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Research Posters

Information on how to create a scientific research poster. Burnett School of Medicine templates included for download.

Four Design Elements for Research Posters

Watch this video to learn about typography, balance, color, and composition, and how to use them to make a well-designed research poster.



  • 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

Suggested font sizes in PowerPoint

  • Title – should be at least 48 points or greater
  • Sub-title – should be at least 48 points
  • Body text – 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 TCU brand visit Brand Central.

TCU color codes

  • Purple - RGB 77 25 121, CMYK 79 100 0 20, HEX #4d1979
  • Grey - RGB 164 169 173, CMYK 38 27 27 0, HEX #a3a9ac


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


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

Check out the FabLab, located on the 1st floor of the Mary Couts Burnett Library on the main campus, for printing resources.

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.