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Help Desk: How big is the text going to be on the poster?

What size should I make my fonts?

PowerPoint's little secret

When you create a poster, especially for the first time, you may be asking the questions:

  • Is my font size too small to read?
  • Is it too big? What size to make the title?
  • What size to make the body text?

 

The easy answer is: It depends on how much content you have to present. There is no hard rule but at the same time, you want your audience to be able to read what you wrote. You also don't want your text to be so big as if it was written by an elementary school student.

 

The best way to find out is to start creating your poster by using the default font sizes we provide on our templates. As you are adding your content to the template you will be able to determine if the default font needs to be enlarged or reduced to accommodate your layout.

 

Do not waste your time perfecting your layout as you work on your poster. Do it at the end, after you have added all your information. It will save you a great deal of time and frustration. It will also let you adjust the font sizes before you tweaked everything to perfection.

PowerPoint has a page size limit of 56 inches (142.24 cm). In order to create a poster larger than 56 inches, the poster document has to be created at half the size of the final poster. For example, a 48x72 poster will be printed from a 24x36 PowerPoint document. That means that all the text on the original document is also at half the size of final. So if you want a 24 point font, on the poster it should be 12 points.

If your document is 56 inches of under, the file will be printed at 100% the original which means that your fonts will print the same size as they are on the original document.

These two charts will stop you from guessing

These two 8.5x11 charts will help you preview how big or small your fonts will appear on your actual poster.


If your poster size can fit in a 48x56 inch space download and print chart A on your desktop printer. Otherwise download and print chart B.


Place the chart of your choice on the wall and look at it from approximately 3 to 4 feet away. The numbers on the chart represent font sizes in both Arial and Times fonts. Sizes of other fonts may vary slightly.

Download and print for research posters up to 48x56 Download and print for research posters larger than 48x56

CHART A: Use as reference with poster templates to be printed UP TO 48x56 inches or 122x142cm

CHART B: Use as reference with poster templates to be printed LARGER THAN 48x56 inches or 122x142cm

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