Project Guides

Science Fair Project Display Boards

Key Info

  • For almost every science fair project, you need to prepare a display board to communicate your work to others. In most cases you will use a standard, three-panel display board that unfolds to be 36" tall by 48" wide. Display boards can be found at and other retailers.
ArtSkills key info trifold example

  • Organize your information like a newspaper so that your audience can quickly follow the thread of your experiment by reading from top to bottom, then left to right. Include each step of your science fair project: Abstract, question, hypothesis, variables, background research, and so on.
ArtSkills Key Info newspaper
  • Use a font size of at least 16 points for the text on your display board, so that it is easy to read from a few feet away. It's OK to use slightly smaller fonts for captions on picture and tables. For more details see: Everything You Need to Know About Fonts for Display Boards
  • The title should be big and easily read from across the room. Choose one that accurately describes your work, but also grabs peoples' attention.
ArtSkills Key Info font sizes example
  • A picture speaks a thousand words! Use photos or draw diagrams to present non-numerical data, to propose models that explain your results, or just to show your experimental setup. But, don't put text on top of photographs or images. It can be very difficult to read.
ArtSkills Key Info trifold example
  • Check the rules for your science fair. Here is a list of items that some science fairs allow (or even require) and some science fairs don't require (or even prohibit):
    • Your name on the display board
    • Pictures of yourself
    • Captions that include the source for every picture or image
    • Acknowledgements of people who helped you
    • Your laboratory notebook (some science fairs want you to have it only during judging)
    • Equipment such as your laboratory apparatus or your invention
Design to shine
Add a drop shadow to your letters to create depth on your poster Use glitter glue to outline your letters and pictures to draw attention to your poster with added sparkle
Add gems to your letter for some extra shine Use Pre-Cut Poster Board Shapes for special occasions
Framing your poster with a decorative border is an easy way to draw attention Layer different poster board colors to separate sections of your poster

Light it up
Accent letters on your poster to highlight titles and key words
Add Poster Lights to shapes on your poster to create a unique effect Draw attention and add direction by adding lights to arrows

What's in a name

Pick a title that is relevant to your theme but also shows your creativity.

ArtSkills title geology rocks
Subject: Fossilization

Try Bold, Bright lettering to make sure your title is seen from afar.

ArtSkills title giant leap
Subject: Neil Armstrong

Keep your title vibrant and legible.

ArtSkills title what a blast
Subject: School Science Fair
ArtSkills title whats matter
Subject: States of Matter


Your favorite colors may be pleasing to you, but not every color is right for poster making.

ArtSkills visbility

The above chart shows color combinations ranked from most to least visible.
Remember: Make your main idea the brightest.

ArtSkills design tips  lemonade

Colorful commentary

Contrasting colors are the most visible on your poster.

ArtSkills design tips its shocking
If your poster is light, try using
darker colors throughout.
If your poster is dark, try using
lighter colors throughout.

Centering titles

Relax! It's not as hard as you think.
ArtSkills design tips  happy birthday
1. Find the middle of your title space and mark it with a dot.
2. Find the middle of your title.
3. Starting at the center point, fill in the letters of your title.

Presentation speech tips

Poster Letters   (see more)

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Neon Poster Letters

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Black & White Poster Letters

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Classic Glitter Shakers

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Clear Self-Stick Gems

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Marquee Lights

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Poster Lights

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Poster Sound

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Poster Board   (see more)

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Trifold Board with Header

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Glitter Frame Poster Board

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5-Pack Neon Poster Boards

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Not sure what your project display board should look like? This Science Fair Display Board Gallery is full of good examples to get you started.

Additional Resources

Science Fair Project Display Board Checklist

What Makes for a Good Science Fair Project Display Board? For a Good Science Fair Project Display Board, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question
Does your display board include:
  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Question
  • Variables and hypothesis
  • Background research
  • Materials list
  • Experimental procedure
  • Data analysis and discussion including data chart(s) & graph(s)
  • Conclusions (including ideas for future research)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Bibliography
Yes / No
Are the sections on your display board organized like a newspaper so that they are easy to follow? Yes / No
Is the text font large enough to be read easily (at least 16 points)? Yes / No
Does the title catch people's attention, and is the title font large enough to be read from across the room? Yes / No
Did you use pictures and diagrams to effectively convey information about your science fair project? Yes / No
Have you constructed your display board as neatly as possible? Yes / No
Did you proofread your display board? Yes / No
Did you follow all of the rules pertaining to display boards for your particular science fair? Yes / No