Posters  are a wonderful communication tool for research, advocacy, and instruction, but they have a very limited amount of space. So it is important to think carefully about overall design and design details. Before creating your poster, look through Melanie St. James’ powerpoint presentation on design principles.

The Data Lab recommends the use of Microsoft Publisher for designing and creating GIS and other posters for plotting in the lab. Publisher is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is installed in most Tufts computer labs with the other Office software.

You can see the GIS posters from previous years at the Tufts GIS Center’s Poster Expo site. All these posters were created using Publisher.

It is very easy to learn Publisher for creating a poster. The following directions explain how to do it. If you plan on plotting in the GIS Center, please follow these instructions very carefully, including the conversion to a PDF file at the end.  Once you have created a PDF, you must give it to a Data Lab staff member for plotting.  If you follow the instructions below, everything should work smoothly!

  • Design Principles (powerpoint by Melanie St. James, Senior Interactive Media Designer, Tufts Technology Services (TTS), modified for the GIS classes by Carolyn Talmadge)
  • Designing and Creating your Poster – Publisher set-up and PDF directions– these are the basic instructions if you are using Office 2010 (Office 2007 instructions are here)
  • Exercise files – the Publisher instructions refer to exercise files contained in this zipped file (you will need to decompress the files). You can use the instructions without the exercise files, but running through the instructions quickly with these materials may make it easier on you!
  • Font Size Examples – use this to judge what font size the text on your poster will require in order to be read from 3-4 feet away.