Templates and Poster Pointers

A well-prepared and organized creative display can efficiently communicate your text and data to your audience. Feel free to use our templates to help with any display needs.

When creating your own displays, use the tips below to enhance your presentation:

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).

cfdr@bgsu.edu or 419-372-7279