Third in a Three-Part Series on Common Poster Mistakes
Mira’s Production Specialist, Darren Barnes, explains how to avoid the three most common poster mistakes. In the previous two posts, Barnes walks us through how to ensure proper image resolution and format compatibility. This post discusses the use of design basics to avoid the third most common mistake, which Barnes ominously calls “the wall of text.”
You’ve seen these posters before, and might have even made one yourself: A title at the top, nothing but text all the way down to the bottom. “I’m not a designer,” says Barnes, “but nobody’s going to read that.” Don’t put your entire abstract on your poster, Barnes says. “It just creates a big wall of text.” Conference attendees will have plenty of opportunities to read your abstract if they are interested. Make them interested with an enticing poster that concisely notes the highlights of the work you’re presenting.
You absolutely don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a great-looking poster that grabs attention. You simply have to follow a few basic rules of good design. Posters with impact use images, graphics and white space effectively; have legible text in a clean font; and are balanced in their layout. The text reflects the highlights of the presenter’s work, but just enough to make the viewer want to know more.
The University of Liverpool Computing Services has written a brief paper on how to design a poster with impact. It explains the basic elements of good poster composition, and is applicable across all fields of work.
Here’s a recap of Barnes’s advice how to avoid The Big Three:
- image resolution – be sure your images are at least 300 dpi
- print compatibility – convert your poster to a pdf, use standard fonts and preview it before sending
- balanced design – your poster is an advertisement for your work, not a wall of text
Put this advice into action on your next poster, and if you run into questions, you can call Mira Smart Conferencing at (866) 341-9590 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm CST.