Designing & Printing Capstone Posters


Poster Pizzazz! Designing Your Capstone Poster

Tutorial Highlights

  • Poster Basics: What, Where, When, How?
  • Content: What to Include
  • Design Software: Different options available in the IT Lab
  • Poster Format: Size and other stipulations
  • Printing : Where to print, and how much it costs
  • Mounting: Self-adhesive vs. Spray mounting


Poster Contents

Your poster should tell the viewer the basics of your Capstone project:

  • Title
  • Objectives
  • Methodology
  • Outcomes
  • Conclusions
  • Be sure to include your name, field supervisor, iSchool project supervisor, and affiliated institutions.

Design Software available in the iSchool IT lab

Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Search using “powerpoint poster templates” on the Internet to find PowerPoint poster templates.
  • In the Design tab, open Page Setup
Open page setup in PowerPoint file
Open page setup in PowerPoint file

  • Set Width to 30 inches and Height to 20 inches.
Set dimensions of the PowerPoint file
Set dimensions of the PowerPoint file
  • Save file as PDF.

Graphics Software

Adobe InDesign

  • Program for creating and laying out flyers, posters, and print media. 

  • Setting up InDesign for your Poster:
    • Open InDesign, Select Create New Document.

Open a new InDesign file

  • In the New Document box, Set Page Size to Custom.

Set the file size

  • Set Width to 180 p0 (=30”)
  • Set Height to 120 p0 (=20”)
  • Set Margins as desired.

  • In the Color Palette, open the Color Settings dialog box, Select CMYK.

Set color to CMYK

  • For printing purposes, saving the file as an .indd is fine. However, if you would like to keep the file for future reference, you may consider saving the file at a PDF.

Adobe Illustrator

  • Vector-based imaging program.

Adobe Photoshop

  • Graphics editing program.

Diagramming software

  • Visio – for PCs
  • Omnigraffle – for Macs

Screen Captures

  • PC: Use SnagIt
  • Mac: Grab or Shift+Apple+4
  • Set the resolution high enough so that the image won’t degrade when it’s enlarged.
  • Profile Settings effects image resolution - 400dpi should be high enough
  • For programs where the resolution is dependent upon the screen dimensions, using one of the desk top machines in the lab instead of a laptop will increase the resolution.

Poster Format

  • Must be mounted on a foam core base measuring 20x30 inches.
  • Content may not be layered (no collage).
  • May use a laptop to supplement their poster presentations, but it is not 

Design Tips

Saving Your Files

  • Save on a flash drive, CD, or on your Web Space.
  • Format Options:
    • .ppt (Power Point)
    • .pdf (Adobe Acrobat)
    • .psd, .jpg (or any other format openable in Adobe PhotoShop)
    • .indd (InDesign)
    • .eps (or other Adobe Illustrator format)

NOTE: If you are printing in the iSchool IT Lab, PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR FILE in PDF or PPT format. It is always a good idea to save as a PDF if you use InDesign or other proprietary software that you may not have access to after graduation. You can always download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free!

Printing your Poster

There are three main options for printing your poster:

  • The iSchool IT Lab
Location: UTA 1.210
    • During lab hours M-Th 8:30 AM-10:00 PM; F 8:30 AM-4:00 PM; S-Su 12:00-6:00 PM
    • Call 512-471-3991 with any questions

  • The McCombs School of Business
Location: GSB 2.130
    • By appointment only for 1-hour sessions.
    • Call 512-475-6364 to set one up.
    • must be on a flash drive, CD, or on UT WebSpace.
    • must be a .ppt (openable on a PC), .pdf or any file openable in Photoshop

  • Kinkos

Paying for your Poster

  • IT LAB: Use print cards, you can pay with bills or quarters, no change can be provided (You'll need about 3 cards, $1 each)
  • Business School: Pay with Bevo Bucks (No cash, no credit cards, ~$12-$15)
  • Kinkos: 
several Austin-area locations
 (~$24 )

Mounting your Poster

  • Foam core may be purchased at arts & craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby, or the Co-op Art Store (students get 20% off).
  • You may choose to use self-adhesive foam core or plain foam core
    • We recommend self-adhesive
    • Spray adhesive is available for borrow in the IT Lab (MUST SPRAY OUTDOORS)

Credits & Download

Written by: Liz Seramur and Emily Vinson, 11/12/09

Updated by: Michael Redding, 3/6/12 -- new lab hours

Dowload printable PDF handout
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