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Looking for Guidance with Scientific/Academic Poster Design and Printing?
If you are looking for guidance with poster design for the sciences, visit the Biotech Commons Poster Design Guide for information on science poster design templates, layout service, printing services and much more.
Typography and Fonts
A good typeface can help make your message more effective. These free resources help you identify fonts that you like, and download free usable fonts.
A few guiding principles to keep in mind:
- Mixing fonts can add visual interest, but don't go overboard. Contrast is key: try using a different typeface for headers and body text to make important words stand out. Start with just two, and try not to use more than three.
- Fun fonts can be tempting but remember: the most important quality of your typeface is that it must be readable.
- Don't take spacing for granted; experiment with different distances between letters to change the effect of your text.
What the Font
Identifies commons fonts by analyzing images.
Identifies common fonts, and helps you discover the right font for your purpose.
Free fonts! All are available for personal and commercial use.
More free fonts! Most are available for personal use. Some are available for commercial use.
1001 Free Fonts
Even more free fonts (1001 to be exact)!
Google Web Fonts
If you're designing for the web, you can use Google Web Fonts to make sure your fonts stay consistent across different browsers.
Kerntype: A Kerning Game
Practice your kerning skills and score yourself against a professional designer. Surprisingly addictive.
Concepts of Poster Design
Designing effective posters takes patience and attention to detail, but can really pay off. A well-designed poster helps others understand the significance of your research, care about a cause you are promoting, and generally helps you change hearts and minds. We recommend starting with PowerPoint and then proceeding to PhotoShop or InDesign to gain greater control over your creation. You can print posters at the Vitale Digital Media Lab in the Weigle Information Commons, at the Biotech Commons, or at several private establishments in Philadelphia. You can also post a PDF of your poster on your website as a permanent record of your creation.
Clip Art and Graphics
These free (or free-to-you-at-Penn) resources offer icons, images and symbols to help enhance your design. While clip art can be cheesy, these resources also offer professional graphics that won't make your design look like a terrible MS Office document.
Available for Penn users in the Vitale Digital Media Lab.
Many unique line drawings and other clip art. Many are exportable as png or svg files for further editing.
For educational use only.
Creative Commons Media
Search for media with CC licenses all over the web.
Video of PhotoShop Posters Workshop
Color Theory and Palettes
Color has a huge impact on design. If something is well designed but has poor color choices, it will not be successful. Don't take it personally - it's just how our brains work!
Color theory is the field of study that examines how colors effect sensory experience. Even if you don't know much about color theory, you can take advantage of these free resources to pick colors that work well together.
Color Theory Tutorial
This interactive tutorial walks you through the basics of using color.
Explore existing palettes, or create your own. Export swatches to other Adobe products.
Create a custom palette from an image!
Palettes curated by a designer.
Browse palettes based on color or popularity among a large community of users.