Technical Editing & Production








Create a poster


Discussion questions


The Poster Design Guide reading tells you to pick a thumbnail shape and consider the coherence of the content and your message. All of the poster design guidelines say "be well organized." What does this mean in a practical sense? How do you know if your poster is well organized and coherent? 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 readers seem to have problems...how do those problem relate to coherence issues?

weak answer According to The Poster Design Guide, "constructing a coherent poster means that it’s easy for your audience to move from one topic discussed on your poster to another and to see the relationships between them." The guide then further explains that creating coherence must be accomplished "by carefully planning the arrangement of information by relying on what we know about how readers read." The guide goes on to suggest that posters should be designed so that information is read from left to right on the poster in much the same way as the reader would read information on a printed page. Initially, using a guide such as The Poster Design Guide provides a solid initial start to figure out how to lay out a poster design. There are many possible pitfalls if the layout isn’t clear or doesn’t logically support a progression of ideas. Posters whose information deviates from a left-right format may need additional cues so that viewers know where to look next. Also, too much information can be confusing (too much text or too many images). By keeping the poster’s focus on a handful of key topics, this can be avoided. Another possible issue is one that we have noted before regarding images: be careful about selecting images that convey the message you want and are not subject to other interpretations.


I've found poster design article that say to full justify the text on your poster while other articles say to use ragged right justification. Many of the samples are ragged right. How do you resolve the contridiction? What's the basic design issue you need to resolve to decide how to align the text?

Thoughts to ponder


In "How to Make a Great Poster" article, it points out that 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)?

Here's a picture of poster session from a conference I attended. Would it hold your attention? You can't really see the scope, but it had about 10 rows of these poster boards and filled about 2/3 of a Las Vegas hotel ball room. And no, the most visible poster is not a good idea....it's just a paper/PPT printed out and stuck on the board.




Advice on design scientific posters 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." What is the basic issue causing this problem? It also happens if you try to grab a web image and include it in a print document.






I had to include a skunk picture someplace :-)



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