Health sciences: Images for posters and presentations

Finding images you can reuse


If you use images in posters, presentations or reports you need to be sure that you attribute the image to its creator, and you might need to make sure that you are allowed to use the image. One of the ways in which you can assess this is through the license. Many images now have Creative Commons licenses, which clearly define how an image might be used. Here are some ways to find images that you can reuse:

Whether or not you have to credit the creator of the image depends on its license, although it is usually good practice to do so anyway.


If you need to design or create images, charts or infographics then there are several programs available that can support you in doing this. Here are just a few that might be particularly useful.

  • Gliffy: incredibly easy to use, Gliffy allows you to create charts, diagrams and infographics, and download them. While you have to pay to unlock some of its more complex features, you can get a free account as a student. See here for more details.
  • Piktochart: allows you to create complex infographics and flyers that can make your work seem extremely professional. There are several video tutorials available here. No free version, unfortunately.
  • Lucidchart: lets you create flow charts and diagrams that look great, and integrates well with Microsoft Word and Powerpoint so you can use these in reports and presentations. You can get a free account by signing up with an educational email address.


If you're working with images to produce or design a poster or presentation, you'll probably need image editing software. Some colleges, faculties and departments may well have access to Adobe Illustrator or InDesign (and if you've never used these, there is online training available for free here). However, if you can't, or don't want to, access those, here are some simpler alternatives that you can use for free.

  • Canva: great for designing slides and posters, Canva comes with a lot of free features (in addition to ones that you must pay for). You can upload your own images to it to edit them, and you can download what you create as a PDF, jpeg or PNG file, so it can usefully be integrated with other programs. 
  • GIMP: free and open source image editor, giving you the ability to retouch, resize or manipulate your images.
  • More information on free photo editors is available from this article.