Poster/Gallery Session Guidelines for Success & Accessibility

Poster Creation & Travel

To create your poster, you will need to use software such as PowerPoint or Photoshop, other professional software programs, or open source alternatives to these programs.

When sharing your poster at an in-person meeting and after using your preferred software program to create your poster, you will need to print the poster using a professional printer service of your choice. It can be beneficial to check out multiple options to find the best price and quality for your needs. The poster material you choose to use is based on your preference. When submitting your printing order, your poster should be no larger than 4 ft high by 6 ft wide/1.2 m high by 1.8 m wide.

To travel with your poster, you will need to purchase an art or a poster tube, which may be found at a local arts & crafts store or online.

Poster Content

  1. Each poster display should include the name(s) and title(s) of all presenter(s) and coauthor(s).
  2. Extensive, imaginative use of captioned illustrations, photographs, graphs or other types of visually appealing material is the point of a poster presentation. Think of your poster primarily as a visually engaging presentation of your work.
    1. Note: While it is a visually engaging presentation of your work, also learn how to visually describe the visuals on your poster for session attendees who may be blind or low-vision.
  3. Rewrite the text from your paper into a brief version of your work so that the text will be more legible in a poster format.
    1. Note: Directly copying and pasting the text of your paper into a “poster” will result in a text-heavy poster, which is a less effective approach and one that does not engage with the visual purpose of the poster.
  4. Consider headers as an additional way to organize and display your content.
    1. Research posters generally have the following sections:
      1. Introduction
      2. Literature
      3. Review
      4. Methods
      5. Results
      6. Discussion
      7. Conclusion
    2. Note: You are not confined to this pattern of content presentation. Use the structure and presentation that best fits your work, goals, for the poster and style.

Poster Formatting

Organizing Content on Poster

  1. Avoid overcrowding your poster with text and other content.
    1. Utilize the white and negative space for greater accessibility.
  2. Place your poster title on top of the page so it is easily visible.
  3. Ensure all headings and subheadings legibly align with their related text.
  4. Make sure your introduction is clear, engages the audience, and provides a clear takeaway message for them.
  5. The content order should be placed to be read logically from one heading to the next.

Physical Poster Size

  • The useable surface of the AAA-provided display board is 4 ft high by 6 ft wide/1.2 m high by 1.8 m wide.
    • Please ensure your poster dimensions are within these measurements.

Poster Text

  1. Font Size:
    1. Title:
      1. 158-point (2.2 inches) font is best practice.
      2. 72-point font is the minimum.
      3. Title should be viewable from 10 to 15 feet away to catch the reader’s attention.
    2. Section Title:
      1. 56-point (0.78 inches) font is best practice.
      2. 46-point font is the minimum.
    3. Block Text/Body:
      1. 36-point (0.5 inches) font is best practice.
      2. 24-point font is the minimum.
    4. Sizes may vary depending on the viewing distance and amount of text to be included.
  2. Font Type:
    1. Use sans-serif (non-serif) fonts for your poster.
    2. Examples of sans serif typefaces include:
      1. Arial
      2. Calibri
      3. Helvetica
      4. Verdana
    3. Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman or Georgia, can be more difficult to read, particularly when they are more decorative, handwritten, or italicized.
  3. Font Color:
    1. Use black text on a white background for your text to be most legible.
      1. If you use another color background, make sure it is contrasted enough against the black text using this digital contrast checker site.
    2. In the case you want to use additional colors on your poster, use combinations that differ from the primary black and white combination only for larger or highlighted text, such as headlines and titles.
  4. Line Spacing:
    1. You need to consider both leading/line-spacing, the vertical space between lines of text, and tracking/letter-spacing, the horizontal space between characters.
    2. Use between 1.2 and 2.0 leading or line-spacing to help the reader move from line to line more easily.
    3. If your processor allows for tracking or letter-spacing adjustments, use a minimum of +3 for all text.
      1. Letter-spacing can be increased for titles and section titles based on your preference.

Poster Images & Graphics

  1. Prior to including images & graphics on your poster, check the image resolution to confirm that they are at 300 dpi at minimum.
    1. Images that look good on a computer screen may not print well.
  2. Include a title and a caption with each image or graphic to provide context for what the image or graphic is communicating.
  3. Include an image description at least in the digital file and if possible on the print.
    1. Read the image description from your poster while discussing your poster or be prepared to provide one if not on the poster.
  4. Align images and graphics with their corresponding text.
    1. Do not place text over images.

Poster Accessibility

  1. Provide a screen reader-friendly version of your poster as a .pdf.
    1. How do I create an accessible PDF?
  2. Prepare additional formats of your poster to provide to audience members.
    1. Create a simplified .doc, .pdf, or webpage version of your poster. This will be a text-based alternative to your poster.
    2. If you choose to use .pdf, you will need to confirm the text-based alternative is also screen reader-friendly.
    3. If using .doc or .pdf, upload the alternate format to your chosen cloud storage system.
      1. Recommendation: is a great source for creating customized short links for free.
  3. How do I visually describe the visuals on my poster?
  4. When in person:
    1. Create an audio recording of the text and visual materials on your poster.
    2. Provide a short link and/or QR code on your poster to the digital access copies available.
    3. Offer to read the text directly from your poster and describe all visual material to attendees.
    4. What do I do if an ASL interpreter is present?

Digital Access Copies Check List

This check list includes all possible materials that should be available through the short link and/or QR code provided on your poster.

  1. Accessible PDF
  2. Text-based Alternative Format (.doc, .pdf, webpages, etc.)
  3. Audio Recording of Text and Visual Materials on Your Poster

In-Person Materials & Set-up


  1. AAA will provide:
    1. Pushpins
    2. A display board with a useable surface area of 4 ft high by 6 ft wide/1.2 m high by 1.8 m wide
    3. A small table in front of the display board where you may place…
      1. Handouts
      2. Samples
      3. Various visuals
      4. Other materials you wish to demonstrate or distribute
      5. Note: The tables will not have access to power or electricity, so please keep this in mind when considering items to display.
  2. You should bring…
    1. Your printed poster
    2. Additional materials based on your poster’s needs, such as…
      1. Tape
      2. Line level
      3. Handouts
      4. 3D prints

Physical Poster Session Set-up

  1. Please arrive 20 minutes before the start of your session to set up your poster.
  2. Be sure to remove your poster at the end of your poster session time, allowing setup time and preparation for presenters within the next session.

In-Person Presentation Tips

  1. Do not forget to print and bring your poster to your designated poster session timeslot! ☺
  2. Bring business cards to facilitate greater networking.
  3. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated while presenting.
  4. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes.
  5. Please note that it is NOT possible to write or paint on the board upon which your poster will be mounted.

References & Resources

Please feel free to review the following references and resources as you prepare your poster for the Annual Meeting.