College of Arts and Sciences

Guidelines for Poster Presentations

The most common mistakes made in poster construction are:

  • Using type that is too small
  • Including too much information

Use the following suggestions to make a poster easy to read and digest:

Poster Size
  • Posters should be 42 in x 36 in or smaller
  • Plan ahead, posters are very labor intensive
  • Start designing (small layout sketches) and construction early
  • Have your mentor approve your poster 
Section Font Size 
  • Title: 120 pt (~ 3cm high)
  • Headings: 48 pt (~ 2cm high)
  • Text: 24 pt (~ 1cm high)
Text Quality
  • Keep text brief! Cut mercilessly
  • Make your poster readable from 6 feet away (you should be able to read it on the floor if you are standing above it)
  • Use text to support graphical information
  • Briefer is better
  • Use bullets
  • Use very short sentences
  • Use 4 - 6 simple self-contained images
  • Keep descriptive text brief and near the figures
  • Subdued colors won't overwhelm viewers
  • Try slightly different colors to group sections (Introduction and Methods, Results, Conclusion and Acknowledgements [if you have them])
  • Use a simple vertical (top to bottom) arrangement so that the poster can easily be scanned from left to right
  • Group related information (color can make this more obvious)
Additional Information to help make eye-catching posters