Scientific poster templates
Below you'll find some of the posters I've made in Power Point over the years. Some people prefer Adobe Illustrator for this purpose which is indeed excellent for making highly professional graphical contents. I've used Power Point, however, because it is fast and easy.
General advice when preparing a scientific poster
In my experience it is the topic and presenter of a poster that attracts people rather than the textual content. Therefore, your time is best spent on the science and preparing the figures - not the poster design and its textual content.
When it comes to poster prizes - they are highly subjective! Some judges appreciate scientific content (either impact or simply topic) while others prefer sexy figures. You usually don't have a chance of predicting what the judges react to unless the criteria of the prize are stated in advance.
My experiences from presenting posters:
The typical visitor will start by looking at the title and the largest figure of the poster. Only if this has caught attention the visitor will skim through other figures and maybe even read the summary. If the visitor is still interested at this point he/she will ask you to explain the poster in more detail rather than reading further.
Usually people will read max. 1-5 sentences on the poster.
My personal advices:
Let illustrative figures do the talking - not text.
Make at least one large, visually attractive figure that attracts the immediate attention of people walking by.
Spend your time on preparing the figures - not on the poster design nor its textual content.
Do not use figures with low resolution. Figures should have a resolution of at least 300-600 dpi at print.
Besides the abstract/summary (which should be there) keep it down to 1-2 consecutive sentences - preferably in a bullet list or similar.
Don't add paragraphs of text - nobody reads it! If anybody is interested you'll be next to the poster ready to explain it's content.
You'll see below that I didn't actually follow these guidelines myself in many of my first posters (hence the experience).
Download poster templates for Power Point