National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Call for Posters



We invite researchers to share their ongoing research, concepts or short communications. Any nature-inspired topic is acceptable including, but not limited to art, design, architecture, language, philosophy. Please email us with your intent to submit a poster with subject: Biocene 2018 Poster Competition.

Judging criteria:  Originality of Work, Significance/relevance to the field, Creative/ innovative way to display data/ results, Effective communication with visualization, Aesthetics of display, Clarity of display, Readability, Scientific method, Findings, Interpretations, Directions for further research, Clarity of explanation when presenting, Overall content knowledge, Ability to answer questions.

Poster format:   4’ x 3’ (height 4′, width 3′)

Poster should be in portrait layout, not landscape layout.



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


  1. Initial Sketches – Plan your poster early and try different layouts.  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?  Use headlines and highlight topics through text.
  2. Rough Layout – Enlarge your best initial sketch, keeping the dimensions in proportion to the final poster.  Ideally, the rough layout should be in full size.  A blackboard is a convenient place to work.  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.  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 a balance between words and illustrations?  Is there spatial balance?  Is the pathway (eye movement) 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.  Do not omit the text, but keep it brief.  The poster should be understandable without oral explanation.  Detailed information should be provided in smaller type below the heading.  Details of methodology should be brief and should be placed at the end of the legend.
  5. Topography – Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon.  Use a consistent font throughout. Be sure the font style and size is legible. Text size for the body should be about 36 and 24 for the captions.
  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. White space in moderation is okay.  More material may mean less communication.  Simple use of color can add effective emphasis.
  8. Additional information – If you want people to contact you about more information about your poster, add a business card or pamphlet to your poster that people can take with them.
  9. Utilize space – Other ways to add information and pictures to your poster is a flip book with see-through pages to show overlay graphs and pictures instead of using space on the poster for similar images.
  10. No access to large format printer – If you do not have access to a poster printer, you may print out charts to hang on poster board as long as the overall poster fits within the specified size (4×3) and format (portrait layout).