Conference poster guidelines

Example poster by Kirsten Hilger and colleagues, which won the Best Student Poster award in 2017.

We’ve received a few questions about poster size and format for the upcoming conference. Poster presenters should aim for a poster with dimensions about 84 x 119 cm (corresponds to about 33 x 47 inches).

Apart from size, we do not have any formalized requirements for design or format of your poster. Posters should ideally be easy-to-read, with clearly outlined sections and text that’s large enough to read from a normal standing distance. The NYU has an excellent set of poster guidelines that will apply to posters at most academic conferences:

What makes a good poster?

  • Important information should be readable from about 3 meters away
  • Title is short and draws interest
  • Word count of about 300 to 800 words
  • Text is clear and to the point
  • Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines make it easy to read
  • Effective use of graphics, color and fonts
  • Consistent and clean layout
  • Includes acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation

Penn State and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society both also have poster guideline pages that may be useful when planning your poster.

Some things to avoid

An award-winning poster by Jonas Thiele and colleagues

  • Too much or too little white space. Penn State recommends that about 40% of the poster area should be empty of text and images.
  • Too many lines and boxes. Lines separating blocks of text can be distracting to the viewer. Aim for using white space instead of obvious separators.
  • Unclear relationships between images and text. Make sure your images and accompanying text are grouped together.
  • Too many different fonts or styles. Common serif fonts are recommended for body text, and sans-serif fonts are recommended for body text. You should avoid using more than three fonts on a poster.

We will be awarding one student presenter ISIR’s Best Student Poster award! Please click the accompanying poster images to see what ISIR award-winning posters have looked like in the past, courtesy of Kirsten Hilger, Jonas Thiele, and colleagues.