1 Kelvin Smith Library Creating the engine to drive the world s most powerful learning environment. Making Great Posters for Research Applications July 2014 Ann Holstein, Kelvin Smith Library
2 Purpose Purpose of a Poster To communicate information and ideas To outline a piece of work in a form that is easily assimilated To stimulate interest and discussion
3 A Great Poster Is Readable Easy flow of ideas from one item to the next Avoid grammatical errors, complex or passive sentence structure, and misspellings which make a poster "hard to read"
4 A Great Poster Is Legible If a text is legible, it can be deciphered Common errors include: Use of fonts that are too small to be read from 4-6 feet away, the typical distance for reading a poster Poor text color selection
5 A Great Poster Is Well Organized Spatial organization makes the difference between reaching 95% rather than just 5% of your audience Time spent hunting for the next idea or piece of data is time taken away from thinking about the science
6 A Great Poster Is and Succinct Studies show that you have only 10 seconds to grab and retain your audience's attention Make the title prominent Keep the amount of text used throughout your poster to a minimum Do not attempt to include all the details!
7 Making a Poster 2 easy steps! Designing the Poster Elements Most posters are made using some kind of computer software We recommend using Microsoft PowerPoint Printing the Poster You can print your poster at KSL, we have large format printers in the Freedman Center Library staff will be available to assist you
8 Give Yourself Enough Time Time It takes time to make a great poster Allow yourself 2-3 days to design and create your poster Last bits of data you rush around to get at the last moment will go completely unnoticed if your poster is messy and disorganized
9 Getting Started
10 Getting Started Decide what the Main Message is Keep it short and sweet and make this your title! Your poster should cover the key points of your work Make your poster as self-explanatory as possible Do not attempt to include all the details!
11 Getting Started Capture your Audience Do not overwhelm the reader with text! Main points must come through clearly If a detailed explanation is required, prepare a handout of this information Include less text, and more graphs, charts and images
12 Getting Started Lay out your Images Crudely Before spending time making the final elements of the poster, take pieces of paper that are about the right size and see if you can actually make it all fit physically
13 Getting Started ELIMINATE all Extraneous Material The average poster gazer spends less than 10 minutes on your work You have 10 seconds to trap the viewer before they move on Only show data that adds to your central message When in doubt, edit out crowded cluttered posters are difficult and tiring to read
14 Getting Started What you DO Need Title Principal investigators name Other authors if applicable and affiliation of each Department and school name, addresses of school and other institutions Additional Items Abstract, introduction, materials & methods, results, discussion, conclusion, future directions, references, acknowledgements, logos
15 Poster Layout Arranging Poster Elements and Text People approach new information in a known spatial sequence: we track vertically from center to top to bottom, and horizontally from left to right
16 Poster Layout Arranging Poster Elements and Text Put the most important message in the center top position followed by the top left, and finish in the bottom right corner In the center top position should be the title and your name so they will be seen in the first 10 seconds that a person looks at the poster
17 Poster Layout Arranging Poster Elements and Text A poster layout in columns is most common. Arrange the contents into 3, 4, or 5 columns to facilitate the flow of traffic past the poster Organize the material into sections (Introduction, Methods, Data/Results, Conclusions, etc.) Use blank space to highlight or offset information
18 Poster Layout Space is Important Without space, your reader has no visual pauses to think Allow space between sections and around images Leave at least a 1/2 inch margin around all edges of your poster
19 Poster Layout Size is Important Size of poster elements or the fonts in each element can serve to emphasize the main points Making your subheadings in all capitals and two font sizes larger than the rest of the text on the same panel will draw the reader's eye first, and so be emphasized
20 Font Choice Font Choose a basic font whose "e's" and "a's" stay open at all sizes and that is supported by your printer Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and Tahoma are good choices Avoid use of multiple fonts which can be distracting
21 Font Choice Size Font sizes need to be big to be effective You should be able to easily read it from 4-6 feet away Test this by viewing a portion of your poster on your computer Zoom in to 100% 10 Step back from your monitor to see if you can still read it
22 Font Choice Size Recommended Minimum Font Sizes Title: 60 point bold Researchers and affiliations: 48 point Section headings: color of your choice, 30 point bold Text: black, 24 point Figure, graph and table captions: black, 20 point References and acknowledgements: black, 20 point Photo/image credit: black, 14 point
23 Formatting Format DO NOT use single spacing! Indents set text apart and are great for short lists Justify text Use bullets to illustrate discrete points
24 Images, Graphs, and Tables Images The same or more space on the poster should be taken up by images or graphs than by text A good rule of thumb is 30% text, 40% graphics 30% empty space Use of color in your graphics will enhance your poster Don t forget to include explanatory captions on your poster Figure 1. Feline DNA
25 Images, Graphs, and Tables Images Photos and drawings should be of sufficient size to be visible from a distance 4" x 5" photos are a good size Drawings are best if at least 8" x 10" Place related materials (e.g. photo with accompanying text) close together, then offset it by surrounding it with blank space
26 Images, Graphs, and Tables Images Your images should have a resolution of at least 300dpi (dots per inch) at the size they will be ultimately printed on your poster Save them as either JPEG (or JPG), or TIF files Avoid using BMP & GIF files In PowerPoint go to the Insert, then Picture, then find your image You can adjust both the size and position of your image in PowerPoint
27 Images, Graphs, and Tables Graphs When importing graphs from Excel or other software, copy the graph then go to the Home menu, Paste Special, as Picture (Enhanced Metafile) Avoid complex graphs and tables with excessive numbers Use colors to distinguish different data groups in graphs Avoid using fine patterns
28 Images, Graphs, and Tables Tables If you do use a table on your poster, it should be very compact Use a table only if it would support your story more efficiently than a graph
29 Add Color Color & Contrast Proper color contrast will reduce eye strain and make the poster more legible and interesting visually Be careful that the color does not outclass the visual impact of your data Too much contrast is hard on the eyes and can distract the reader from your data Use color for highlighting and to make your poster more attractive
30 Add Color Color & Contrast Do not go overboard with color Avoid patterns or motifs Dark background colors are ok, but KSL will charge an additional fee $5 48 or shorter $10 over 48 long
31 Save your Poster Saving Save the poster as a PowerPoint Presentation or Adobe.pdf only! Other save options (.gif,.jpg) will reduce the quality of your poster
32 Before You Print Final Check Have some people look over your poster before you print Research advisor Peers Friends & family If they are confused, it is far better to fix it now than to lose people at the poster session Pay particular attention to things that may not be necessary: eliminate everything that you can!
33 Before You Print Test Print Print your poster on regular letter paper to proof read it Go to the Print option. In the pop-up window, select the Scale to fit paper box, and set the paper size to letter (8.5x11in.) and landscape mode Do NOT change any of the other settings! After printing, you can tell that the font sizes are right if you can still read the text
34 Printing KSL If you decide to print your poster at KSL, you can either make an appointment or use the drop-off service (48-hr turnaround)
35 Printing Costs Poster printing costs at the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) for gloss or semi-gloss poster paper < 42 in length = $ in length = $ in length = $ in length = $60 You may be charged $70 or more if you print it elsewhere Check to see if your department is covering the printing cost
36 Printing Other Campus Printing Options Plain paper color poster printing: Student Activities and Leadership. poster.html High quality poster printing: Campus Printing Services. poster.html
37 Poster Session Brief Presentation You may wish to prepare a short presentation of about 3-5 minutes that you can periodically give to those assembled around your poster
38 Poster Session Have Fun! Good luck and have fun making your poster and showing it Displaying your finished work is a big accomplishment so take time to enjoy it and your interactions at the poster session Be on time and enthusiastic about showing your poster this is your chance to advertise yourself and your work!
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