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Posters and Poster Presentations

Support for creating and presenting scholarly posters

UVM official color palette

UVM's Official Color Palette

The university's Creative Style Guide includes examples of official colors as well as the color codes to reproduce them in your poster.

Example of UVM Color Palette


General guidelines

  • Can be used to connect ideas and sections
  • Makes ideas or sections stand out
  • Use a light color background and dark color letters for contrast
  • Avoid dark backgrounds with light letters - difficult to read
  • Use 2-3 colors max and use them in a consistent pattern (e.g. section headers could all be the same color)
  • Use bright, saturated colors sparingly - they can be distracting to the reader

Selecting colors

The colors you select for your poster can come from different sources:

Color Wheel

A color wheel shows relationships between colors. You can use it to select colors that are harmonious and look good together.

Example of a Color Wheel

Still not sure what colors will work well together? The Canva Color Wheel can show you which colors go together. Two other options are Coolors and Adobe Color.


Your Images

You can also pull colors from an important image and use them in the rest of your poster. This is usually done by using something called an eyedropper tool.

The specific steps vary from program to program, but generally speaking it works like this:

Eyedropper Tool

Here are more detailed instructions on the eyedropper tool in PowerPoint. If you are using another program, try doing a Google search for the name of the program and "eydropper tool"  or "color picker" for instructions.

Color vision deficiency

People with color vision deficiency (CVD) are unable to distinguish red, green, and blue light. As a result, they see colors differently than other people. It is important to keep these people in mind when selecting colors for your poster. Fortunately, the design elements that are favorable for CVD readers are generally considered to be good practices to follow for all readers. Here are five key design elements to use:

CVD color chart

There are a number of online tools that will help you simulate what people with CVD will see when they look at your poster. Popular ones are Color Oracle and Colour Contrast Analyzer.