Poster guidelines

Poster guidelines

Poster requirements

  • Title: The title of the poster, as submitted, should run across the top of your poster. The title should be easily readable from a distance.
  • Authors and affiliations: These should appear below the title. The name of the presenting author should be underlined. You should include your contact information.
  • Poster: Should follow Abstract headings.

Size: We recommend poster size A0 (841 x 1189 mm / 33.1 x 46.8 in).

Good poster principles

Your poster should be an advertisement for your ideas, findings or techniques; so good posters apply the techniques of salesmanship to seize and hold viewers’ attention:

  • Titles and sub-headings should be short and to the point.
  • The content should be concise and logical.
  • The design should look good, using attractive colours, graphics and typography.
  • Viewers should be able to scan material quickly. You have about 3 seconds to attract viewers!
  • A poster is not an enlarged journal article—be brief, concise, and don’t overwhelm viewers with too much information.
  • Should acknowledge funding source.

Tips for making a successful poster

  • Rewrite your abstract into poster format. Simplify everything and avoid large amounts of data.
  • Use bold characters to stress a point. Use them sparingly and in preference to underlining or writing phrases or sentences in capitals.
  • Avoid over-crowding your poster. Leave “breathing space” around the text to make it more readable. Aim for 40% text, 40% graphics and 20% empty space.
  • Keep body text left aligned.
  • Use photographs or coloured graphs where possible to add visual interest.
  • Convert complex numerical tables to graphs or charts. Avoid long numerical tables.

Style & Formatting

  • Use sans serif fonts for titles and headings (for example, Arial, Franklin Gothic, Helvetica, Tahoma, Trebuchet or Verdana).
  • Use serif fonts for the body (for example: Times New Roman, Palatino).
  • Use headings to identify sections.
  • Stick to the same size and style of font for all body types. Illustration captions can use a different font, size and style, but keep this consistent throughout all captions in the poster.
  • Do not use all CAPS, as it is hard to read. Try to use “Sentence case.”
  • Stick to word count of about 300 to 800 words
  • Bullet points are easier to read (use phrases rather than full sentences).
  • Avoid long stretches of text.
  • Break up text with pictures, tables, figures, etc. This can save space and illustrate points easier.

Graphics & Images

  • Graphics and Images can be tricky.
  • Just because it looks good on the screen does not mean it will print well!
  • Graphics should have a resolution of at least 300dpi.
  • Try to avoid using screen shots – they are usually 72 dpi – screenshots are extremely pixilated (blurry) when printed on a large poster.
  • DO NOT make graphics larger by stretching them on the screen. They will not look good. Size and resolution must be captured at origination (i.e.: scanning at a high resolution).
  • Excel graphs and clip art are okay to manipulate because they are different types of graphics than digital photos or scanned images.
  • Consider putting a thin border around each graphic – it makes them look better.
  • Do not use pictures from websites. Apart from copyright problems that may arise, the resolution of web illustrations is usually too low to print clearly.

Other Considerations

  • Prepare a summary or small print out of the poster
  • Be able to summarize the poster’s key points and conclusion(s) in 2-3 sentences.
  • Prepare several versions of your remarks lasting from 30 seconds to 4 minutes
  • Be able to explain the most challenging parts of the poster, especially the figures and tables.

While standing next to your poster during the conference

    • Choose clothing colours that coordinate with your poster.
    • Have a notebook and pen to write notes.
    • Your poster might be freestanding – that is – don’t count on having a table to rest things on!
    • Remember to adjust to the audience’s changing needs—some will want explanations of the poster and others will just want to look for a short time.
    • Ask your viewers what they want to know about before explaining the poster. This will save time and focus on what they really want to know and discuss.
    • Spend extra time going over and explaining figures and tables.
    • Listen to feedback.
    • Remember to interact and network
    • Enjoy and have fun!

This 30th edition of IFAMA is hosted by: