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University of Minnesota Extension

4-H clover Tell a Story with a Blue Ribbon Exhibit


As you begin your preparations for your 4-H Fair Exhibits here are some helpful tips and guidelines to follow.

The tips below refer primarily to photos and posters. The same principles apply to creative arts and needle arts or any visual display. 

Remember to put the focus on the featured item, eliminate clutter and let one figure or word dominate.

Think about what and how the exhibit appeals to the senses. Consider using touch, sound and/or smell as well as visual attraction to catch & hold the attention of the observer. Use your own creativity to decide what object would best show what you have learned. 


• Use white space, keep the main object large

• Divide the remaining items into groups. Keep them smaller than focal object

• Make letters large enough to read- 1 inch per 2.5 feet viewing distance 


• Use margins and white space as a “frame” for posters

• Use linear objects such as trees to frame focal points

 • Matte your object in a neutral color or an accent color 

• Do not put photographs in frames. Matte them only.


• Wash and press items as needed 

• Matte or double matte photos/posters/pictures

 • Wall hung items must have hooks or attachments

• Pay attention to details & presentation in all projects.

A few more important notes:

• Poster exhibits may not exceed 22” wide x 28” high. They may be smaller.

• Education/Science Tri-Fold Exhibits for all project areas may not exceed 12” deep x 24” wide x 36” high. (Center back 24” wide x 36” high, right and left wings each 12” wide x 36” high.) 

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