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Course & Subject Guides

Poster Presentations @ Pitt: Visuals

This guide is designed to help those preparing a poster presentation for a course assignment or a research display


Credit: Copyright symbol. From "Copyright" article in Wikipedia.

If you use photographs or images in your poster that you did not take or create, you must be sure to abide by the copyright status and requirements for use of those images. Give appropriate credit to your sources.


Using visual components can help present your story to viewers in an appealing style that helps them grasp your content more quickly. Here are some issues to think about in planning your visuals. You can find links to more examples and discussion in the Helpful Resources section.

  • use the highest resolution images available - what looks good on a page or screen may be pixilated when expanded to full poster size
  • insert images as files instead of copying and pasting them to retain the image quality
  • use graphs or charts to present results instead of tables if possible. Tables have less visual appeal and don't make your conclusion or any pattern in the data as obvious as a graph does.
  • give credit for any images or graphics you did not create

Image Sources

It's very possible you will create all the graphics and take all the photographs used to create your poster. However, you may want to use images or graphics from other sources. Here are a few sources you can check for reusable images. Licensed for reuse, however, doesn't necessarily mean use without any restrictions. Be sure to check the licensing for any item you wish to reuse.

  • Government databases - Works by the government are not copyrightable, so many images and photographs from government web sites can be reused with appropriate credit. However, check each image, and don't assume it's reusable. Some images are the property of their individual creators and may be under copyright.