Poster Pointers

2019 Poster Template

Prepare 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.
    • Use white space as a ‘visual oasis’ to give the eye a break.
    • Proofread carefully! Your final poster will measure 6’w x 3’h, and errors will appear LARGE.

Basic Outline


  • Title
  • Author(s) Name
  • 1st Author(s) Email Address
  • Author(s) Affiliation
  • Introduction/Background
  • Data and Methods Findings/Results
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Acknowledgments –The CFDR acknowledgment is noted on the PPT template


Headings and Titles…

  • Font Style:         Arial Bold
  • Font Size:          60 point font
  • Heading Size:     28 point font
  • Capitalize first letters only (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:       Arial
  • Font Size:         24 point font
  • Emphasis:         Bulleted lists -- use bold & italics if needed

Graphics, Illustrations, and Photographs

  • Choose concise, consistent, clear, complete, and clean graphics.  Distribute complex or dense data in a handout.
  • Use the preapproved color chart for ALL tables and figures
  • Cite your sources!
  • Ensure you have permission to reproduce photographs and graphics created by others.
  • Number all graphics and label with a title and source.
  • Keep it simple and avoid clutter…use sufficient white space.

Design and Layout·        

  • Place the title, author(s), and affiliation(s) near the top of the poster in the area provided, and keep the main body of the poster in the lower portion.
  • 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 7-10 lines. Break up longer sections of text with bulleted lists or graphics.
  • Consider using the Z-Pattern (often called reverse S pattern) for simple storytelling.         


  • 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