Poster Template Guidelines

The following guidelines have been prepared to help you create your poster.

  1. Poster Board & Poster Size
    The poster board area is 4’ high by 8’ long, posters must fit within the space of 42″x42″. Posters can be smaller, but NO larger than this size. Posters should be readable by viewers five feet away. The message should be clear and understandable without oral explanation.
  2. Poster Powerpoint Template
    You may use the ABA Poster PowerPoint Template to create your poster. All posters MUST be displayed at the meeting.
  3. Abstract Title & Institution and/or Logo
    Include the abstract title and your institution name and or logo.
  4. Conclusion Headline
    This should be a one-line, news headline-style sentence less than 140 characters, which summarizes the main findings and takeaways of the study.
  5. Significance Statement
    Posters should include a brief statement of significance explaining why the study question was worth addressing. This may be formatted similar to a problem statement or research question. Background information should not be included here, but rather expounded upon by poster presenters during the presentation.
  6. Data Source / Population and Results
    Lead with a statement regarding the data source and study population. For example, “We identified 20,000 patients who underwent a colectomy from the 2011–2012 ACS NSQIP Participant Use Data File (PUF).” Methods should not be directly included on the poster, however, the data source and study population should briefly be described in the Results section. Individuals interested in more detail from the Methods section can access the full abstract on the ABA mobile app.
  7. Image / Figure
    We encourage the use of pictures, graphs, infographics, etc.
  8. Lessons Learned
    Summarize in two to three bullet point-style statements. These should be takeaway points that your team learned from conducting the study. Also, include valuable points, tips, and feedback for others on how to similarly implement such a project.
  9. Co-Author and Affiliations
    Include all co-authors and their affiliations.

Poster Communication Guidelines

The following guidelines have been prepared to help improve the effectiveness of poster communication:

  1. Initial Sketch
    Plan your poster early. Focus your attention on a few key points. Try various styles of data presentation to achieve clarity and simplicity. Does the use of color help? What needs to be expressed in words? Suggest headlines and text topics.
  2. Rough Layout
    Enlarge your best initial sketch, keeping the dimensions in proportion to the final poster. Ideally, the rough layout should be full size. Print the title and headlines. Indicate text by horizontal lines. Draw rough graphs and tables. This will give you a good idea of proportions and balance. If you are working with an artist, show him/her the poster layout. Ask associates for comments. This is still an experimental stage.
  3. Final Layout
    The artwork is complete. The text and tables are typed but not necessarily enlarged to full size. Now ask, is the message clear? Do the important points stand out? Is there balance between words and illustrations? Is there spatial balance? Is the pathway through the poster clear?
  4. Balance
    The figures and tables should cover slightly more than 50% of the poster area. If you have only a few illustrations, make them large. Keep text concise and relevant. The poster should be understandable without oral explanation.
  5. Typography
    Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon. Use a consistent type style throughout. All poster fonts should be minimum 40-point. Table font should be a minimum of 32-point. An 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper photo statically enlarged 50% makes the text readable from 5 feet away.
  6. Eye Movement
    The movement (pathway) of the eye over the poster should be natural – down the columns or along the rows. Size attracts attention. Arrows, pointing hands, numbers and letters can help clarify the sequence.
  7. Simplicity
    Resist the temptation to overload the poster. More content may mean less vital information is communicated.