Skip to Main Content

Design Your Poster

Your poster needs to be visually appealing. You have limited time to grab your audience’s attention so lay it out in a way that utilises “white space” and keep backgrounds neutral. The design of the poster should give a logical overview of the content. It should also:

  • Have a title that clearly explains your research – usually about 20 words. Does it
    • Catch the reader’s interest? Would it make you stop walking and want to know more?
    • Does it tell you what the project is about?
    • Does it contain keywords that you want the audience to remember later?
  • Be able to be read from 1.3 metres away
  • Be image driven – you have limited space so use clear images that explain an idea or result. Make sure copyright approval is obtained and give the image a caption that explains what it is to the reader. Google images has a function under tools to select “labelled for reuse” and these are copyright free sites such as and
  • Be well laid and organised – use columns, sections and headings to clearly separate different sections of information and bullet points to break up text.
  • Be consistent in formatting and sizing - the title should be twice the size of regular text and the font should ideally be the same throughout - try font 40
  • Include your name; your supervisor's name and the phrase "QUT VRES 2022 Showcase”
  • Be appropriately referenced according to the citation style of your faculty.
  • Great tips on designing effective graphs, tables, maps, and other diagrams under the Showing chapter of The Australian Manual of Style 
Designing the poster using PowerPoint : Questions to Ask

When laying out your poster ask yourself the following:

  • Is there enough space (called white space) between the sections?
  • Are you able to read it from far away?
  • Is it interesting to look at – what captures your attention?
  • Is the image clear or pixelated when you zoom in (this is a good indication of what it will look like when you print at a larger size)?
  • Have they used the same font or lots of them? Which is easier to read and more appealing?

Develop great research posters using Microsoft PowerPoint : a step-by-step guide ... (2015) / QUT Printing Services.

This PPT also provide guidance on what to include in a poster, and other tips.