You've probably opened PowerPoint to build presentations many times. But, did you ever consider that it can be used for so much more?
When you need to create a printed, finished design like a poster, PowerPoint might not be the first app you think to use.
It's a mistake to think that PowerPoint is simply a tool for making presentations. You can use it as a simple drag-and-drop tool to design all types of printed products, including posters.
In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to make a poster in PowerPoint using design components from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. You'll see the best PowerPoint poster design tips and tricks to ensure that you create a poster that stops your audience in their tracks to hear what you've got to say.
How to Make a Poster in PowerPoint
There are many types of posters that you can create. You might be promoting a film, showing your academic findings, or advertising an upcoming event. The critical part is understanding that you can create all of these printed designs in PowerPoint.
In this section, we'll cover the most essential tips to make sure that your PowerPoint poster is a success. You'll see that you can use PowerPoint to create a poster that works perfectly as a printed product.
1. Set the Dimensions (PowerPoint Poster Size)
When you're learning how to make a poster in PowerPoint, it's crucial that you set the dimensions correctly from the beginning. If you don't set the dimensions correctly, you might have to re-arrange all of the objects or cut off content when you're ready to print.
Many posters, particularly in academics, follow typical sizes. When you're creating a poster in PowerPoint, make sure your template conforms to the event requirements. Academic poster templates in PowerPoint should follow those so that your poster doesn't stick out like a sore thumb (or are even disqualified!)
To set the dimensions for your PowerPoint poster presentation, go to the Design > Slide Size > Custom Slide Size menu option. Use the Width and Height boxes to key in your dimensions (in inches) for the finished poster.
Always check the specifics for your poster, but when you're creating a poster in PowerPoint from scratch, here are the most popular dimensions:
- Academic poster templates. 36x48 inches
Movie posters. 24x36 inches
- Average sized poster. 18x24 inches
Choosing the right template size comes down to two simple questions:
- Is there a requirement for the event at which you're presenting? If so, ensure that your PowerPoint poster size will comply with the standard format.
- Have you checked with the printer? If you've already selected a print shop that'll print the finished product, ensure that their printers accommodate your size.
Also, consider using a PowerPoint poster template like one in the round-up below to use a starting point with all of the PowerPoint poster sizes already set. These sites have templates that you can use for practically any type of poster:
Perhaps the most essential key to creating a poster in PowerPoint that prints properly is setting the dimensions. Make sure you know your format and set it accordingly before you start designing.
2. Add Your PowerPoint Poster Content
After you've selected some visual elements and infographics, it's time to start adding content to your PowerPoint poster design. Making poster presentations with PowerPoint should focus primarily on explaining your information in a way that engages the viewer.
Let's take a look at tips and tutorials to help you make posters that are sure to catch your audience's eye!
1. Become a Master of Typography
Let's face it: most posters are going to be dominated by text elements. The format of a poster is different than a presentation. While presentations should focus on having less text and should support the speaker, a poster can be a standalone display of its own.
Use font sizing carefully and consistently. It's crucial that not every text box on the poster is the same size. Use larger text for the header elements that deserve the most attention. Study a few of your favorite posters from the design niche that you're creating (academic, movie, scientific) and notice how poster font sizes vary depending on the emphasis.
Less text, more information. The best posters are information dense. Even though a poster features more text than a typical PowerPoint presentation, you should still try to avoid overly wordy text.
Keep text scannable. On academic poster templates, your viewer is likely scanning the display to see what's important. A bulleted list breaks up your content so that it's easier to read, for example. Consider re-writing any paragraph form text into a format that's easier to read.
- Consider custom fonts. Particularly for eye-catching posters like movie showcases, make sure and use fonts that your viewer may never have seen.
There are still important choices to make when you're building a PowerPoint poster. Use the tutorial below to become a master of text in PowerPoint:
2. Use Images Effectively
Most posters will include imagery to break up text-heavy panels. When you balance text with images, it creates a natural rhythm on the slide and caters to the "visual learners" that may see your poster.
Images are crucial for keeping a poster exciting. Consider the following tips for framing your pictures nicely on a slide:
- Captions. Images are a must to include and are better when you add captions that narrate the image. Use text boxes below the image to explain them thoroughly.
Borders. Most posters have plenty of text, so you'll need a way to separate the images and make them stand out. Borders help you do just that.
Crop. Trim your images down to size and include only the details that add to your poster by cropping.
Use the guide below to learn how to make a poster in PowerPoint complete with the best imagery:
3. Leave Room for Space
Make sure that you leave space at the edges of your poster design. Leaving margins on the edge will ensure that no content is cut off. Make sure that you leave at least a quarter of an inch between the sides of your PowerPoint design so that content isn't accidentally trimmed.
Margins are important, but they aren't the only type of space that matters. Using whitespace creates visual rhythm. That means leaving space between your content blocks so that it's easier to read than a jampacked design. You don't want to load the poster so heavily with text and visual elements so that a viewer is overwhelmed.
3. Use a PowerPoint Poster Template for Infographic Visuals
PowerPoint takes time to use. You might find yourself drawing box after box onto the poster design, making space for all of the content that your poster needs. This process takes a ton of time and you may soon find yourself running out of time to actually prepare to present.
But what if you didn't have to design every part of your PowerPoint poster design from scratch? The alternative to creating everything from the beginning is to use templates with elements that you can mix and match to create your best poster ever.
A great example of this is using advanced PowerPoint templates to add infographics. If you want to explain a process or series of steps, an infographic is usually superior to just explaining it with a wall of text. An audience is naturally drawn to posters that have easy-to-follow information shown in infographics.
Many academic PowerPoint poster templates describe a process. The text boxes will describe the steps taken by a researcher or academic to reach a conclusion. An infographic is a great way to show those steps instead of verbose explanations.
One of the best places to source infographics is from the PowerPoint template library on Envato Elements. For a single, flat-rate subscription, you'll unlock thousands of templates with objects that you can paste right into your final poster design.
The flexibility of the all-you-can-download model means that you can choose templates and cut and paste the parts that you need—with no extra cost for each additional template.
If you need only a single template to build your presentation, also consider the pay-as-you-go marketplace, GraphicRiver. The PowerPoint templates are just as polished and impactful, but you'll pay only for the individual templates you choose.
Check out the tutorial below to see the best templates that include exciting infographics that work perfectly for PowerPoint posters:
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make Infographics in PowerPoint Using Infographic Templates for PowerPointAndrew Childress
The educational world also features some of the best PowerPoint poster elements. Check out the round-up below to see more slides with perfect objects to add to your poster:
- Presentations25 Education PowerPoint PPT Templates: For Great School Presentations - 2020Sean Hodge
4. Print the Finished Poster
Finally, it's time to finish your PowerPoint poster. All that's left is to render the finished presentation and take it to a print shop of choice that can bring your poster to life.
Not every print shop will have PowerPoint installed. That's why it helps to render the presentation out as a finished PDF file. Doing so will ensure compatibility when they print your PowerPoint presentation so that it appears the same as it did on your screen.
Check out the tutorial below to quickly learn how to save your presentation as a PDF:
If you happen to have access to a large format printer, it also helps to know more about printing directly from PowerPoint. Use the tutorial below to master printing so that you use less ink and paper while printing your PowerPoint poster template:
Learn More About How to Use PowerPoint
The tips above are specific advice on how to create PowerPoint posters easily. Follow these steps and you're well on your way to creating a great poster that prints perfectly the first time.
But there's always more to learn when it comes to PowerPoint. The goal is always to spend less time thinking about how to use an app so that you can focus on the content. The more that you know about the app, the easier it'll be to put together your poster!
That's why we've created the resource How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide.) This single, comprehensive collection of tutorials includes everything you need to master Microsoft's leading presentation app. Check out the three beginner tutorials below to start learning how to make a poster in PowerPoint:
- Microsoft PowerPointPowerPoint 101: Everything You Need to Make a Basic PresentationBob Flisser
- Microsoft PowerPointWhat Is Microsoft PowerPoint? +How to Start Using It For Presentations (Now)Andrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make PPT Slide Layouts in Microsoft PowerPointAndrew Childress
Go Design a PowerPoint Poster Today
In this tutorial, you've seen that creating a poster in PowerPoint is totally possible. It's even easier when you use a PowerPoint poster template that already has all of the dimensions and content placeholders built-in.
Remember that every PowerPoint poster design is more natural when you use the help of a pre-designed template like those from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. Creating a poster in PowerPoint takes less time when you can source the best infographics and design elements to add to your poster.
The next time that you need to create a poster consider PowerPoint as the right tool for the job. This simple drag-and-drop graphic design tool is easy to use and has everything you need.
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