#SciFund Challenge Class

Creating posters that stand out from the crowd and get you noticed

Part 1: What You'll Need

Some research to be presented via a poster

The purpose of this guide is to help you transform some of your research into an awesome poster. As a consequence, this tutorial will be most useful to you if you have some research product on hand that you can put to use (even some sort of research proposal will do).


To throw a poster together, you'll need some software to do it. In this guide, we'll be teaching you how to use Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape - pick which ever one of the two that works for you. Like we wrote earlier, this guide is based on the assumption that you are starting from scratch with the software.

Adobe Illustrator (version C2 or newer). Illustrator is widely used in the design community, but has the disadvantage of ordinarily being rather expensive. On the plus side, if you do not have a personal copy of Illustrator, your university’s software provider will likely have it available at a very reduced price. Additionally, universities tend to have Illustrator freely available in computer labs.

Inkscape. Inkscape is less well known than Illustrator, but is certainly more than powerful enough for what you'll need. It also has the large advantage of not costing anything.

Commonly, researchers put posters together with PowerPoint or similar presentation software. We would strongly, strongly urge you not to do this because Powerpoint really wasn't intended for this purpose. Using PowerPoint for poster preparation will almost invariably cost you big in terms of extra time and frustration (not to mention that the quality of the final product is unlikely to be as good as what you could create with Illustrator or Inkscape).