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PowerPoint is often the go-to program for research poster design. It is familiar to most people and many templates are available online. Penn State students can freely download Microsoft Office programs including PowerPoint.
InDesign is a high-powered layout tool from Adobe available for free to all Penn State students through Creative Cloud. This program has a learning curve, but you can access free lessons from Lynda.com. InDesign gives you complete control over all aspects of design and formatting of your poster and can help you creat a high-quality poster with crisp graphics. Activate your license and download the program.
*Pro Tip: Use https://linkedinlearning.psu.edu/ to search for InDesign tutorials.
Images found in Flickr's creative commons gallery can be used for almost any project that is related to education with nothing more than a credit to the original photographer. Be sure to read over the photographer's rules before reusing images, and cite the license in your work.
*Pro Tip: Filter your search results by creative commons license to save time.
A very nice guide from UNC Health Sciences Library, this guide walks the reader through design elements, the design process, and tips for using Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe InDesign to create a poster.