Poster Presentation Guidelines
Posters should be no larger than 3' 10" x 3' 10" to fit on the provided poster boards.
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 resources 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 when printed in a large format.
- 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.
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
Dr. Wayne Fisher reviews the qualities of a good poster at the 10th Annual Autism Conference in New Orleans, LA.
Drs. Mark Mattaini and Jesse Dallery were kind enough to comment on three posters at the 39th Annual Convention in Minneapolis, MN.