How to really screw up a Research Poster

Really bad research poster

Not So Good Poster

Do it right and your research poster speaks well of you and the research you have done. Do it badly, and it’s like having a stain on your tie. Here’s some things to avoid:

1. Print a bunch of 8-1/2 x 11 sheets and tack them to a board like the poster at the right. This went out 10 years ago and tells people you didn’t consider it important enough to present a professional poster.2. Cram a ton of small type on the poster. Who’s going to read all that stuff, if they can read it at all?3. Using very low resolution pictures. Look at your poster at 100%. If you see big squares of color, your poster will look like that too.4. Put black type in a blue or other dark colored box- it will be hard to read.5. Try to be artsy by putting a picture in the background. It will be hard to see what it is anyway, and it makes your poster too busy.6. Put shadows on the text. Especially on smaller text, it will be very hard to read.7. Go from Mac to PC, back and forth. PowerPoint does not transfer very faithfully between platforms, especially if you use a type font like Monaco that’s only on the Mac. Things will move around!8. Crowd the edges. Good graphic design says you should leave space around things.9. Make it too small or too big. Posters should be 3×4 feet at least, but no so big that they hang off the edge of the board.10. Copy your institution’s logo off the Internet- it will be low resolution and look terrible. That’s my quick list, but people invent new ways to mess up every day! You can always call us for a quick consult about your research poster and we’ll help you get it right


About Jay Buckley

Large-format Printer
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