Digital Poster Making Workshop

In the framework of ENGL 292 Spring 2016

Prepared by Mario Hawat


“GIMP”, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a great open source tool for image manipulation. This workshop aims to teach the basics of GIMP and use it to make a digital poster suitable for printing.

Downloading the software:

  1. Go to

The Workspace

  1. Introducing the workspace
  2. Introducing the toolbars and the tools
  3. Press Window>single window mode, to prevent accidental closing of the dialogues.

Creating a new project

  1. Press file, and then press new
  2. Set the image size prompt to centimeters, and type in 122 in width and 92 in Height
  3. Press the landscape button (a rectangle with a mountain on it)

Working with layers

  1. Introduce the concepts of layers: allows for iterative non-destructive work.
  2. Make the header layer
  3. Add the title, and then add the subtitle (choice of where to add).
  4. Add the FAS 150 logo

Designing the body of the poster:

These steps are very circumstantial, and depend on the chosen design for the final poster

  1. Create a new layer: Press layer> New layer, and then rename it “conclusion” and press ok.
  2. Use the selection tool to delineate a conclusion section, and then use the bucket fill tool to fill the block (different design options with selection tool)
  3. Remember the color guidelines
  4. Use the text tool, and create a title for the block: make sure selection is within block. Pick font, font size and color from left toolbar, remember readability issues.
  5. Use the text tool again to add a body to the category

Adding an image

  1. Go online and pick a high resolution picture pertaining to your subject.
  2. Copy the picture and paste it as new layer: Edit>paste>paste as new layer.
  3. You can also drag and drop into the workspace, and then pick paste as new layer when prompted
  4. Remember to cancel selection by pressing Ctrl-A
  5. Use the scale tool to fit your image: you can press the “links” Icon to scale proportionally. Remember that scaling up degrades the quality of the image.
  6. Use the move tool to position image.

Saving and Exporting

Remember to save as often as possible by pressing ctrl-s. The first time you do this, a dialogue will pop up prompting you to name your file,but the next times it will automatically overwrite the file.

  1. This save file can only be opened with GIMP and can’t be used at a copy shop for print, this is why we need to export our project as an image file.
  2. Press File>Export As
  3. In the opened window, press select file type and select PNG image (you can type png on your keyboard to find it quickly)
  4. Finally name it, and press export
  5. A new window will open giving you options for the export. The lower the compression level the better the quality.
  6. And you’re done!


You can go back to your project at any time and edit parts of it without having to restart the whole process, by cleverly manipulating the layers. Always remember to work with layers in mind, and saving is your best friend.