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- Text – less is more!
- Use graphics to tell the story when possible
- Use just a few sentences to describe the figures
- Large text – should be able to read it from a few feet away (~ 80 pts or larger for title, 36 or larger for headings, 24 or larger for text, 18 or larger for captions)
- Pick one or two fonts and use consistently
- a san serif font such as helvetica, arial, or calibri often used for title and headings
- serif fonts such as times new roman, cambria, georgia, or palatino often used for text
- don’t use comic sans.
- Use bolding, not all caps, for emphasis and use sparingly (once or twice on the poster, if at all). Italics should be saved for species names.
Design: Clean Background
- Large background images are usually distracting and not recommended
- The poster should have white space around all text and figures – it shouldn’t look crammed
Image credit: https://colinpurrington.com/tips/poster-design
- About 8% of men and 0.5% of women are color-blind. It's therefore critical to choose colors that will readable to your entire audience.
- Use color-blind friendly colors. Avoid certain combos such as green & red or blue & purple (see the chart below)
- You can use the following chart to help you pick color-blind friendly color combos. The left panel represents what most of the population sees. The two right panels represent what colors look like in two different forms of color-blindness.
- The blue boxes illustrate that color combos can look very different in color-blinded and non-color-blinded vision. For non-color-blinded vision, green and bluish green is almost indistinguishable but for a color-blinded person, red and green are similarly difficult to tell apart.
Image credit: http://jfly.iam.u-tokyo.ac.jp/color/#see
- Make sure everything is properly aligned and evenly spaced. PowerPoint and other graphics software packages such as Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape have alignment functions.
- Below is an example of a poster that has poor alignment. Aligning boxes, figures, and text boxes helps keep the reader focused on the science rather than distracting design.
How to align in PowerPoint:
- Select two or more objects
- Find the alignment tool under the Arrange Objects icon of the Home tab
- Choose which edges you want to align (i.e. top, bottom, left, right)