I am displaying a poster at a conference. The board is 4 feet wide and 8 feet tall. My university offers 1 free small poster print per semester. I used their service and my final poster is only 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall.

The conference had no specific sizing requirements on their website. I contacted the conference organizers and they said it's small, but OK. This is my first conference. I still have time to pay a private printer for a larger size, but don't want to spend money if I don't have to. Is it bad etiquette to have an undersized poster?

  • Has your poster been shrunk to the point that text and figures cannot be read?
    – Harry
    Feb 10, 2017 at 21:53
  • 2
    What country do you live in, and is it a large university? In my experience full-size posters cost around $20 to print, so if you're being quoted a higher number, make sure to check with over services.
    – Steve
    Feb 10, 2017 at 21:57
  • The text size meets their requirements (1 inch for title, 1/2 inch otherwise). I live in the United States. What's considered "full size?" Local printing at FedEx is quoted at 36" x 48" - $129.99. I found many websites that will do it at half the cost, but would need to pay for express shipping to guarantee it's here on time.
    – cbake
    Feb 10, 2017 at 22:13
  • 4 feet by 8 feet seems enormous, are you sure that is right? Feb 10, 2017 at 22:15
  • 2
    @cbake you don't have to fill up the whole board Feb 10, 2017 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


A 2' tall poster is too small. I would not recommend a poster smaller than A0 size (about 3' x 4') nor larger than 2A0 (4'x6'). For a 4'x8' portrait orientated poster board I would recommend not less than 3' wide, but would not go all the way to 4' since often the boards are displayed in an accordion style resulting in lost width. As for height I would go no more than 5' high. While you do not need to be able to easily reach the title, no one likes reading at their knees. In other words, A0 size would be slightly small, but okay.

Depending on the material, I would suggest looking at large format black and white printing. For example, staples will do a 3'x4' black and white engineering print for $7.29.

  • 2
    A1 (~85x60cm) is still good for a poster and much easier to carry around. Also I find it a good exercise for students to improve presentation and prioritize what goes in the poster and what can be explained verbally - referred to the paper.
    – o4tlulz
    Feb 10, 2017 at 23:07

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