Centre for Academic Practice &
Why use posters?
To present a summary of research or
scholarship in a format that is easily and
To reach a large audience
To allow many people to report findings in a
To allow people with similar interests to meet
and discuss detailed topics or ideas
The purpose of using a poster
On the Surface:
To communicate information and ideas to peer
Beneath the Surface:
To persuade or influence
To affect change in another‟s understanding
Purpose: Your Audience
How can I best inform my audience?
What do I know about them?
What are they likely to respond to?
What do they need to learn from me?
How can I best speak to them?
What „language‟ should I use?
How can I engage them?
Typical components of a poster:
Author(s) - names & affiliations
Abstract or Summary - approach & main findings
Materials & Methods - describing experimental or field
research, background theory or historical overview
Results - key findings
Acknowledgements, References & Sources
Focus your content!
What is the one main point you want to make?
Use a statement, diagram or image that will grab
your audience‟s attention
Your audience will not likely approach if it is not
clear what your topic or theme is from a “safe
distance” (2 - 3 metres) - use less but bigger text
In most situations, your audience will have a
limited time to view posters
Provide a neat, logical arrangement of text
Leave white space to provide structure and
distinguish elements from each other
Having a focal point for your poster
Using a striking overall design related to the topic
Attractive and effective use of colour
Keep proper contrast between background and text
Design: Content Paths
1 2 3 4
1 2 3
5 6 7 8
2 3 1 2 3
4 1 5 7 8
6 7 6 5 4
use sparingly to emphasize, make distinct, or
use large, simple fonts (24pt+) so that your text is
readable from at least 2 metres
effective posters are spacious and easy to follow;
adequate clear space will direct attention to key
Design: Visual 2
Provide a balance of text, graphics, and other
visual elements (colour, white space, etc.)
40% graphics is suggested
If you cannot avoid a complex design or a degree
of clutter, try to provide guidelines such as arrows
from one panel to another, or numbering your
Microsoft PowerPoint - highly recommended!
Adobe Photoshop or InDesign
CorelDraw or other „paint‟ programs
Graphics / Images
Do not use compressed images (.jpg / .gif)
Use uncompressed TIFF (.tif) and the higher the resolution
the better (300dpi+)
Who is printing your poster? The department, yourself or
University Print Shop?
Construction: Dots Per Inch
Keep text to a minimum
For impact and to attract visitors
Huge blocks of tiny text attract people like dentists
attract children -- that is… they don‟t!
Don‟t try to tell the whole story on your poster
Edit out extraneous and superficial material
Present only enough information and data to
support your conclusions
Provide a handout for interested visitors
Include a summary of your poster
Key figures and findings
Include text, tables and graphics you weren‟t able
to include on your poster
Include your contact details
Name, address, phone, fax, e-mail, etc.
Tips: At the conference
How readily does your poster travel?
Roll up? Break down? Can you take it with you?
Tools for the conference
Tape - ordinary and double-sided
Velcro / Bluetac / Pushpins / String
Pens or pencils
Presenting your poster
Be prepared to chat and answer questions
Have your handouts ready
Dress appropriately for the venue
What is your poster trying to achieve?
Who is your audience?
What content do you need to achieve your
purpose and reach your audience?
What design / elements will work best for your
How are you going to construct it and get it
What do you need on the day of the presentation?
For more information:
Centre for Academic Practice & Learning Enhancement
Graham Hills Building, John Anderson Campus