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Course & Subject Guides

Poster Presentations @ Pitt: Color

This guide is designed to help those preparing a poster presentation for a course assignment or a research display

Color Wheel

A color wheel based on HSV, labeled with color names from HTML

Credit: From "Color Wheel" article in Wikipedia. Submitted by Jacobolus.

Using Color

The resource below can help you get started with using color in your poster.


Color can enhance your poster and attract viewers, if used effectively.

You might use color to:

  • improve the visual appeal of your poster
  • improve the reader's ability to understand it quickly
  • highlight important elements in your poster
  • connect related information
  • distinguish different categories of information
  • present results in graphic form
  • provide accurate images of examples from your work

Things to watch:

  • don't overdo - very bright posters can draw attention, but may be difficult or tiring to read
  • dark and brightly colored backgrounds can use a lot of ink when printing
  • many prefer to read dark text on light backgrounds
  • choose colors with sufficient contrast. Your text must be easily readable against the background, and colors on graphs and charts must be easily distinguished from each other.
  • maintain a color scheme
  • avoid using green and red next to each other to limit difficulties for those with color-blindness