These two sites are “for a fee” printers but offer free templates in various sizes:
Design of Scientific Posters Contains tips on design issues as well as sample posters and free templates. From the Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students at Pennsylvania State University.
These Student Poster Templates are in PowerPoint or Word.
Designed for PowerPoint 2007 or newer, PowerPoint Large-Format Research Poster Templates includes a tip sheet with detailed information about poster layout, font size, and many other great layout tips.
You can, of course, start with a blank canvas in a program such as PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, or Apache OpenOffice Impress, all of which allow you to create a poster as a single oversized presentation slide. Some are vector-based, meaning they create graphics that will not get pixelated when you scale them to larger sizes.
This excellent screenshot video tutorial shows how to make an academic research poster using PowerPoint. The tutorial is produced by the Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) Institute at the University of Northern Colorado.
This handout will guide you through setting up a poster in Adobe Illustrator, inserting text and images, and preparing the poster for printing.
Check with your instructor or research advisor for any specific instructions s/he may have. There may be a preferred commercial printer, or special arrangements may be made with another department on campus that offers poster printing services to students in their discipline.
Printers theselves may also have special requirements; e.g., your poster must be submitted as a .pdf. (If this is the case, you can often turn your poster into a .pdf from the print menu or by using one of the free .pdf makers available online, e.g., CutePDF Writer.) Be sure to review the .pdf to make sure there were no errors created in the conversion of format. Some printers can only print up to a certain size which may be too small for your needs.
In order to get the most economical price for printing your poster, plan ahead as some businesses may require several days or the one you plan to use may not have printers as large as you need.
Some printers offer to let you see a proof before printing. Check whether this is included in your printer’s service and, if it is, be sure to take advantage; this can let you catch any mistakes in printing before you incur the cost of printing a large poster.
Posters are usually made at printing shops and prices may vary. Local business to have posters printed include the following:
Websites are another alternative. Some offer relatively cheap prices but may require a few weeks’ notice.
Standard poster elements include the name and logo for your institution (usually next to the title or at the very bottom of the poster). The official Wilkes University logo should be used and an assortment of high-resolution vector and raster Wilkes logos are available for download.
These logos should not be altered in any way without permission. Please read the logo policies.