Follow the requirements of the conference / event / course over anything you see here.
Unless the requirements say otherwise, the most common sections of a scientific poster (generally in this order) are:
*The results and conclusions are the most important sections. Consider highlighting, bolding, or framing them for added emphasis.
Method 1: Use a PowerPoint template. Although they make for rather “cookie cutter” posters, they’ll save you a lot of time. Most posters are made this way.
Click here for UPenn PowerPoint templates.
You can also find PowerPoint Templates online with a basic Google search (search for "Scientific poster templates" so that you don't get artistic poster templates). Here are some sites that have worked well in the past:
Method 2: Start from scratch. PowerPoint is the easiest program to use, albeit not the best. Set up the custom slide size before you do anything else, after reading the conference requirements! The rest is easy, just like working on a regular ppt slide. Scroll below for some useful tips.
There are other programs you may use (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) but they have a steep learning curve.
Have someone else proofread your poster. Then proofread yourself again. And once more.
Note: PowerPoint doesn't allow dimensions larger than 56". If you need a larger size, set the dimensions to half their final print size, then request to print the poster at 200% (A 36” x 72” poster would have a page size set to 18” x 36”).
Right-click on the image and open in a new tab (Chrome) or view image (Firefox) to get a better look at the font sizes on this 36"x48" poster. The person standing next to it is 5'9".