ELEMENTS OF A GREAT POSTER - L.E.S.S. is more!
If the text is legible, it can be interpreted. A common error is to use fonts that are too small to read from 6-10 feet away, which is the typical reading distance for a poster. Another common error is to use exotic fonts, such as Minstrel, which is difficult to read. Bookman, Helvetica, Geneva, and Times Roman are generally supported by most printers, and the "e's" and "a's" stay open and legible.
Arrange the elements of your poster to emphasize the main points. Capitalize important points within a sentence, such as " the role of the NF-kB proteins in APOPTOSIS". Adding colored text or a colored frame will also draw attention to essential elements of your poster. Think creatively, for example use white lettering on a blue background to add eye catching contrast to your poster.
Space is important in a poster. A busy, crowded poster eliminates the visual pauses needed to think about and process information. Additionally, the text should flow smoothly from one item to the next. Proper use of grammar, footnotes and references, and correct spelling are essential to the readability of your poster.
Studies show that you have an average of 11 seconds to attract and retain the attention of your audience. Make the decisive point (tag line) prominent and brief, and highlight your objective, processes and conclusions.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER - Materials, Layout, Assembly, Presentation.
Individual poster elements (photos, graphs, prints - no larger than 8x10) mounting board colored paper panels - approximately 1/4" larger than your poster elements adhesive, such as 3M Spraymount posit or sticky notes. Exacto knife or razor knife paper cutter ruler soft pencil and eraser.
Begin the layout of your poster with the most important message - the Tag Line- centered at the top, followed by the top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right corners. This way, your poster title, and your name (the tag lines) are seen during the first 11 seconds. The overall format of a good poster follows the way we assimilate information. Omit extraneous text and visual distractions, but draw attention to the important elements. Prior to assembling the poster, lay all of the panels out and lightly tack them to the poster board. Then, step back about 8 feet and look at your poster from the perspective of your viewers.
Allow 2 to 3 days to assemble all the parts and pieces of your poster, such as photos and color copies, and about 2 more days to cut all the boards, and physically assemble the poster. Most posters are assembled on two large mounting boards, seamed or hinged in the middle. Prior to spraying the panels with adhesive, you can attach them to the mounting board with Post-It notes so you can preview the finish work. Post-It notes also work well to mark the corner locations of your panels, so that when you spray them with adhesive, you can attach them in the right places on the mounting board.
Your poster should stand or sit at eye level, or approximately 66 inches from the floor to the center of the poster. Remember that presenting information in poster format is a visual experience. Look for creative ways to attract people to your poster. For example, one student whose poster was on the genetics of worms, stood by her poster handing out gummy worms to entice viewers. Another student used a laser pointer to lead viewers through his poster, while a third had an aquarium of tadpoles set-up next to his poster on frog neural processes. You should dress like a prince, not a frog and look your best. Be prepared to verbally share information about your project including concepts, collection of data, testing techniques, problems you may have encountered, and your conclusions. As with your poster, keep your answers simple and direct unless someone asks for more details. Refer to panels in your poster as you answer questions, move the view through the panels with hand gestures. Above all else, be enthusiastic and know your material.