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Crucial to some and utterly useless to others, there are several who will miss it if they switch. In this article…. Can I ask how long the free trial lasts for? The setup makes the app feel like a halfway house between Photoshop and Illustrator at first, but after a while it grew on me. How much could you save in 1 year by choosing Affinity over Adobe? Vector graphics are made of individual paths and objects, composed of a variety of different shapes. Fonts are subsetted and included in PDF files by default.

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A good academic conference poster serves a dual purpose: it is both an effective networking tool and a means by which to articulately communicate your research. But many academics fail to produce a truly visually arresting conference poster and so opportunities to garner interest and make connections are lost.

Tullio Rossi offers guidance on how to produce an outstanding conference poster, considering the scripting, concept, design, and logistics.

Before we get started, I want you to think about three things that you know about scientific posters. Think hard now. I mean very terrible! Therefore, any ideas you might have about what a scientific poster should look like are probably, well…terrible. A poster is not a bottomless pit where you dump all of your data and technical lingo. Only carefully selected information and visuals should go into your poster. Do you really need eight of them when just one would do the trick?

Above all, a poster should be a networking tool. Seriously, after a long day of presentations, no one wants to read walls of text as the wine kicks in. What they want is for you to share the story of your research and engage in informal conversation about it. Repeat after me: a poster is a conversation starter. And the poster is not going to do the talking for you.

Second, a poster is a communication tool. A poster should use visuals to draw people in from a distance. Then, as people step closer and begin reading it, go ahead and give the background information necessary so that they can put your work into context, understand what you have done, why you have done it, and come to realise its broader impact.

Does this ring a bell? A concise and visual summary of your research. Its purpose is to be accessible and to drive attention to your research. As academics, we like to write using impossible words, passive tenses, and convoluted sentences. We believe this is the way it should be done and what makes us seem most intelligent.

The reality is, this is a selfish way of writing and does not take the reader into account. So please, break this vicious cycle of selfish scientific writing and design your poster with the reader in mind from the start. Before you consider opening PowerPoint, or any other design software, open Microsoft Word.

Any word processor will do, but make sure that it has the ability to track your word count and check your spelling. The latter is particularly important, as I learned the hard way by missing an award because of a typo!

Background 2. Methods keep this to the bare minimum or skip it if you can 4. Results 5. Conclusions 6. References and acknowledgements smaller at the bottom. Here is where the fun starts. Grab a piece of paper, or open up your design software, and make a first draft.

Use a limited number of colours, say three-to-five, and stick with them! Graphs included. My suggestion is that you have two or three shades of a primary colour of your choice, an accent colour that stands out, and a couple of text colours. In a colour scheme of this kind, you can use the accent colour to draw attention to where you want people to look. The important thing is that you use the accent colour in moderation. Let me show you what I mean. This is the effect you want to recreate on your own posters.

Feel free to steal these colour schemes, and in case you need some more inspiration, Material Palette is a free tool that creates colour palettes for you based on two colours of your choice. Oh, and one last thing. Remember when I said that a poster is a conversation starter? Practice walking people through your poster in about a minute, and then start a conversation with them.

Asking them what they work on is a good start. The secret to a good conversation is showing interest and listening. People love to talk about themselves and their research, so let them talk! This blog post originally appeared on the Animate Your Science blog and is reposted here with permission.

Animate Your Science is a communication agency that empowers researchers to change the world by communicating in an effective and accessible way with video animations and graphics. Please review our comments policy if you have any concerns on posting a comment below. He is the founder of Animate Your Science, a company whose objective is to help scientists to get their work noticed and make a positive impact on society through the creation of video and graphical abstracts that are engaging, understandable, and shareable on social media.

He is a rare breed: a marine biologist, graphic designer, and communicator all rolled into one. Tullio is Italian, but currently resides in Adelaide, South Australia. Great informative post on poster ideas. The tips are very useful definitely going to follow these tips on next poster design.

This is great! Do you mind if we take parts of this to share with conference attendees? Hi Desmond, this post originally appeared on the Animate your Science blog, so I would suggest contacting them for permissions.

Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Search for:. Blog Admin May 11th, How to design an award-winning conference poster 15 comments shares Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

Now erase those ideas from your memory. We need to start fresh. Let me show you. Target audience : ask yourself, who is my ideal audience for this poster? Is it other experts in your field, or perhaps the broader public? What is their level of understanding of the subject? This is an important question because if you put a bit of effort into making your poster understandable to the broader public, you automatically increase your potential audience and impact.

Also consider that a poster written in plain English works with both experts and non-experts alike, while technical and complicated writing greatly limits your potential audience. Bullet points : a poster should not look like a paper, therefore, bullet points are your friend. Bullet points on the other hand are a lot less frightening. There is a trend among some academics to slap a solid or-so word abstract right at the top of their posters.

Let me set the record straight. This has to stop. Your whole poster is a visual abstract, so it makes no sense whatsoever to put a solid block of text that no one is going to read at the top of your poster.

Use sections with headers : because we are writing with the reader in mind, we want to make the logical flow of the sections as easy as possible for the viewer to follow.

My advice is to have large, easy-to-read and numbered sections that cover the main pillars of the story, which typically are: 1. References and acknowledgements smaller at the bottom Fewer words : I know this is going to shock many of you, but you should keep your word count under in total. The harsh reality is that if your poster is wordy, people will ignore it.

Less is definitely more. Unfortunately, I have a bad news for you: you need to leave most of them out. You need to carefully select only the very essentials. One or two graphs is better than three or four, and certainly better than eight or nine! When selecting the graphs to display, also ask yourself who your audience is. This is important because if you are using your poster as an outreach tool for the general public, then there is no point in including complicated graphs that no one is going to understand.

However, things are different if you are showing your poster exclusively to an audience of experts. Step 2 — Concept Here is where the fun starts. Layout and size : vertical or horizontal? A0 x mm or Panels : how do we read; left to right or right to left? Top-down or bottom-up? Start with an enlarged and readable title right at the top, then create a simple layout of panels that make it easy for the viewer to navigate. Leave space at the edges : notice the grey space in the images above?

Step 3 — Design Negative space : for some strange reason, many academics feel the need to cover every inch of their poster with text or images.


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