University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus

Research Posters: Toolkit

Preview your Poster at 100%

Preview: To see your in poster in actual  size, go to view-zoom-100%. Posters to be printed at 200% need to be viewed at 200%.

Checklist of Best Practices: The Do's


  1. Do use an eye catching and interesting title
  2. Do make sure the main title text should be large and readable from a distance from 4-6 feet away
  3. Your heading  should be a minimum of 85 font size; larger headings are even better
  4. Limit your text to less than 800 words
  5. Your content text size should be a minimum of 24, but 36 font size is even better
  6. Do use font that is easy to read (a Sans Serif font for your title; Serif font for your text)
  7. Do try to keep your poster to the point and clear
  8. Do make sure your name, contact information, is on your poster

Layout and Design

  1. Do have information flow from left to right and from top to bottom
  2. Highlight your research findings
  3. Emphasize important material visually
  4. Use high contrast between your background and your text
  5. Emphasize with Bold or with Italics
  6. Do try to keep 40% of the poster area empty of text and images
  7. Do use color consistently and that work together well to emphasize your text


  1. Do make sure that your images and graphs are high resolution
  2. Do integrate important information into graph, chart, or picture captions

Final Checks

  1. Do have someone read your poster to double-check all spelling and grammar
  2. Preview your poster without your text, event without this text your images should communicate most of your research narrative
  3. Preview your poster at the 100% of the print size to accurately check image quality and overall poster

Final Checklist of Bad Practices: The Dont's


  1. Don't use extremely long titles
  2. Don't use small text for your heading titles
  3. Don't use huge complicated blocks of text
  4. Don't make the main text hard for viewers to read

Layout and Design​

  1. Don't use text written in capitals, because it is harder to read
  2. Don't use font that is hard to read
  3. Don't emphasize your results with color (color blind people will not be able to distinguish)
  4. Don't make someone search all over the poster for items that go together
  5. Don't use neon colors on extremely dark backgrounds
  6. Don't box yourself in (don't frame with boxes, then text boxes, than boxes around your visuals)


  1. Don't use blurry or grainy images on your poster
  2. Don't add anything that isn't essential into graph, chart, or picture captions
  3. Don't have too much or too little text or images

Final Checks

  1. Don't print your poster without proofreading
  2. Don't have people guessing whose poster they are looking at
  3. Don't leave poster design to the last minute