• Keep purpose in mind (your purpose and conference purpose)
  • Consider audience (technical background, etc.)
  • Think "press conference" —max 2 minutes/2 pages of info
  • Some content can be omitted to be included later in your published paper (e.g. extensive lit reviews or bibliography, complex tables)
  • Emphasize most important results, rather than showing all results


  • Sell your content
  • Keep material simple
  • Be selective in what you present
  • You want passers-by (who are also eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and talking) to get something from your poster in 30 seconds
  • Use logical order (people are used to reading in columns (top to bottom) from left to right, or in rows (left to right) from top to bottom
  • Label sections to help guide, e.g. use research journal manuscript sections or some derivation thereof as appropriate to your content
  • In addition to title, authors, affiliation, and usually acknowledgements, you should include "what, why, how, results, so what?"
    • For example, use one or more relevant headings from each category:
      • What: objectives, purpose, hypotheses
      • Why: background, theory, context
      • How: methods, design, sample, data, measures, analyses


  • High contrast (e.g. dark text and light background)
  • Beware of large blocks of bright colors
  • Beware of dark or patterned backgrounds
  • Gradient backgrounds sometimes don't print well
  • Use color to emphasize/differentiate/add interest (not just because they're there)


  • Large enough to see from at least 5-8 feet, e.g. 14 (if printed at 200%) for text, larger for section headings and even larger for title (to be seen from 15-20 feet)
  • Simple font (e.g. Arial)
  • Italic and bold work better for emphasis than underlining
  • Keep to one (or very few) font types
  • Minimize use of all caps


  • Should be understandable, readable, relevant
  • Follow basic guidelines for statistical graphics
  • Beware of clipart (use when it clarifies, illustrates)
  • Use appropriate resolution for images/photos
  • Minimize use of multitudes of numbers—use graphs whenever possible
  • Jpg files are usually more efficient than other types for images
  • Images and objects should be inserted, not copy/paste

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.