Poster Guidelines

General Information

Easels, foam core backing measuring 30 inches x 40 inches, and pushpins for attaching poster elements will be provided at the Institute. The days, times, and designated numbers of posters will appear on the NITOP website prior to the conference and in the on-site conference program. Poster numbers will be placed in the upper left corner of posterboards prior to the setup time for each poster session. Posters should be set up by 12:30 pm on the scheduled day of presentation and remain on display until 11:00 a.m. the following day, so that participants can review them and obtain handouts during free time in the program. At least one author must remain with each poster throughout the poster session. No audiovisual equipment or electrical outlets will be provided for these presentations.

Preparing Your Poster

A well-constructed poster is one which is self-contained and self-explanatory, and allows participants to understand its major findings after a brief perusal. This will free the author to answer additional questions and supplement and discuss particular points with participants whose interest extends beyond the major findings contained in the poster. Keep it simple. Illustrate your major points in the poster and save the non-essential, but interesting information for informal discussion and your handout (see below). The following specific guidelines are offered to assist you:

  1. Overall size: The entire poster must be displayed in an area measuring 30 inches x 40 inches (either orientation is permitted).
  2. Text: All text in the poster must be printed, not handwritten. The title and the author(s) names and affiliation(s) should be contained in a large banner across the top of the poster, in at least 72 point (1-inch) type. This size type should also be used to number different sections of the poster, such as introduction, methods, results, and conclusions, to guide the viewer effectively through the elements of the poster. To be clearly readable from a distance of 3-4 feet, all other text in the poster must be no smaller than 28 point (about a half-inch high) arranged in short, separated paragraphs. Numbered or bulleted lists are effective ways to convey a series of points. Except for short phrases where uppercase (all capitals) may be used, normal upper and lower case text is preferred because it is easier to read. The use of color in both text and illustrations enhances readability and improves the clarity of the poster.
  3. Arrangement: Either the abstract or an introductory paragraph should be placed in the upper left corner of the poster; a concise statement of the most important findings and conclusions should be placed at the lower right corner. In between these two essential elements, text and illustrations (tables, graphs, photographs, etc.) should flow in an order which is clear to a viewer who wishes to quickly understand the major findings included in the poster. Usually an arrangement in columns rather than rows is the easiest one to follow; three or four columns (depending upon the orientation you prefer), with suitable space or borders can be formed using poster elements printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Each figure or table should have a heading of one or two lines in 36 point type or larger stating the main message of the illustration; additional essential information should be provided below in a legend set in 28 point type.
  4. Handouts: Handouts containing a summary, relevant illustrations, and interesting supplemental information should be available at the poster session. Please bring at least 100 copies of your handout and prepare a sign-up sheet on which participants may request a copy of your handout if your supply is exhausted. Be sure to fill all these requests after the Institute.