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Research Posters

Poster sessions in classes and at conferences are a way to visually convey research. This guide offers the basics in design, content, and printing resources.

More tips

  1. Be creative in the display - think beyond the text. Use boxes, formatting, font, and images to break up sections.
  2. Think carefully about the title. Brainstorm several titles and have a peer, colleague, or teacher rank them. The title needs to highlight the subject matter, but it does not need to state all conclusions. Consider a subtitle for more description. The title might be fun and interesting; the subtitle might be more descriptive. Some titles ask questions, others answer them.
  3. Section the poster according to the major points about your research. For example: title, abstract, methodology, data, results, and conclusion. Consider flow - these should be in a logical, easy-to-read order. Most people read from left to right and top to bottom.
  4. Design the poster as if you were designing for a professional publication. Be consistent with layout, color choices, fonts, and sizes.


General Guidelines:

  • Limit to one or two fonts. 
  • The title should be at least 72 pt. font.
  • All text should be at least 24 pt. font size and an easy-to-read font style.
  • Be considerate about the size of the font and be consistent in sizing. 
  • Be consistent with any use of italics, bold, or underline.
  • Check if the conference or event has specific guidelines for formatting posters and follow them

Serif vs Sans-Serif Typefaces:

Serif typeface

Serifs fonts include slight projections that finish off the strokes of their letterforms. These fonts tend to be easy to read and are great for bodies of text. Common examples of serif fonts are: Times New Romand, Garamond, and Georgia.

Sans-Serif typeface

Sans-Serif fonts are good for grabbing attention in the title, headers, and other distinguishing places. Common examples are sans-serif fonts are: Ariel, Helvetica, Gotham.

Choosing your content checklist


*Include name, contact information, course number (optional), and UT or UTIA logo.

Research question or hypothesis: Do not copy your abstract if it is included in a conference program. 

Methodology: What is the research process? Explain how you did your research.

If you conducted interviews, include the questions.

Observations: What did you see? Why is this important?

*Findings: What did you learn? Summarize your conclusions.

Themes: Pull out themes in the literature and list in bullet points.

A brief narrative of what you learned - what was the most interesting/surprising aspect of the project?

Interesting quotes from the research.

Data: Use your data to generate charts or tables.

Images: Include images (visit the Images tab in the guide for more information). Take your own photos or legally use others.

Recommendations and/or next steps for future research.

Citations: Only list 3-5 on the poster. If more, put them on a handout.

Acknowledgments: Don't forget to thank your advisor, department, or funding agency. 

*Required. Everything else is optional.