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Research Posters: Creation, Design, & Best Practices

What makes Effective posters?

​Effective posters are:

  • Visually Appealing and Readable

  • Well organized

  • To the point

Best Practices for making Effective Posters:

  • Use dark text on a light background

  • Be consistent in use of one font and one style 

  • Use Terminology that is understandable to audience.

  • Limit amount of text (Tip: try a Word Count of between 500 to 800 words (or less)

  • Width of text boxes should be about 40 characters (11 words per line)

  • Use of bullets and numbering lists makes the content easier to read

Suggested Font Sizes:

Poster Title

Section Title

Figure Caption

Regular Text


Standard sections found in a Research Poster

  • Titles
  • Authors and affiliations
  • Introduction
  • Purpose
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Future Directions
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

Layout of a Typical Research Poster

  • Poster should be arranged with content in columns running top down, left to right.
  • Allow for plenty of space between sections


Authors & Affiliations

Results 1
Results 4
Results 2
Results 3




General Tips for Designing Posters

Designing Posters for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Design Tips for Creating an Arts and Humanities Poster (Blog post by Mark McDayter, an English Professor at Western University)

Designing Conference Posters (Advice from "Pimp my Poster" Website Founder)

Example of  Poster from  the Humanities (pdf)