Bass Connections Poster Guidance

Highlighting the work of our project teams, our annual Bass Connections Showcase features a poster session in addition to talks, awards and a reception. The following guidelines can help you in preparing your poster.

The following guidance was for the 2018 Showcase; we will update the page for the 2019 Showcase.

Guidance for Bass Connections Posters


  • Use the PowerPoint template slide appropriate for your theme (download PPT file). If you need more space at the top for authors or other logos, feel free to delete the text identifying your theme at the right.
  • Education & Human Development teams can use the template provided by Amy Finnegan if they wish.
  • If you have a good reason to use a different template, that’s fine, but make sure to add the Bass Connections logo.


  • The final size of your poster should be 36 inches tall by 48 inches wide (the template is already sized this way).
  • To double check the size, go to the Design tab in PowerPoint, click on Slide Size and then Page Setup.


  • Keep the design simple, with plenty of blank space for breathing room.
  • Use graphics and photos whenever possible to illustrate your points. Make sure you have gotten verbal or written consent from any people shown in your photos. Include image credits where necessary.
  • Try to use graphics that are at least 300 dpi or vector-based so that they do not become distorted when enlarged. A quick way to check whether photos and graphics will become distorted is to zoom in to view the poster on your screen at 400%. Everything should look crisp and clear.
  • Use headings to break up the sections of your poster (recommended font size for headings is 48, bold).
  • Many posters typically include sections on Introduction, Methods and Data, Results, Conclusion, Next Steps, Acknowledgements; however, these are not required; your poster should reflect your unique project team (for example, an infographic may be more appropriate).
  • Aim for a font size of 36 to 40 for the main text. Print it out on a regular 8.5x11 sheet of paper and hold it at arm’s length to make sure it’s readable at that distance.
  • Try to avoid too much text, small fonts, confusing graphics that are unlabeled or have hard-to-read labels, too many different colors or fonts.


Review the winning posters and runners-up from last year’s Bass Connections Showcase:

Also check out the winning posters from the 2017 Global Health Showcase:


  • Send a PDF of your poster to Sarah Dwyer ( by Wednesday, April 11 at 11:59 p.m. so she can enter it into the poster competition (see below), list it on the Bass Connections Showcase program and print it for display at the Showcase.
  • EHD teams can submit their posters to Sarah or Amy Finnegan (
  • If your file is too large to email, contact Sarah; she’ll send you a Box link.

Please Take Note

  • More than one poster? If your project team has more than one poster, please contact Sarah. There is a limited amount of display space at the Showcase; we will do our best to accommodate everyone, but we may have to limit the number of posters per team.
  • Part of the EHD theme? Great! You will have two Bass Connections poster events: the Showcase and EHDx.
  • Taking part in other poster sessions? Please let Sarah know if you’re planning to present your work at Visible Thinking, Alumni Poster Day or other events, to coordinate printing.
  • Missed the deadline? Please contact Sarah. You may still be able to present your poster at the Showcase, provided there is space. However, Bass Connections will not be able to pay for printing, list your poster in the program or enter it into the competition.

Get Expert Help

Consider registering for these optional workshops led by Duke Libraries data visualization experts Angela Zoss and Eric Monson:

  • Designing Effective Academic Posters
  • Poster Design Quick Tips
  • Poster Design Feedback Session

See also Making a Better Research Poster (American Journal Experts) and Advice for Preparing Posters (Undergraduate Research Support Office).