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A poster is a visual presentation - you need a good paring of text and graphics that support each other.
Use visual illustrations of your research - as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Readability is the key. Large font is necessary (so brevity is a must).
- Font: Sans Serif - aka: no fancy letters with designs on the ends of letters.
Your layout should help guide people in how to read your poster.
- Have a logical arrangement for how Americans read -- left to right, up to down.
Your poster is a large document, but it is composed of small bits of information . It is difficult to read a long line of text.
- Breakdown your text into small sections that are easy to visually scan.
Using Color in Your Poster
Use of colored background and colored text boxes
- Muted colors or grays are best for the background.
- Use more intense colors as borders or for emphasis - but don't overuse color, it is distracting
- Use of related background colors help to unify the poster
Planning it Out
Planning out your poster is a must.
- Explore other posters
- Make a sketch of your expected layout
- Arrange the contents in a series of 3 or 4 columns
- Plan the flow of information in a logical, easy to follow sequence
- Look critically at the layout. "Experts" suggest the following is a good balance.
- 20 - 25% text
- 40 - 45% graphics
- 30 - 40% empty space.
- Plan your photos, figures, and tables to help tell your story
- Design your poster to address one central question and state it clearly.
- Keep in mind the following about:
A Head Start
Head Starts for Poster Designs
Not sure how to begin or what colors to choose? Poster templates are available for free from a couple of different sources. Use those to get a head start on your design.
Notes about Title:
- Should be a BOLD typeface
- Not ALL CAPS
- Short - use only essential words - it is okay use humor to capture attention
- Use active voice when writing the text
- Use short sentences, simple words, and bullets to illustrate discrete points.
- Use left justification of text - not full justification
- Size of text -- it should be large enough to be read from 6 feet away
- Edit ruthlessly! There is almost always too much text in a poster
- Delete all redundant references & filler phrases
- A poster is not a manuscript - no extra details about methods or huge data tables. They are good dicussion topics for those stopping by, for a handout, or for a formal manuscript
The success of a poster is related to the clarity of its text, illustrations, and data.
- Graphics should be self-explanatory
- Text should supplement the graphic material
- Use empty space between poster elements to differentiate and accentuate these elements.
- Graphic materials should be visible easily from a minimum distance of 6 feet
- Restrained use of 2 - 3 colors for emphasis is valuable; overuse is not