Instructions for Participants

Paper Presenters

In-Person Presenters

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Remote Presenters

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Poster Presenters

Instructions for In-Person Presenters

In preparing a poster for the in-person forum during Fall 2021, please keep in mind:

1)  Size - The maximum size is 36 inches in width and 48 inches in height. This vertical format allows us to include more poster presentations.

2)  Printing - Posters should be printed in advance of arriving at the in-person meeting. This is the responsibility of poster authors and co-authors

3)  Font Size - Here are standard recommendations for in-person posters; title (72-84 or larger), headings (36-48), and body text (28-36). Do not use less than 24-point font.

4)  Preparation - Most people create posters in PowerPoint or similar presentation software. Online, one can find a number of free templates for posters. Here is one example: and

Note: PSA does not endorse these sites and only supplies URLs as an example of places online where individuals can download poster templates.

5) Set-Up, Location, and Tear Down - Details about the poster location and specific timing for setting up and taking your poster will be shared soon.

Instructions for the Virtual Poster Gallery

All poster presenters are invited to participate in the PSA Virtual Poster Gallery, which will be available to PSA 2021 attendees.

1) Create an account and confirm your email.

2) Go to the poster submission page:

3) Enter the details for your poster (title, abstract, etc.)

4) Upload an image of your poster. The poster should be 1200 px by 1600 px and less than 1MB in size. You'll likely need to resize the print version of your poster.

5) Submit your poster. Please note that your submission will be made publicly available immediately. You can edit/update your poster at any time by logging into your account and editing your submission.

Organizational Principles

A few key principles should be kept in mind when preparing your poster: (1) be concise, (2) make information accessible, and (3) ensure that your central ideas, questions, and/or arguments are comprehensible. Several design elements contribute to these principles being fulfilled:

1) Logical layout: most posters are intended to be read from (top) left to (bottom) right, usually by adopting a column format. This is the best way to make the information readable and makes it easier for many people to read your poster simultaneously.

Although not necessary, many people begin with an abstract or summary, which makes it possible for readers to quickly glean the core ideas. It is important to clearly state the problem(s) or question(s) being addressed so the poster is well-motivated, as well as provide the necessary background to the topic. Glossaries of keywords can be helpful sometimes with technical terminology. Make sure the conclusions or implications are easy to ascertain; sometimes bullet point lists help accent them. Typically, a small set of references and acknowledgments appear at the end (i.e., bottom right).

2) Readability: Your poster should be readable from a distance of ~6 feet (2 meters). Sans serif fonts (e.g., Arial, Helvetica) are best for titles and headings, as well as body text. Serif fonts (e.g., Times New Roman) should be used for body text only (if at all). See font-size guidelines above.

3) Choice of title and headings: people often "skim" posters before deciding whether to zoom in on the details. Therefore, it is to your advantage to have a title and headings that clearly signal what you are talking about and, where possible, have a hook that attracts the reader.

4) Create "flow": cue the reader on how to process the information in your poster. There should be no ambiguity in where next to go as one reads. Think about telling a story and drawing the reader into a narrative arc. Your aim is for them to want to continue reading. The logical layout can assist with this but does not constitute it. Arrows and numbering can be helpful as well.

5) Proofread: this may go without saying, but a typo at 84 point font on a poster looks worse than a typo at 12 point font on a sheet of paper. We recommend you have someone else proofread your poster at some point during its preparation and (for sure) before you send it off to be printed.

Aesthetics and Design

Posters allow for a variety of creative design choices and viewing an aesthetically pleasing poster is a real treat. To that end, keep in mind that a sharp contrast using 2-3 basic colors works best (e.g., blue, black, and white). Using no colors will mean your poster doesn't garner attention; using too many colors and too bright of hues will make it difficult to read. Three standard approaches to color choice using a color wheel are:

1) Complementary (use two or more colors opposite one another, potentially varying shades and tints)

2) Monochromatic (use different shades and tints of one color)

3) Analogous (use three adjacent colors, potentially varying shades and tints)

Remember that some individuals cannot see particular colors and contrasts. Consider using a website such as Vischeck ( to determine if these issues are present in your poster.

Even though most philosophy is textually rich, too much text can be a distraction in a poster. Therefore, we recommend the incorporation of at least some imagery. Images are especially useful for balancing your poster with different elements. Use captions for images so they can be understood apart from the text. For any graphs, make sure axes are clearly labeled.

When using images, they should typically not be smaller than 5-6 inches (13-15 cm). JPEG (.jpg) is the best image format for poster creation because you get a high quality image with a relatively small file size. Make sure to check the resolution of your image file. Resolution (in relation to digital imagery) is the number of pixels per square inch on a computer screen. The higher this number is, the greater the quality of the picture. Use images with a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi); most web images are 72 dpi. 

Try not to use more than 1 or 2 fonts throughout the poster (e.g., Arial for titles/headings and Times New Roman for body text). Too many typefaces will make a poster appear disjointed. Dark text on a light background usually works best. Avoid fully justified text because it can affect readability.

You can fulfill the organizational principles of being concise and making information accessible by confirming that blocks of texts have adequate cushions of space ("white space") and that line spacing is not too crowded. A poster should probably not exceed 2,000 words, though there is no strict cutoff. Just remember, less is more.


Although a poster should be readable without the author present, the synchronous and in-person sessions will be a time when the presenting author will engage participants directly. Here are some tips for facilitating productive exchanges:

1) Prepare a concise statement of your question or problem to begin your presentation

2) Practice three versions of your core monologue (30-second; 2-minute; 5-minute)

3) Consider the audience's background and anticipate questions. Give listeners an opportunity to ask questions of clarification.

Don't forget the basics: introduce yourself, smile, show enthusiasm, make eye contact, and welcome those who join the discussion midstream. 

For further tips, you might want to check out a nice discussion over at the Daily Nous about philosophy posters (