How to make a good poster
- To inform the reader about your work but avoiding too much detail
- To present a clear, concise summary (rather than the level of detail
of a journal publication)
- To raise interest in your work, and leave the reader wanting to ask
questions, give advice etc.
- To invite discussion and feedback, exchange of ideas and collaboration
Poster size: often 100 wide, 120 cm high,
but follow instructions
Lettering: use simple not fancy fonts.
Use serif fonts (e.g. Times
New Roman) for main text. Short headings and the title can be
in sans-serif fonts (e.g. Arial).
Title font must be at least 3 cm height; headings at least
2 cm. Important text, e.g. abstract, introduction and summary: 0.8 -
1.2 cm. Other body text at least 0.6 - 1 cm. Font size must nowhere
be less than 18 point, and all text must be readable from at least one
metre distance. Enlarge with photo copy or repro machine.
Numbering: The poster should be read
like a newspaper, from top left down, then middle column then right
hand column. Number each section clearly to indicate the correct sequence.
Background and font colours: use a pale
background shade to highlight important sections, and strong colours
to highlight important text.
Be concise: Cut out half of your text!
The maximum limit is 400-500 words.
Title: must be legible from at least
Authors: below the title and in a smaller
type, but clearly readable from a distance. Add a photograph, address
and other contact details, including email and website, of the main
Abstract: is most important so put in
a prominent position.
Introduction: Keep brief. Best presented
in the form of a few questions.
Materials and methods: use photographs
where possible, keep brief.
Results: use a few key graphs or other
Summary or discussion: use bulleted points;
use questions aimed at your readers if appropriate.
References: are usually unnecessary in
Acknowledgements: don't forget to credit
your collaborators and sponsors
Other materials: summaries, reprints
of your poster or related publications and other handouts are helpful.
Add a pocket with your business card.
Figures: positioned adjacent to the correct
parts of the text
Graphs: add legends within the graph,
not in a separate key
Tables: best avoided in a poster
Photos, cartoons, even physical specimens,
are eye-catching. Use them.
Ensure you are available next to your poster at the specified
time to answer questions, to receive feedback, and to advertise your