Poster Pointers

Preparing a well-organized, creative display that is visually pleasing to both you and your audience communicates your text and data efficiently. 

  • Your poster should enhance conversation.
    • Be selective and include major points that are clear and concise.
    • Save interesting, nonessential information for informal discussion during your presentation. 
  • Remember, your poster is a visual representation of your research findings.
    • Use a mixture of text, charts, tables, and photographs.
    • Design your text and graphics to be viewed from a distance of 3-4 feet.

Basic Outline


  • Title
  • Author(s) Name
  • Author(s) Email Address
  • Author(s) Affiliation
  • Introduction/Background
  • Data and Methods Findings/Results
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Acknowledgements


Headings and Titles…

  • Font Style        Sans Serif (without “feet” such as Arial or Tahoma)
  • Font Size         30-point minimum
  • Emphasis        Bolditalics
  • Use Upper and lowercase text (avoid ALL UPPERCASE).
  • Use bulleted lists frequently to avoid large amounts of text.
  • Arrange material in columns to read from left to right.


  • Font Style        Serif (with “feet” such as Times New Roman or Garamond)
  • Font Size         24-point minimum
  • Emphasis        Bulleted lists, bold, italics, color

Graphics, Illustrations, and Photographs

  • Choose concise, clear, complete, and simple graphics.  Distribute complex or dense data in a handout.
  • Number all graphics and label with a title and source. 
  • Produce any photographs with a matte finish to reduce glare.
  • Ensure you have permission to reproduce photographs and graphics created by others.
  • Keep it simple and avoid clutter…use sufficient white space.
  • Avoid hand drawings.

Design and Layout

  • Use a minimum of 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Use sufficient white space between graphics and text to avoid clutter.
  • Limit your paragraphs to no longer than 15-20 lines.  Break up longer sections of text with bulleted lists or graphics.
  • Place the title, authors, and affiliations near the top (¼) of the poster, and keep the main body of the poster in the lower (¾) of the poster.


  • Prepare a short (1-2 sentences) overview of your key findings.
  • Stand near poster for the entire period.
  • Prepare a handout or business card to distribute.
  • Thank viewers for stopping by your poster.

CFDR Research Affiliates and Graduate Students

If you are creating a CFDR related research poster, please contact the CFDR office for further assistance.  We will provide you with specific information regarding…

  • BGSU and CFDR logos
  • Design elements such as standard colors and font
  • CFDR poster formatting and printing services

Please use the following acknowledgement on your poster:

The Center for Family and Demographic Research, Bowling Green State University has core funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P2CHD050959). or 419-372-7279