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Creating a Research Poster

This is a guide based on one from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University Library

Images of posters

One way to add meaning to your poster is to use images.

  1. You can find images on the web but you should be concerned with copyright law.
  2. You can legally use photos in four ways: 1) find photos that are licensed as Creative Commons (flickr), 2) ask permission from the photographer, 3) buy your photos from a stock photo site (e.g. or 4) take your own photos.
  3. Make sure that you don’t increase the photo from the original size. If you copy and paste the image and it’s too small, enlarging it will only pixilate your photo and it will not print properly on the final poster.
  4. If you are attending a national conference, it is essential that you identify yourself as an affiliate of Humboldt State University.
  5. Generally speaking, photos as background images rarely look good. The image tends to overpower the text and make the poster hard to read. (If you must, you can fade out your image by using image editing software.) Instead, try using a background color or boxes to set off your text and images.

Stock Photo/Clip Art Collections

Everystockphoto: The advanced search allows you to limit your search by license type

Stock.xchng: In the drop down menu that says "Restricted OK," be sure to select "NO" to find images that you can use Archive of royalty-free vector clipart in the public domain

PDclipart: Public Domain clipart in browseable categories

Image*After: Public Domain images which can be searched or browsed by category

HSU logo

Right click on the image below and copy and paste this into your poster to demonstrate Humboldt State University affiliation. You can place this anywhere you want on your poster.

Humboldt State University Stacked Wordmark