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Social Science & Humanities Research Poster Design

This guide was designed to assist social science and humanities students creating research posters. Feel free to contact with any questions or suggestions.

Visual Considerations

To increase the readability and appeal of your poster, adhere to the following best practices:

  • Use a mix of text and images to increase poster appeal and readability. Remember, viewers will need to understand your poster in a short amount of time.
  • Use accessible color standards -- for example, try to not use red and green together
  • Be sure that your background is darker than your text
  • If you are using an image as your background, be sure to adjust coloring settings to not distract from your poster's content.
  • Consider the space you will be presenting in. How wide of an audience can your poster capture?
  • Poster sections should be easily distinguishable. To help with this, make the section headings larger than the rest of the text. You may also want to give your headers a difference background color to help them stand out. 
  • Try not to exceed 100 words total per section.
  • Only use acronyms that are known to your audience.
  • Bullet points are preferable when appropriate.
  • Use a non-cursive script for your poster - like Times New Roman and Garamond

For more on formatting and visual considerations, visit the following websites/documents:

Designing Poster For Humanities And Social Sciences | Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research (

How can I create a conference poster that is accessible to people with disabilities? | DO-IT ( (A MUST READ!)

How to Design an Award-Winning Conference Poster - Social Science Space

workshop-poster.pdf (

Templates and Format

While formatting is ultimately a researcher's choice, there are some standard formats that may be useful. These sample formats are presented as 48in (width) by 36in (length), a common poster size. These templates can be downloaded below. Feel free to move the sections around to your discretion. You are also not required to place your images/visualizations in one section.

Format #1

Format #2

Format #3


Tulane Styling Tools

If your poster is affiliated with research at Tulane University, be sure to include this information on your posters. While you can choose whether to use Tulane colors, it is best practice to include the university's logo on your poster. The university's logo and other branding materials can be found at the links below. 

Tulane University Color Palettes 

Tulane University Logos

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.