Designing Academic Conference PostersIf you’re a PhD student, most chances are that at some point you’re going to go to a conference and present a conference poster. Most times this will present work in progress, something that you’re currently thinking of or have collected initial data for, but even if you have already written the paper putting it all into a poster is tricky.

Personally, I prefer posters will use as little blabla as possible, mostly using bullets, diagrams and tables. If others will take interest in your work they’ll ask you about it or ask for further info via email, so for me – the poster is there to make your basic arguments clear and to the extent possible – interesting & compelling. I try to keep it simple, very simple.


I found those three links good resources for writing posters (some have templates):


On the technical side, I’m not a big fan of Powerpoint. Publisher is slightly better, but for my last conference poster I used PosterGenius (they have student discounts) which simplifies everything to let you focus on the most important thing – your content.

Once ready, I generally recommend going over your poster with another objective person who is not involved with the project and has experience with this sort of thing. S/he is most likely to notice things that you or your coauthors overlooked.


Good luck.

One Response to “Designing Academic Conference Posters”

  1. Nathan

    I don’t know about anyone else’s experience but I found myself obsessing over my powerpoint for Academy last year only to find out at the end that the session chair would prefer us not to use powerpoint – what I mean to say is that I wonder if the people looking at the posters appreciate the amount of work it takes to put them together.

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