Designing & Printing Conference Posters

24 May 2019
 Categories: , Blog


Presenting a poster at a conference is often the easiest way to convey information about your research in front of an audience. When you have flexibility in the design and printing options for your poster, there are several factors that will influence the resulting quality of your creation.

Be Mindful of Color Combinations

The classic poster is black text on a white background, but this results in low visual appeal and your poster is not likely to stand out. To add some uniqueness to the color of your poster without wandering too far away from the norm, consider using a soft color for the background. Even a soft blue, purple, or gray can give onlookers some visual interest while providing enough contrast against black text.

Bolder colors, such as red, orange, and yellow should be avoided in most situations. You may be able to incorporate a deep red, such as maroon, as the heading for a section on your poster without making it unreadable or uncomfortable on the eyes. In rare instances, a photograph or graphic can be a unique background, but text on different areas of the background may become unreadable. Try turning down the saturation of the image you will use for your background to see if all the text will remain equally readable across the entire poster.

Show Rather Than Tell

Poster presentations are not the same as an oral presentation. Generally, your audience will wander around looking at different posters and may ask you for a short explanation of your research. The goal of your poster is for it to convey the necessary information quickly. Posters are typically based on a journal article or report, so you will need to work hard to condense the information. To keep your information more concise, you will need to rely more on images and graphs rather than text. For a typical research-based poster, more of your text will be dedicated to a synopsis of the introduction, methods, and conclusion. Most of your results can be conveyed with line graphs, pie charts, or similar graphics.

Avoid Bad Printing Choices

When you send your poster to be printed, there may be many options for paper choices and lamination. Choose a heavier-weight paper for your poster since it is more likely to survive its journey to the presentation without tearing or other irreparable damage. Laminating your poster is also ideal to keep it protected and it is more likely to lie flat once you unroll the poster and have it displayed.

One consideration when laminating your poster is the finish available. Glossy finishes are commonly seen on posters, but they do not always work well during presentations. The gloss can make it difficult for onlookers to see the poster from different angles and under various lighting situations. When possible, choose matte or semi-gloss. If you are careful with your poster, you might find it is better to not laminate it at all.

Presenting a poster at a conference may be your first experience showcasing your research. Being mindful of how your poster will look to your audience can prevent common errors. For more information, contact local large format printing companies.