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Presentations in Medicine & Science: Poster Design Tips

Resources to help assist you make good presentations in different formats. Posters and oral presentations

Poster Design Tips


Your layout will help guide users through the poster. Your poster should be a good balance of text, images, and white space. Poster layouts work better when there is symmetry.

  • Use visual hierarchy to guide readers to the important parts of your poster.
  • Use a column format to make your poster easier to read in a crowd.
  • Use organization cues (arrows etc). to guide readers through your poster.
  • Use "reader gravity" which pulls the eye from top to bottom and left to right.
  • Use headings intelligently to help readers find your main points and key information.
  • Balance the placement of text and graphics to create visual appeal.
  • Use white space creatively to help define the flow of information.


Tips for Readable Posters:

  • Use dark text on a light background
  • Avoid garish colors and complicated backgrounds
  • Use one font and style for the whole poster
  • Leave space between columns
  • Try to use bullet points and pictures instead of text
  • Label figures clearly


  • Keep the lettering simple.

Font Size:

A good rule to follow on font size:

  • Title-72 pt
  • Section heading - 48 pt
  • Figure heading -30 pt
  • General text -28 pt
  • Text for labels- 20 pt

Useful Rules:  

  • Present data from top to bottom, left to right
  • Maintain empty space between rows
  • Poster should be ~40% graphics, 20% text, and 40% empty space
  • It may take 1-2 weeks to put  together an outstanding poster

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