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Poster Presentations: Design

Design Best Practices

  • Keep it simple
  • Minimum of 22 point font--should be readable from about 6 feet back
  • Limit the number of fonts, use one font for title, one for text
  • Use bullet points to limit amount of text
  • Include labeled flow charts/diagrams
  • Use 2-3 colors total
  • Balance use of text and visuals
  • Use images with purpose and meaning, not as space fillers
  • Use a light colored background with dark text for maximum contrast 

Example of a Bad Conference Poster

What's Wrong With This Poster?

  • Too much text
  • Background is distracting
  • Too many colors
  • Text box edges not aligned
  • Hard to read title
  • Logos are distracting
  • Not enough white space

Go to Colin Purrington for the full list of what makes this poster bad! 

Image and critique courtesy of Colin Purrington 

Image Size

Before printing or adding an image to your project, check:

  • What is the resolution of the image? 
    • At least 300 ppi
    • Lower resolution will result in lower quality if blown up.
  • What is the size of the image?
    • Smaller sizes won't resize well.

Where to Find Images

Copyright is very important!  When using images from the web, it's vital to make sure you aren't violating copyright law.  The easiest way to do that is to use images that are either labeled with a Creative Commons license or available in the public domain.  Always follow citation and attribution requirements for the image according to the license.  See our Copyright Libguide for more information on this topic.