

We print on 36" or 42" paper and fabric. If the program you are using supports the desired final print size of your poster, and that design does not exceed 36" or 42" on one side side of the poster, you can submit your poster to us at 100% scale. If your program does not support the desired final print size, it is best to design it at half size. The final size of the print cannot have one side exceed 36" or 42" depending upon the paper or fabric size you desire.

    For example, PowerPoint will not support a slide size of 42" x 70" which is a fairly standard scientific poster size. In this case, you need to set your slide size to 21" x 35" (half size). If the final poster size desired is 42" x 46", PowerPoint will support a slide this size. You do not need to design your poster at half size.

Always leave a .5 to .75" margin around your poster. A red line border is included on the templates we provide in order to give you a visual reference. If you keep your text and images within this line, generally there are no issues. This red line will be removed before printing. You can, however, have a full-bleed background color (color that runs to the edges of the paper). The margin restriction above applies to images or text boxes and not background color.

Use typical fonts: Arial for PC and Arial or Helvetica if you are working on a Mac. Times New Roman is strongly discouraged. It makes the poster difficult to read.

Don't copy and paste images, graphs, etc. into the poster file if you can possibly avoid this. Screenshots (Print Screens) will also look horrible when blown up 200%. Export them from their program of origin and then insert them as images (in order of quality: TIFF, BMP, JPG, GIF) at 200-300ppi resolution. If you can't export the item, print it and then scan it at 200-300ppi. If you use a Mac, do not save image files as QuickTime native or use LZW compression. As a tip, screenshots on a Mac are always in QuickTime format.

It's best if your image resolution is between 200ppi and 300ppi since your poster will double in size. A quick way to get an idea of how your image will look is to zoom in on it at 200%. If it looks blocky and unreadable, increase the resolution of your image. If you plan on submitting a PDF that is 100% of the final desired size, this point does not apply to you. Learn more about ppi and ppi in regard to printing.

Do not overlap the borders of image and text boxes in PowerPoint. Text boxes can be contained within image boxes, just do have the text box border appear outside of the image box as well. It is also recommended that there are no random empty boxes in the slide or boxes that are stretched into the 1" margin you should have.

Review your work for errors! You will be charged for reprints. No exceptions. Once you submit your poster for printing, you should consider it printed. If you do find an error, contact us immediately. If your poster has already started printing, you will be charged for that entire print plus the new poster.

Posters that deviate from our template may result in extra blank space around your poster since we print on a 36" or 42" roll. Any extra margin is your responsibility to trim either by scissor or meter stick and blade if you do not want us to scale your poster to fit our paper stock.

To send us a file larger than 10MB, use the WUSTL Dropbox service. Enter Knight ADRC Posters and in the recipient field.

For questions that aren't answered above, email

NCSU also has some great tips when it comes to scientific posters. Check them out!