Preparing Your Content for a Large Format Poster Presentation

This service is for faculty and staff only.

  1. Yes!  I would like to have Creative Services design a research poster for me- what do I do first?
    Submit your project request online at

  2. What info do you need?
    Please include the size of poster needed and the deadline for your presentation.  If there are any colors you have a preference for (or ones you really dislike!) please include that as well.

  3. How soon should I submit the request and/or content?
    Please submit the request as soon as you know that you will be presenting.  Sometimes there will be several different conferences held around the same time so we may receive many requests for design help at once.  Submitting your request early ensures that we will have adequate resources to help everyone.
    As far as when to submit content, we like to have at least two weeks to prepare your poster – this allows you adequate time for proofing prior to printing.  We realize of course that sometimes this isn’t possible for you so please contact us to discuss your poster if you have a tighter deadline. We’ll do whatever we can to accommodate your special needs.

  4. How should I prepare the content to send to you?
    You can email your content to as attachments.
    We prefer that the text of the content be sent to us in a Word Document rather than in a PowerPoint presentation.  You can use formatting tools in Word such as H2’s and bullets to indicate hierarchy within your content. 

  5. What about pictures?  Do you provide them?
    We rely on you to provide all content, both text and images for your poster.  If you are having a hard time finding general JMU images, you are welcome to use photos from our online photography archive ( )
    Photos need to be sent as separate jpeg files – NOT embedded into a Word document.  When a photo is embedded into a word document we are unable to extract it at print quality. 

  6. Can I just save images from the internet to use on my poster?
    Aside from copyright issues, most images on the web have been scaled down in file size to allow pages to load faster.  There is a difference between screen resolution and print resolution when dealing with images.
    Browsers only display images at 96dpi and the minimum print quality is 150dpi with 200-300 dpi being preferable.  Even though a picture looks great on screen, it doesn’t always print well!  That’s why you can save a photo from the internet to use in a PowerPoint presentation and even enlarge it and it still looks fine.
    If you aren’t sure about the quality of your photos we’ll be happy to take a look at them to determine if they are suitable for print.

  7. What about charts and graphs?  How should they be sent?
    If you use excel to create your charts and graphs, just send the excel files as separate attachments.  If the files need to be re-created in illustration software to look their best for your poster, our staff will take care of that for you.

  8. What if I realize a mistake in my data after I send you the content?  Do I get to see the poster during the design process?
    As part of the proofing process, we will email you a draft of your poster in PDF format.  You can use this to check for errors and can use the comment tool in Adobe Acrobat to note any changes you would like to make including the layout or colors used.  Then just email the corrected draft along with any other instructions back to us!  Typically, our staff does not read poster content – we focus on the visual design only.  Please take care to proofread your text before you sign off on a final version for print.  

  9. What about printing?  Does Creative Services take care of that for me?

    Poster Printing is done by JMU Copy Centers. We don’t actually print here at Creative Services; the Copy Center can handle all of your printing needs.

  10. What if I get stuck while putting together my content or have questions or concerns?
    Over the years we have designed many, many posters used for various purposes.  Our design team is always available to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have throughout the process – just contact us!