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Posters: Home

Best Practices


  • Consider your audienceUse images in your poster
  • Have a focused, succinct message
  • Determine size requirements (how big should the poster be), what layout (square, landscape rectangle, etc)
  • Use text sparingly with no large blocks of text
  • Text size matters! Must be readable from 10 ft away. Approximate recommended sizes:
    • 85+ pt for Title
    • 56+ pt for Authors
    • 36+ pt for Subheadings
    • 24+ pt for Body text
    • 18+ pt for Captions
  • Group author names and affiliations
  • Use images/tables/graphs to tell the story and engage reader
  • Use images at least 150 dpi
  • Include your contact information
  • Have peers give you feedback prior to printing


  • Use dark or heavy backgrounds
  • Use more than 2-3 colors
  • Forget to leave white (blank) space to keep your poster readable and uncluttered
  • Use someone's else image without seeking permission or crediting your source
  • Mix and match content boxes...most people start reading from the top left
  • Have images that seem too small or blurry (will look worse once enlarged)
  • Order too late!
  • Rely only on the poster to tell your story, make sure you have 3-5 min verbal explanation ready


Software commonly used to design posters:

Poster Design Tutorial outlines a 5-step approach: Plan - Design - Review - Print - Present


Content adapted from:

Image credit:

create your narrative icon by Vicons Design from the Noun Project