Virtual Poster Guidelines
- Posters must be submitted in PDF format via the ABAI portal. Instructions on doing so were distributed via email on February 15, 2021 and can be found here.
- All posters should have a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- 5MB is the maximum file size allowed. PDFs larger than that will not load in the virtual platform. Suggestions for how to reduce PDF file size can be found here.
The scholarly rigor required for posters is the same as for papers or symposiums, only the presentation format differs. Posters convey a lot of information with few words; in fact, many sites recommend no more than 500 words for a poster.
- Less is more. Be clear and concise with poster design and content. Overcrowding a poster makes it difficult to read.
- Include the title and name(s) of the presenter(s) in a larger, bolder font than the rest of the poster.
- Consider including a QR code on your poster that will direct attendees to your contact information and more information about your poster and research.
- Use high-quality images that will look good on screen.
- Small images should not be stretched to make them larger.
- If you take an image from the Internet, be sure it does not have copyright restrictions.
- Do not use images that have watermarks as it looks unprofessional. There are many sources for royalty-free images including The Noun Project, Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and more.
Tables and Charts
- Use APA format for tables.
- Audiences appreciate charts that illustrate main points and are easy to read. Avoid using small charts with many crisscrossing lines and small type, as the audience will not be able to read them.
Designing for Accessibility
Poster presentations are highly visual, and people who are blind or have low vision can understand them more easily if you create your poster with accessibility in mind. Some general tips are included below. Virtual poster presenters should consider their audience may view the poster from various devices (monitor, laptop, tablet, cell phone).
For thoughts on poster and presentation design from someone who is legally blind, check out Kira McCabe’s “Posters & Talks: Can You Read Me Now?”
- Consider font size and the amount of text on your poster; less text is preferred.
- Use sans serif fonts such as Helvetica, Arial, or Calibri.
- Use a font size of at least 24 point, but 32 point and larger is recommended.
- Do not use all capital letters for emphasis.
- Italics, underlining, shadows, outlines, etc., are difficult to read. Bold can be effective if used consistently and simply.
Color and Contrast
- Background and foreground colors should offer good contrast for people with low vision. Red/yellow, red/green, and red/black are particularly difficult to distinguish and should not be used as background/foreground combination. White text on a deep blue background or black text on a white background are better combinations.
- Text over a photo or image background is very difficult to read. If you must use a background image, decrease the brightness, and increase the opacity.
- Use this tool to check the legibility of your planned color combinations.
Visual and UX Design Principles Can Improve the Effectiveness of Poster Sessions
How to Design an Award-Winning Conference Poster
How to Design an Effective Scientific Poster
Designing Conference Posters
The Scientist’s Guide to Poster Design