Poster Guidelines and Suggestions.

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

CSSS06 – Beijing Poster Guidelines and Suggestions


  • The total area of the poster is 120 x 90 cm (47.24 x 35.43 in; 2.54 cm in 1 inch). This can be landscape or portrait (oriented vertically or horizontally).
  • The preferred format is PowerPoint. If you are not comfortable with this program and would like to use another, let me know and we will see if it can be accommodated.

Some things to take note of:

  • The three most common problems with academic posters are: 1) too much text; 2) unclear organization of material, especially with regard to the order that parts of the poster should be read; 3) too much text.
  • Communicate as much information as possible with graphs and figures. Figures should be able to stand on their own. Make them simple without clutter. Label everything.
  • Do not put tables of data on posters unless it is absolutely necessary. Figures and graphs are much more efficient and useful displays of information.
  • Text on the poster should be a font-size of 22 or larger (I often use 28 bold) (in PowerPoint). The title should be 80 or larger. Sans serif fonts are often easier to read (Verdana, Tahoma, or Arial). (I said 20 – 24 in my tutorial – this was too small! - 22 – 30 is a better range.)
  • It often pays to design your graphics first, or at least make a list of all the graphics you’d need if you could use only figures, and then write the text second so that the text is always tied to visual information on the poster. Try to speak directly to data, results, graphs, etc. as much as possible. The introduction should be brief.
  • How much text? Less than ¼ of the total poster area is a good rule of thumb (without changing font size!).
  • Bullets are often useful for main points/goals/hypotheses.
  • Do not use all caps.

The following quote from this website:

“Research posters must communicate findings in a visual way and so as well as clearly describing your research, your poster has to be visually arresting. The mechanism for processing images is different from that of verbal material—it is more direct.12 Images are perceived holistically rather than in the linear-sequential fashion of verbal accounts. Paper presentations and lectures are temporal, they have audiences to whom you "tell" your research, whereas posters and visual presentations are spatial, they have viewers to whom you "show" your research.4-13 A research poster should not, therefore, replicate a paper but should make the most of the visual medium through the use of colour and graphics.”