Poster Guidelines

Important Tips

  • Know your audience so that you can communicate effectively
  • Text should be large enough to be seen from 5 feet away (at least 36 point font size)
  • The elements of the poster should be organized in a way that leads the viewer through the display
  • Make illustrations simple and bold
  • The display should be self-explanatory so that you are free to talk
  • Keep displays simple and text brief; a viewer should "get it" in 30 seconds
  • A neutral colored poster on matte board is more pleasing to the eye than one on a bright colored background
  • Organize information and edit content to eliminate distracting visual noise


  • Remember you will only have a limited amount of time to catch viewers attention, so don't overload your poster with too much information
  • List all of the things that you want to say, and put them in the order of importance. Select only the first three points as the focus for your poster.


  • Plan the layout of your poster by thinking about the content and how it will appear on the poster
  • Capture the viewer's attention, then guide them visually through your information
    • The title is at the top. Next, viewers look at the upper left; there you can put an introduction that briefly states the question you're asking and why it's important. Then you can explain what you did and how you did it. Your conclusions come last.


  • Use common serif fonts for body text, headlines, or labels
  • Do not use more than three different fonts on your poster
  • Text should stand out against the background to be seen and read
  • Black text on white background works best, although other font colors can be used for short phrases or sentences


  • Maintain a consistent color theme. University of Arizona branding guidelines and color palette can be found at
  • A PowerPoint poster with Arizona logo and UA red and blue that you can customize with your content is available here (Download or Save Link As): postertemplate-46x36.pptx
  • Use bright colors sparingly


  • Use high quality images to tell your story
  • Crop and edit images, if necessary, so important information is obvious


  • We will include a "skinny" table in front of posters to keep handouts on. You are also welcome to set up a laptop with video or other demonstration device for your session. We do not recommend leaving unsecured devices alone on the table all day.
  • You are strongly encouraged to provide brief handouts for your poster which, at a minimum, include your full contact information, the title and description/abstract of your session, and any information you can provide about where additional materials can be viewed or retrieved (e.g. on the IT Summit website after the conference, etc.)
  • You’re advised to bring ~100 handouts, and a supply of your business cards if the handouts run out! You should plan to provide any additional materials on your own.


IT Summit 2016

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CIO IT Summit 2016
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