The presentation of posters at scientific conferences to visually represent research projects is a widespread international practice. The main purpose of this paper is to offer reflections relating to posters as visual representations of research studies conducted by PhD candidates. As the basis for our reflections, we consider the main purposes and intended learning outcomes linked to posters and reflect on some of the design and assessment issues associated with the multi-faceted purposes of posters in contexts such as postgraduate research conferences. Notably, the paper includes a set of illustrative vignettes written by a group of PhD students from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester who were required to design and exhibit posters at an annually held postgraduate research conference. This reflexive dialogue raises a series of issues for consideration by those who are actively involved with the design, presentation, observation and assessment of posters produced by PhD candidates.