Preparing Effective SPP Posters

SPP posters should be self-contained and self-explanatory, such to allow different viewers to proceed on their own. This will permit the author to be free to discuss specific issues in depth with conference attendees. Ineffective posters are ones that require the author to devote most of the time explaining the content to a succession of viewers. It is acceptable to have handouts with more information available for those interested.

Effective posters are neither a page-by-page printout of a journal paper nor a power point slide show, but a balance between the two.

Posters will be displayed on one piece of posterboard 60 inches by 38 inches (which can be displayed either vertically or horizontally). The plan is to mount them on easels in the room scheduled for the poster session and the continuous book display (Reynolda Room). There will not be space for you to use more than one posterboard.

For most effective use of this space consider organizing text and illustrations in columns rather than rows. It is much easier for viewers to scan a poster by moving systematically along it rather than by zig-zagging back and forth in front of it. Four or five columns often work the best.

Many universities have available 36"- and 54"-wide inkjet printers and the necessary page-layout software to permit economical production of effective and attractive posters on a single sheet that can be transported to the SPP meeting in a poster tube. You may want to use line borders to separate content areas in the poster. Alternatively, you can print your poster on individual 8.5 x 11νν sheets and attach them in the appropriate order. Either way, you will attach your poster to the posterboard using the provided tacks (not tape).

Please be certain to prepare a title banner for the top of the poster indicating the title, author and affiliation. Lettering should be at least one inch high to be most effective. Although this is not required, we recommend that you include a current photograph of yourself on your poster. Posters will be up for the duration of the conference, and photos will permit easier identification for discussion throughout the conference.

Figures should be designed to be viewed from a distance and should use clear, visible graphics and large type. Color can be effective using saturated dark colors on white or pale backgrounds or rich, light colors on dark backgrounds. Although each figure should illustrate no more than one or two major points, figures need not be simple. However, the main points should be clear without extended viewing. Essential information should be provided in a legend set in 16 point or larger type.

The most effective posters minimize narrative. Each section (e.g., Introduction, Objections, Conclusions, etc.) should be concise. Some sections may find using a bullet format to be the most effective way to make your main points. Use large type in short, separated paragraphs, left justified (ragged right) margins. Do not set entire paragraphs in uppercase (all capitals) or boldface type.

You may put your posters up at any time on Thursday prior to the poster session and reception starting at 6 PM. Please have your materials set up prior to the start of the poster session and leave them in place until Saturday afternoon or evening. Posters must be removed no later than 6:30 PM on Saturday. The presenting author should be at the poster during the times specified on the SPP Program. Please contact Eddy Nahmias ( if you have questions.