Conference posters are a simple, visual, and effective way of sharing your research. They may be presented at academic or professional conferences, Departmental events, or educational events for the general public. A well-designed poster allows you to communicate information about your work in a concise and appealing manner, and engage with colleagues, peers and others in a conversational setting.
Creating a conference poster is a balancing act between including enough detail to effectively describe your work, and keeping it visually attractive and minimal enough that people can understand at least the main points at a glance.
This module will help you create effective conference posters and introduce key design principles.
The Engineering Library team offer support and training on designing conference posters, so feel free to contact us if you have any questions. If you want to book a one-to-one supervision for personalised support, please use our Booking Form.
We also run synchronous online training workshops on Conference Posters throughout the year for students at the Department of Engineering. Our upcoming workshops are:
Completion of the Conference Poster activity in this module fulfils the requirement for the Poster Design badge and counts towards the Informed Engineer badge.
Badges will be awarded at the end of each Term.
The University does not specify a particular poster template to use. The images below represent one possible layout, both as a landscape and portrait poster, but they are only to be taken as a guide to help you come up with your own designs.
Using either paper and pen, or a digital tool of your choice such as Canva, Publisher or PowerPoint, create a template or a draft design for a conference poster. This poster can illustrate your current research, or be based on previous work or an imaginary research project.
Think about the key principles from the video above:
Think about where you might want to place text, graphics and images. Remember to give your poster a title.
Completion of the Conference Poster activity in this module fulfils the requirement for the Information Creator badge and counts towards the Informed Engineer badge. Badges will be awarded at the end of each Term.
There are several online resources that can help you when it comes to designing conference posters. Some you may find helpful are:
Cambridge Brand Resources: The University of Cambridge brand website, containing templates, graphics and instructions about the correct use of University branding including the University crest.
Academic Presentations: Posters: In-depth information on academic poster design from the University of Hull Skills Guides.
Better Scientific Poster: Downloadable templates via OSF, from Mike Morrison, creator of the #BetterPoster movement.
Designing Conference Posters: Useful guidance and templates from researcher and poster design expert Colin Purrington.
How to Design an Award-Winning Conference Poster: Article from the London School of Economics blog.
There are several tools you can use to design a poster. Which one you use is up to you, depending on what you have access to and are comfortable using. Possible tools you can investigate include:
Canva: Free online design tool with thousands of pre-prepared templates, shapes, colours and graphics.
Adobe InDesign: Design software which features page design and layout functionality to design a professional-looking poster.
Adobe Illustrator: Illustration software that can be used to create images and poster layouts.
Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft's main tool for page design and layout.
Microsoft PowerPoint: An easy to use tool for designing slides and posters, which you may already be familiar with.
For help accessing software and support, please see the UIS Software Help website.