Writing for Business and Industry




When you create a poster, remeber that posters have a focal point. Something on it grabs the reader's eye. What is it and where on the poster is it? As a designer, you must conciously know the answer to that question and considered in the design.


Poster readings


Create a poster


Complete the Posters quiz in Blackboard. The quiz is open book (the browser is not locked down), but you can only take it once. The quiz closes at 5:00pm on April 25.


Discussion questions

Week 1


The Poster Design Guide reading tells you to pick a thumbnail shape and consider the coherence of the content and your message. The other readings just say to use good layout. Obviously, the overall layout and coherence of content must match. How do you go about figuring out what to do? What pitfalls can cause trouble? Some of the example posters in the readings seem to have problems...how do those problem relate to coherence issues?

Note: the focus of this question is on how to create a poster with coherence and not on just evaluating the examples in the readings.

Weak answer: A good layout for poster design begins with determining what are the major points that need to be addressed. This allows the writer to create a hierarchy so that the most important information will not be left out due to space constraints. Once a hierarchy of informant points are made a designer can then determine how much space to allocate each point based on its hierarchy. This process helps ensure coherence and proper allocation of space.

Weak answer: Using known effective layout principles for posters, the templates can be adapted to fit the content you have and keep the overall effective layout design. I think this is what the other readings mean by simply using a good layout. There are many ways to arrive at a good layout. The best way begin and adapt your content to a good layout, starts with understanding good design principles and the reasons they exist.


How do you resolve the "eliminate all extraneous material" guideline? You have lots of stuff to say and very little space to say it, but all of it is important for the person to know. (Using handouts is not the answer; you need to say what you need to say on the poster.)

Week 2


All of the poster design guidelines say "be well organized." What does this mean in a practial sense (what are different flow patterns?) How do you know if your poster is well organized? No one creates a poster and thinks "This thing is so disorganized. Time to print it."


Studies show you have "only 11 seconds" to "grab and retain" your audience's attention. What do you think are the most important elements of poster design that enable you to "grab and retain" your audience's attention (especially within a poster session setting of hundreds of competing presenters and viewers with different levels of interest in your subject)? How do you know they are effective? What makes them effective/ineffective?


Thoughts to ponder

The advice in one reading says "Never, ever incorporate "web" graphics without extreme caution. Most web images have 72 dots per inch of resolution, but printing at that resolution looks absolutely terrible, and the figure will be a huge turn-off to prospective viewers. Printing requires at least 300 dots per inch. A printer wants closer to 2400 dots per inch.





comic I had to include a skunk picture someplace :-)


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