Basis for Posters or Displays
Entries should be based on research or creative activity you’ve engaged in significantly during the past year. Standards of the entries are expected to be at the level that is common at regional and national discipline meetings. Discuss these expectations with your faculty mentor.
See Poster Guidelines and Templates for tips, poster size requirements, and related details like costs and deadlines for printing at the Pixel Lab.
Ask your department whether departmental funds are available to cover the cost of printing your poster. If not, the Office of Research and Economic Development has set up a special fund with the Pixel Lab to cover the cost of printing the poster. To be considered for this support, check the box on the registration form.
Other Display Methods
Students interested in using other display methods must submit their ideas on the registration form and will be contacted further. Presenters will be given a space roughly the size of a 6-8’ table. A table can be provided and other resources may be available.
A limited number of TVs will be available for electronic posters or creative displays. Please select that option when you submit your registration. Students will be notified if they will be provided a TV for their display, so those who want to present electronically should plan to bring a laptop, computer monitors, and/or other display methods.
Poster and Creative Exhibit Guidelines and Templates
A poster or creative exhibit is a visual representation of the work that you have accomplished; it should “tell the story” of the work you have done.
This page provides general tips and some requirements specific to the UNL Spring Research Fair but you should follow any discipline-specific guidelines when developing your poster or creative exhibit. Talk to your advisor or mentor about the norms for developing a poster or creative exhibit in your discipline.
Composing your poster
Size and Layout
The maximum poster size for the UNL Research Fair is 29×40 inches or 39×48 inches (in either dimension), and using one of the templates provided by the Pixel Lab is strongly encouraged.
Draw a rough sketch of your poster first. Space information proportionally. Divide your poster horizontally or vertically into three or four sections. Use index cards, or use graph paper and cut-up sticky notes, to visualize where the components of your poster will go.
Background color is up to you; however, lighter colors (pastels, greys) typically provide the best contrast for text, graphic, and photographic elements. Use a light background with darker photos or a dark background with lighter photos.
Aim for 20% text, 40% graphics, and 40% empty space. Look critically at your layout. Cluttered posters are difficult to read. Your poster should stimulate discussion, not give a long presentation. When in doubt, edit.
Use text sparingly. Your poster’s purpose is to tell a story but the poster is primarily a visual representation.
- Cover the essentials:
- Problem description and challenges
- Results and evaluation
- Use active voice. It can be demonstrated becomes The data demonstrate.
- Be consistent. Choose one font and use it throughout. Add emphasis by using boldface, underlining, or color; italics are difficult to read.
Recommended font sizes if using Helvetica:
- Title: 40 pt or larger. Put it across the top and make it informative.
- Section headings (Introduction, Methods, etc.): 36 pt bold.
- Supporting text (intro text, figure captions, etc.): 24 pt, bold where appropriate.
- Narrative details should be brief, in plain text, and no smaller than 18 pt.
- Consider a larger size (36 pt) for Conclusion text, and a smaller size (18 pt) for Methods text.
Producing your poster
Remember to proofread before you assemble or print your poster!
The Pixel Lab in Henzlik Hall provides printing and laminating services at affordable rates.
- Save your poster as a PDF and name the file with your last (family) name.
- Use the online project calculator to estimate your cost and come prepared with payment information: the Pixel Lab accepts cash, credit card, check, or a department cost object.
For the 2023 Spring Research Fair:
- Maximum poster size is 29×40 inches or 39×48 inches.
- Posters should not be mounted on poster board or foam core.If using the Pixel Lab: Posters must be submitted to the Pixel Lab by March 20 to guarantee that they will be ready in time for this event. We encourage you to submit your poster as soon as it is ready.