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Study Skills

Biological Sciences Libraries Research Skills Series: Preparing a polished conference poster

Preparing a polished conference poster

Session resources

Advice on good layout and design approaches

Better Posters – a resource for improving poster presentations

Excellent blog with lots of examples of good and not so good poster designs, with in-depth explanations on why they work or don’t work.

Colin Purrington

Another blog/website with great examples of what not to do with your poster. Includes downloadable layouts and templates.

Canva – design elements principles

Excellent article (with lots of graphics) explaining the principles of good design and what you should be thinking about when creating something with fonts, colours and other elements.

Adobe Color

Excellent colour wheel with visualisations of what certain colours look like for different types of colour blindness to help make your poster colour palette accessible.

Tools to create posters and graphics

PowerPoint (Microsoft) 

Available for free with an Office 365 account from the University

Publisher (Microsoft) 

Not part of standard Office 365 package so speak to your local IT Officer or UIS for more info


Free online design tool with templates and great visuals. Can also be used to make graphs and charts


type-setting system that some people use to design posters with too. A slightly tricky tool to use if you’re not already familiar with it. Platforms such as Overleaf have poster templates to help get you started with using LaTeX.


Describes itself as a leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. Gephi is open-source and free.

Reusable images resources


Don't forget, when reusing images, always check the licence! CC 0 means you can reuse without credit, CC BY means you can reuse but you must credit the creator. For more info and other licence types, check out the Creative Commons website.

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Need to talk to someone about your research? Email the Biological Sciences Libraries Team to set up a time that fits your needs:

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