Document Design and Production








When you create a poster, remember 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 consciously know the answer to that question and considered in the design.

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. 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.


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


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 :-)



Design by Michael J. Albers Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
Send me an email.