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Poster Creation and Presentation

Learn the basics for creating a research poster and preparing to present your research.


Be ConsistentThe bold text in the image helps words stand out in paragraph format.

Select at most 2-3 fonts (one for title, one for headings, and one for body text). You can also choose one font and use bold or italics for emphasis and use different sizes to differentiate between headings and body text without using a different font.

Be Clear

Left justify all text and avoid centering. Make sure to select font that are easy to read, especially at a distance. Avoid script-style or very bold fonts. 

Be Brief 

Keep each text books to 50 words or less. Demonstrate concepts through graphics so that you do not overwhelm viewers with walls of texts. At a poster presentation, you will also be present with the poster to help explain your research, so do not re-write your paper on your poster. 

The bold text in the image helps words stand out in paragraph format.


Use Color To:

  • Connect ideas and sections 
  • Make things stand out to your viewer
  • Direct viewer's eyes through the display

Color Guidelines:

  • Use color contrast to show the importance of words, concepts, data, etc
  • Don’t use the entire rainbow; stick to 2-3 colors maximum
  • Use readable colors that will not hurt viewers eyes
  • Choose colors thoughtfully with potential visual impairments in mind, like color blindness.
  • Aim for simplicity in color use

Color Tools:

  • ColorBrewer can help you select colors
  • Color Oracle is a color blindness simulator that can help you check your poster's viewability 

Color helps differentiate headings from body text and makes certain words standout.

Make sure to evaluate the visibility of the colors you choose. Which colors in this image are easy or difficult to read?


Size elements apply to both text and images on your poster

  • The more important something is, the larger it should be
  • Use similar sized objects to group in sections or themes/ideas
  • Size helps elements stand out
  • Make sure that all text is large enough to read and all images are large enough to see details

Here are some examples of what size to use for various text elements on your poster.

72 point font = 1-inch high letters