Note: Check your poster and each section of your poster for mistakes, legibility, consistency in style, and various layout arrangements. Ask your mentor professor, friends, or family to review to make sure it’s your best work. Do not wait until the last minute.

Poster Examples

In contrast to an oral presentation, a poster is a visual representation of the research project that must convey the essence of your message. In effect, it “talks” for the researcher. The poster presenter is on hand to answer questions and provide further details. For posters, keep in mind that the poster needs to attract attention from 10 feet away, so include a large, interesting photo or design. Also include more detail for closer, secondary inspection. However, avoid text-heavy posters. You may prepare a hand-out with more information to share.

Download Poster Templates

Other Resources

Using PowerPoint

For help using Microsoft powerpoint to design a poster click on the link below for step by step instructions.

Printing your Poster

Do not wait until the last minute to print!  Printing is available at several places on campus, such as PDP or your department or college.

Adding Wordmarks to your Poster

Use the Utah State or Office of Research and Graduate Studies Wordmark on your poster.  In addition, you may choose to use other university logos, such as the Honors wordmark. Also, use the logo of any other sponsoring agency such as the Space Dynamics lab, American Heart Association, or NSF.

PDP Printing
Office of Research Wordmark
USU Wordmarks
Basic Instructions to Create a Poster in Microsoft Powerpoint


Make sure that you consider the size requirements when designing your poster.  Check with the conference organization for specific requirements.  NCUR is very strict about format; UCUR follows NCUR guidelines.  A print-out on a plotter is generally 4 feet by 3 feet, a poster should be no greater than 4 feet by 4 feet [By using a PowerPoint approach, the poster may be laminated and tacked to a board on an easel for easy display]. To change the size of the poster go to “Page Setup”.

General Format

Academic posters need to be a visual summary of what your research is, how you conducted it, and what you found or learned. Each of these sections can and should be taken directly from your research paper. It will be necessary to only include the information that is relevant to your poster and necessary to get your point across. These sections should not include filler information.

Includes the name of the project, the people involved in the work, and their affiliation. The title should be large, descriptive, and concise.
Brief summary of your research question, methods, and findings. This section should be no more than 250 words.
Details why this research was conducted, and what led to the research question, and why you research is important. Note the background work that has led up to the current status of your research of creative work in this area. These should then lead to declaration of your specific project aims and objectives.
Explains the techniques or the procedures used in your study. You should also state and justify any assumptions, so your results can be viewed in the proper context.
Illustrates examples of the main findings or products of your work. Your results do not have to be complete; they can be preliminary findings if research is not finished.
Discusses the main findings of your investigation and their value.
Contains recommendations and thoughts about how the work could be continued. What kind of things could be done next? What are some possible long-term goals or outcomes?
Thank organizations that have provided financial support or the individuals who donated time to help with the project.
If not listed in previous sections or attached to graphics reference information used in this poster.


A poster is a visual medium for presenting research and should be attractive to and easily understood by the observer. In order to be effective, academic posters needs to be “visually simple and highly informative.” Graphics and words need to be chosen carefully to maximize the available space. One of the most important aspects of your poster is font and it is necessary for the chosen fonts to be simple and large enough to read without being distracting to the observer. Font size should be such that a reader can stand at a distance of 5 feet and read the text.


  • Use high resolution images is possible (200 dpi [dots per inch] or higher)
  • Poster should be 60% images and 40% text.
  • Use charts, graphs, illustrations, and pictures that add to the understanding of your research.
  • Equations should be kept to a minimum, be large enough to read, and accompanied by definitions to explain significance of each variable. Label any diagrams and drawings.
  • Clipart may be used for interest as long as it’s not distracting.


  • Posters should read top to bottom and left to right
  • Dark Background=Light Text, Light Background=Dark Text
  • Keep the material simple and concise with plenty of white space.
  • Use colors sparingly to emphasize, differentiate, and add interest. (In general, it is better to keep the background light as people are used to that.)


  • Avoid long blocks of text (Fewer words create a more effective poster)
  • Use bullet points to break up text blocks
  • Maintain consistent font style throughout (no more than 2-3 different font styles). For example, Sans-Serif (Arial, Verdana) for titles, headings, graphics; Serif (Times New Roman) for text
  • Title at least 72 pt. font (Include your name, university affiliation, research partners, and faculty mentors)
  • Headings 40 pt. font
  • Body text 28 pt. font
  • Captions (in-text references with graphics) up to 24 pt. font
  • Avoid using all capital letters
  • Spelling counts. (Typographical errors do not reflect well on credibility or the presenter or on the university.)