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Poster Session Instructions: Design Tips

General Guidelines

General Layout Guidelines

  • Check with the poster session organizers about layout and format.

  • To make a good impression, your poster must be attractive and informative. To help you accomplish this, consider the following:

    • Make the title and your name in larger text.
      • This helps your audience determine whether or not they are interested in your research.
    • Information should flow from left to right and from top to bottom. 
    • Use headings and subheadings to label your information.
      • Keep these short and to the point since they function as an index.
    • Use the same size margins on both graphics and text.
    • Don't use glossy paper because reflections will make your content more difficult to read.

Information source: Writing Center at Colorado State University 


Font Sizes and Lettering

  • Text should be readable from a distance.

    • At least a 36 point font for your text.

    • At least a 48 point font for the title.

    • Your font style should be legible also. Avoid using italicized or fancy scripts.

    • Highlighting with colors or underlining important information is acceptable, but make sure your font style is consistent over the entire poster.

      • Don't use more than one style.

    • Avoid using all capital letters except for the title. The emphasis of capital letters helps titles stand out, but in general all caps take longer to read than mixed upper- and lower-case letters.

    • Use a laser printer to produce professional-looking sheets. Handwritten posters appear sloppy and imply that you didn't put much effort into preparing your poster.

Information source: Writing Center at Colorado State University 

Using Power Point to Make a Poster


Colors and White Space

  • It is recommended that you use only one color plus black.

    • When using more than one color, consider the overall impression your poster makes. Since dark-colored objects generally draw the eye to a specific area, consider when and why you might need to do this. You also might consider using warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow since these are typically more inviting,

    • Leave ample white space. Your poster will appear less cluttered, and helps you distribute information proportionally.

    • Use contrasting colors and mount graphs and other visuals on dark backgrounds. 

Information source: Writing Center at Colorado State University 

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