Ken Blake, Ph.D.

Research poster template

Producing Scholars Week posters can get absurdly expensive for those whose departments don't provide access to a large-format printer. The templates in this file represent an affordable alternative I've developed over the years. The approach capitalizes on the fact that FedEx / Kinko's charges just $1.78 plus tax to produce a color print on regular 11 x 17 paper, which is FedEx/Kinkos' largest available standard-sized paper. Seven such prints, laid out in PowerPoint, plus a $15 foam-core tri-fold poster from Staples will let you produce an attractive, color poster for only $27.46 plus tax. Prices may have gone up a bit since this writing, but probably not much. I've used the same template for various other things, including my sons' science fair projects.

Template contents

Inside the .zip file are four PowerPoint 2007 files. Their names and purposes are below:

1. All center slides.pptx. These slides are formatted for printing on 11 x 17 paper in horizontal (landscape) format. Up to three of them will fit in the center section of a typical tri-fold poster board.

2. Left and right long slides.pptx. These slides are formatted for printing on 11 x 17 paper in a vertical (portrait) format. Up to two of them will fit on each of the side panels of a typical tri-fold poster.

3. Optional 8.5x11 size.pptx. These slides are formatted for printing on 8.5 x 11 paper in horizontal (landscape) format. Up to two of these can be used in place of one of the portrait-format 11 x 17 prints on either the left or right side of the tri-fold poster. Their smaller size can liven up the layout a bit. One or more also could be used in the center area of the poster, although doing so would leave some unoccupied space.

4. Poster mockup.pptx. This file shows one possibility for arranging prints from 1 and 2 on the tri-fold poster.


The directions are fairly simple:

1. Unzip the file and edit the slides inside them in whatever way you see fit. I used the contents of one of my old Scholars Week posters just to show some basic ideas.

2. When you’re done editing, click Save as / Other formats, and then choose “PDF (*.pdf)” under “Save as type.” Then click “Save.” PowerPoint will save each slide in a .pdf file. These are the PC instructions. The Mac procedure might be different. If you can’t get PowerPoint to save the files in .pdf format, FedEx / Kinkos can do it for you for a small charge.

3. Take the files to FedEx / Kinkos on a thumb drive and ask that they be printed in color on regular paper.

4. Paste or tape the printouts up on the poster board in whatever arrangement you've come up with (see Poster mockup.pptx for on possible layout). Glue stick works very nicely. Double-sided tape works even better.