Department of Biological Sciences

Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium

Poster Presentation Guidelines

These are the suggested guidelines for preparing your poster presentation, written by Dr. Shawn Meagher.

Tips for Successful Poster Presentations

The most common mistakes made in poster construction are:
  • Using type that is too small
  • including too much information
To make a poster that is easy to read and digest, use the following suggestions.

Poster Size: Posters should be 1.2m x 1.2m (4 x 4 feet) or smaller

Preparation: Plan ahead, posters are very labor intensive. Start designing (small layout sketches) and constructing early

Section Suggested Font Size: Title 120 pt (~ 3cm high)

Section headings: 48 pt (~ 2cm high) Text 24 pt (~ 1cm high)

Text quantity:

  • Keep text brief! Cut mercilessly.
  • Make your poster readable from 8 feet away (you should be able to read it on the floor if you are standing above it)
  • Use text to support graphical information
  • Try telegraphic style
  • Briefer is better
  • Use bullets
  • Use very short sentences

Figures: Use 4-6 simple self-contained images. Figure legends are optional. Keep descriptive text brief and near the figures.

Color: Subdued colors won't overwhelm viewers. Try slightly different colors to group sections (Introduction and Methods, Results, Conclusion and Acknowledgments [if you have them]).

Layout: 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 about how to make an eyecatching poster: