How to Design a Poster in Microsoft Powerpoint

Poster Design Powerpoint Cover

Most people assume that Microsoft Powerpoint is to be used solely for presentations. This isn’t true. You can also use Powerpoint to design a beautiful poster. Read on to learn some tips for designing posters in Powerpoint.

Poster Dimensions

The first step is to define the poster dimensions. This can be done by adjusting the slide dimensions. The maximum size limit for a slide dimension is 56 inches x 56 inches, so you won’t be able to design anything bigger than that. If you’re designing the poster for a competition or meeting, they may have some required sizes to you need to adhere to.

Some standard poster sizes that you can use are:

  • Small poster: 11” x 17”
  • Medium poster: 18” x 24”
  • Large posters: 24” x 36”

Once you’ve decided on a size, follow the steps below to set it up in Powerpoint:

1. From the top menu, select “Design.”

Poster Design Powerpoint Design

2. In the Customize section, select “Slide Size -> Custom Slide Size -> Page Setup.”

Poster Design Powerpoint Slide Size

3. From the pop-up box, set the width and height you desire for your poster.

Poster Design Powerpoint Page Setup

4. Powerpoint will give you two scaling options. You can choose to “Scale Up” your content or “Don’t scale” as desired.

Poster Design Powerpoint Scaling

Poster Design

The next step is to design the poster. The way you design your poster obviously depends upon you and the type of look you want to achieve. You’ll want to pay special attention to the background, text and image arrangement, etc. Make sure you use different fonts, text sizes and colors to make your poster look more aesthetic. We’ve included some general tips for proper poster design below:

1. Use a proper font and increase the size accordingly.

The font you use should be easy to read and sized accordingly, as the main goal of a poster is to be easily visible from a distance. Opt for a readable but interesting font that draws attention. For instance, if you want to portray something important, use a bold sans serif font. However, if you want to give a specific element of your poster a fun look, try a script font. Similarly, italics will make a line or saying stand out from the rest of the text. You can find a lot of free fonts on Google or DaFont.

2. Position the heading at the top or center of the poster.

Depending on the type of poster you’re designing, make sure the title stands out. Include some details about the title above or beneath it in a smaller font. Similarly, use plenty of pictures/flowcharts to help complement your text. No one likes a bare block of text.

3. The colors you use in the poster are of prime importance.

It is always recommended to use contrast, as contrast quickly catches one’s attention. You can use a contrast of bright and dark colors. If you’d like to do something daring, try a varying color contrast with a shape design. Use repetition, patterns, different positions, etc., to make your poster more attractive. You can also try playing with scale vs. size when using contrast of different text elements. All of these factors can somewhat come into play in Microsoft Powerpoint.

Poster Design Powerpoint Shapes

4. Use space efficiently.

Although we’ve mentioned many methods of design above, make sure your poster is not cluttered. The most common mistakes on scientific posters is that they’re very cluttered and the font size is reduced to a barely readable size in order to incorporate maximum text. This should not be the case. Limit the content that you’re including on the poster to only that which is necessary. It is advisable to use greater spacing between lines in a poster, as it creates an open look in general. You can also give more space between different types of text and images.

5. Make sure your poster stands out.

Using a combination of the few tips mentioned above, amd make sure your font style, size, poster design, poster color contrast and all other elements make your poster unique. Your poster will probably be hanging in an area alongside lots of other posters. So make sure your poster stands out from others and attracts attention.

For instance, you can see how color contrast, proper font size proportion and the use of a saying has made this poster stand out and be more attractive than a generic poster.

Poster Design Powerpoint Poster

Once done, you can choose to save the poster in either a standard Powerpoint file (ppt) or a PDF file for easy sharing.

Use a ready-made template.

If you want to avoid the hassle of designing the entire poster from scratch, you can choose to use a ready-made template. Poster templates for Microsoft Powerpoint can be found easily on different websites. For instance Makesigns provides a lot of templates to choose from. Simply select the design you’d like to use, select the poster size and download the file.

Once the file opens in Powerpoint, you’ll be able to customize the title, content, photos, etc. You can also add various flowcharts and tables to make your poster look more pleasing.

Poster Design Powerpoint Template

That’s all there is to designing a poster in Microsoft Powerpoint. You can also create a Youtube video using Microsoft Powerpoint. If you have any additional tips for customizing a poster, let us know in the comments section below.


Shujaa Imran Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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