Posters are a common form of academic communication and are frequently seen at conferences. They concisely and attractively summarize information or research findings to help publicize the information and generate discussion.
Four Key Design Elements to Consider
Well designed posters are a mixture of a short text blocks mixed in with tables, graphs, pictures, or other illustrations. Generally speaking, you should focus on the following elements:
It takes practice to pull everything together to make a good poster, but you can get inspiration from other people. For example, here are a couple of well designed posters from different conferences:
Both of these poster come from a blog called Better Posters, which covers everything from design basics to different technology used to create and display posters. It's a great place to get some good idea.
Posters typically include many of the sections listed below:
Select a title that effectively and succinctly communicates the topic and significance of your project while retaining a professional tone. Avoid jargon; use terms all audience members can understand.
Collaborators & Institutional Affiliations
If this is your independent research project, you are the sole author. If you are working with a group, be sure to include everyone's name as they would like it written.
An abstract is the succinct summary of your research project. Some disciplines require an abstract in the poster, while other poster design experts recommend that you not include one since the poster itself is a summary of your work. When in doubt, ask your faculty advisor or someone else who is familiar with the requirements for your discipline.
Background & Literature Review
Make the case for your research question and explain how your research contributes to the existing literature on the topic.
Provide a clear statement about the problem(s) you are trying to solve or the issue(s) you have investigated.
This should be a brief description. Use visual aids to summarize information.
What were the outcomes of the research? You can express results quantitatively or qualitatively. If your research is in progress, report your preliminary results.
Discussion & Conclusion
What are the broader implications of your research and/or findings?
Did your research leave unanswered questions that could be explored in the future?
Thank your funding source(s) and acknowledge help from others, not on the list of authors (for an independent project, this normally includes your faculty mentor).
People looking at your poster should be able to contact you, even if you are not standing next to your poster. Provide your professional e-mail address and, if applicable, a link to a Web site that has information about your research in a section titled “For Further Information.”