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Poster Presentation

What is a Poster?
Posters are used in many situations to communicate ideas and information clearly
and effectively. They are used in exhibition type situations where there may be a
browsing or passing audience who wish to get ideas at a glance and may then seek
more details they are used in seminar!type situations where a single large display
may be preferred to a set of slides as it shows a whole picture of how elements
inter!relate and they are used in conferences as a way of informing people about
developments and things in process.
"n professional practice Posters are important forms of communication which have
clear characteristics and features and should be chosen when they are the
appropriate mode of communication for the situation and for the ideas#information
being communicated.
$haracteristics and features
Posters are usually %& format or bigger. They are usually presented on a board or on
a wall and are intended to be read from some distance ' whether by a browsing
passing audience or in a small group situation. This means usually that you should
ensure that text and images are clearly legible (not simply visible) from *.+ metres
away (given normal eyesight).
Posters are primarily a form of visual communication that is usually self!contained or
intended to be accompanied by spoken explanation or detail. They incorporate visual
elements as well as text ' representational images schematic diagrams and graphic
elements such as lines boxes bullet points that structure and arrange the
information.
,isual $ommunication- comments and guidance
.ayout is extremely important ' the first thing people see is the overall image of the
poster ' if it is noisy and busy it is less likely to work as a communication than if it
is clean and open. The overall visual impression should be inviting and act to draw
people in to read further.
/egularity is an important element of layout ' to the point of designing the poster
using a grid structure to hold columns of text and images ensuring that images are
the same si0e or proportionally larger or smaller and that column widths are the
same.
.ines boxes and other graphic devices can be used to organise the visual
experience of the poster ' they can separate areas of text or link images together '
they can work almost decoratively to give the poster visual pattern and balance. 1ut
they must be used carefully and with critical reflection as they can become intrusive
and create unwanted noise disrupting the communication.
.ayout in the end has to reflect and be drawn from content ' the structure of
information and ideas informs how the Poster is organised.
2tandard paper formats (%+ %3 %& %* %4) etc have a proportion which pleases the
eye (known as the golden mean or the golden rectangle). We usually think of
posters being in portrait mode (long side vertical) rather than landscape mode (short
side vertical) but this is not a fixed rule. Paper si0e and format should be decided by
content and layout not the other way around. 2ometimes a poster that is an unusual
si0e or shape (rotation?) of paper will work well as it stands out from the ordinary but
again weird shapes may become noise. Take note that there may be constraints of
si0e to consider in a particular venue or situation and issues about attaching the
Poster to a board or surface if it is out of the ordinary.
"f you do reframe the standard paper si0es then take care with finishing cut edges
and with ensuring things run true (straight even angles at corners). 5neveness and
irregular#unfinished edges rarely work well.
Typography
%s a rule you should use no more than two fonts or typefaces ' one for headers and
another for body text. %nd those two fonts should work well together. 6or posters
sans serif fonts work well for body text as they are easily legible. 7ou should keep a
limit on the number of variations of si0e and style in the fonts you use and use them
consistently throughout the parts of the text. This means that section headings are all
the same si0e (they become a sign for section heading) that body text is all the same
(it signs body text). This makes it easier for the reader to use the Poster and take
aboard the ideas.
%s a general rule you should be restrained in your use of typography ' avoiding
effects (like drop shadows text!on!a!curve metallic surfaces) and using type to
promote the communication of ideas rather than drawing attention to itself.
$olour
2imilarly colour should be used with care ' the poster should be visually pleasing
and attractive ' it should stand out but need not work too hard at being eye
catching it should not visually shout to get attention to stand out among others.
The over!riding concern is legibility and getting people to view the poster read the
texts and consider the images. $larity and simplicity works better than noise.
5se colour to organise the layout ' and use it consistently.
"mages
/epresentational images and schematic diagrams often communicate ideas much
better than words. Poorly used images can make a poster seem very busy. %nd poor
images (small bitmaps printed overlarge or large images scaled down significantly)
should be avoided.
2ome images may be used for a graphic effect as a background or as a bullet point!
type motif. "t is important to process those images so they communicate what they
are ' ad8usting brightness and contrast to push them back for example.
"mages used for illustration must always be titled and should be placed immediately
next to the text that refers to them ' do not expect viewers to stay with a Poster that
re9uires them to work hard at making sense of the contents.
"mages should be laid out with care and kept in proportion ' if there are several
images of about the same si0e make them the same si0e.
Text
The text has to read well. "t should have a variety of sentence lengths and
complexity. %nd short paragraphs are preferable as people can keep a track of
where they are reading. 6or the same reason columns of text should rarely be more
than two alphabets (+*) letters wide. Wider than that it is difficult for the eye to move
to the next line with confidence.
2pelling has to be accurate. :xpression should be concise and clear. Text has to be
used economically but not to the point of notes. 1ecause notes dont seem
complete. %nd the ideas may not get across. The point may be missed or
misunderstood if only the keypoints are stated.
5se bulletpoints or other graphic devices to mark out key ideas but avoid simply
having lists of things.
;eadings ' a main title and section headings ' help organise the text both
conceptually and in visual communication terms. 7ou should think about the way
people will read the poster taking in Title then section headings then body text as
they are drawn in to the poster. This is a structure that offers increasingly detailed
information and rewards the act of reading.
<esign and /ealisation
The finish of a Poster is important because it is part of the initial impression it
creates.
Printouts from good 9uality digital printers (ink8et or laser) have become the standard.
This means that the design and realisation of the poster is built around software
packages and what can be done using them. The resolution of the printer the
resolution of source image files and the si0e of the re9uired poster are important
considerations in terms of image clarity and finish.
Word processor applications are often sufficient for most posters. They offer tools for
page layout and font use and for the incorporation of images which are powerful
enough for most tasks. Text boxes can de used to locate headers on the page and
grids columns and guides offer control of position on the page. The printing control
software will usually scale fonts properly avoiding the aliased and stepped artefacts
of bitmap text that has been enlarged.
2tructured draw software packages like 6reehand "llustrator $orel <raw offer more
features and more control of layout and text. They re9uire a range of experience and
skills in using the software to get the best results.
"mages need to be processed in bitmap image manipulation software like Photoshop
or Paint2hop Pro before they are incorporated into the Poster. "t is usually not
advisable to use this sort of software to create the Poster. There are number of
issues about print 9uality printer resolution and image resolution file si0e and speed
of operation that come into play when working with files intended for printing above
%3 si0e. Type is often unsatisfactory because of aliasing and anti!aliasing artefacts.
over!wide columns of text that are difficult to read easily because when you get to the end it is difficult to remember the point and it
is difficult to work out which line you were on when your eyes scan back to the left hand edge a result of over!wide columns of text
that are difficult to read easily because when you get to the end it is difficult to remember the point and it is difficult to work out which
line you were on when your eyes scan back to the left hand edge because of over!wide columns of text that are difficult to read
easily because when you get to the end it is difficult to remember the point and it is difficult to work out which line you were on when
your eyes scan back to the left hand edge
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purely decorative bits and pieces that serve no function
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DIFFERENT TYPEFACES LOTS OF
DIFFERENT TYPEFACES LOTS OF
DIFFERENT TYPEFACES LOTS OF DIFFERENT
TYPEFACES LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPEFACES
LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPEFACES LOTS OF
DIFFERENT TYPEFACES LOTS OF DIFFERENT
TYPEFACES LOTS OF DIFFERENT
Things to avoid in design