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Scholars Day: Designing Your Poster

Information for preparing your Scholars Day poster or presentation.

Why Should You Create a Professional Poster?

Creating a professional poster for your Scholars Day presentation is a valuable experience that develops a skill that may be carried into your professional career or graduate school.

While it may take some time to plan and produce your poster it can be rewarding to you and your audience to examine your research in a different way. Posters can be visually appealing, provide varied and detailed information, and can be easy for subject novices to interpret and understand.

*if you plan to display your poster on a tri-fold presentation board, double check that your design is 36 inches tall and 48 inches wide

Sample Poster

Key Components of a Poster

  • Story
    • just as with any story you write, an infographic should contain a title, beginning, middle and conclusion
  • Style
    • visual appeal: catch the reader's eye
    • manageability: overview of message, don't be too detailed
    • hierarchy: use headings, color, text and images to showcase important information
  • Simplicity
    • decide upon one style for your images, graphics, and photos
  • Size
    • use fonts and images that are easy to read and interpret, don't go microscopic!
  • Statistics
    • use research, articles, and statistics to support your information; make sure they are current, reliable and on topic
  • Sources 
    • use quotes and give credit to your sources to establish credibility
  • Shareability 
    • provide readers with tools they need to follow up for more information

Sample Poster

Sample Poster

7 Step to Creating a Professional Poster

Do's & Dont's


  • identify resources
  • plan poster
  • be brief & to the point
  • select contrasting colors
  • select easily readable font


  • use ALL CAPS
  • have more than 10 words in your title
  • use more than 2-3 contrasting colors
  • procrastinate
  • use paragraphs or large blocks of text

Sample Poster


  • Briggs, D. J. (2009). A practical guide to designing a poster for presentation. Nursing Standard, 23(34), 35-39.
  • Crane, B. E. (2016). Infographics: A practical guide for librarians. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Miller, J. E., & Bloustein, E. J. (2007). Preparing and presenting effective research posters. Health Services Research, 42(1P1), 311-328. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2006.00588.x
  • Persky, A. M. (2016). Scientific posters: A plea from a conference attendee. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 80(10), 1-3.
  • Rose, T. M. (2017). An illustrated guide to poster design. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 81(7), 1
  • Siedlecki, S. L. (2017). How to create a poster that attracts an audience. AJN American Journal of Nursing, 117(3), 48-54.
  • Taggart, H., & Arslanian, C. (2000). Creating an effective poster presentation. Orthopaedic Nursing, 19(3), 47-52.

Sample Poster