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Scientific Posters


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I have got to produce 2 scientific posters, 1 for a course at uni im doing, and another at the BPS winter meeting (based on research i did during my summer, in between years 1 + 2)


i am struggerling to design my posters, and what to put in them,


How much detail do i need to go into?


colour schemes/poster design etc


How many diagrams should i include?


Thanks in advance

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  • 2 weeks later...

Generally a clean poster without too many colours tend to be less distracting and more informative. The details depend a lot on what you want to focus on, but put only those in that are really needed to convey your point. E.g. for technical presentations you may add methodical details but only present the data that are directly relevant for the data (instead of all optimization steps), otherwise focus on the results only and only flesh out technical detail when absolutely necessary or convey them verbally at the poster presentation.


Diagrams are good if they are easily read and informative. It is annoying to have to read through dozen of legends only to find that the information could have been a single sentence within the poster. But generally diagrams are preferably over large text bodies.


Keep the poster simple to read and do not toss the elements too much around.

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Presuming that the posters have to represent something in some degree of detail to convey a basic understanding of a topic or demonstrate the scope of it, I'd go for a kind of "fractal" approach. What I mean by that is, have something that's eyecatching and legible from across the room, large heading, maybe large central diagram. Then have elements that are eyecatching and legible from say 10ft away, interesting sub headings to pull the reader in, then have "half page" or single paragraph details under each subheading that are readable from 2-3 feet away. I guess I might aim for the style/layout of "Dummies" books for those.


You can use your central large diagram as a kind of model that the subheadings label. Or you create the diagram to model what the subheadings refer to.


Anyway, all I'm trying to say is to make it appealing at a range of viewing distances and try to suck people in towards it.


Don't have large blocks of copy, and try to have a non-sequential format, such that people can stand at the right of it, and gain something from the text on that side, without having to "start at the beginning" and go through everything in sequence. You kind of want freestanding "nuggets" of information that people can read/absorb in 30 seconds.


That's just my opinion really, good luck,



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