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Academic Poster Resources


Although there are no absolute answers or guidelines for accessibility that will guarantee equal access for everyone, below are several accessibility considerations to take into account when designing academic posters.

  1.  Colors: Ensure sufficient contrast between the text and the background using a tool such as Colour Contrast Analyser or WebAIM Contrast Checker

    Avoid relying solely on color to convey meaning. Instead, use patterns or shading in addition to color on charts, graphs, illustrations, and maps where color differences are intended to convey information.
  2. Fonts: Sans-serif fonts such as Arial, Gill Sans, Helvetica, and Verdana are recommended for body and heading text. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman and Garamond are recommended for headings only.
  3.  Text Size: Bigger is better! 

    Main title: 72 point (minimum) - 158 point (ideal). 
    Section headings: 42 point (minimum) - 56 point (ideal). 
    Body text: 24 point (minimum) - 36 point (ideal). 
    Captions: 18 point (minimum) - 24 point (ideal).
  4. Digital Formats: ​If the poster will be available in a digital format (e.g., as a PDF posted on a website) it is important to ensure that the poster is accessible to people using screen readers. 

    Provide alt text and/or descriptive captions for images, figures, and charts.

    Define reading order for blocks of text and other poster elements. In PowerPoint, go to Arrange, Selection Pane, Drag items into the correct order. Note that screen reader will read from bottom to top. 

    PowerPoint has a built in accessibility checker that will highlight issues and tell you how to fix them. Go to Tools, Check Accessibility, Inspection Result.

    If exporting to PDF format, be sure to “Save to PDF” or “Save as Adobe PDF” (not “Print to PDF”).

Additional Resources