With a poster, you are communicating to your audience what the project/problem is, what you or your team has done to solve or address the problem, and your or the team's accomplishments (problem, methodology, findings/conclusion). The poster is intended to be used as a quick and easy way for judges and visitors to visually grasp what the project is about and the work you or the team has done to address or define the problem or opportunity.
It should be easy to point out certain sections of the poster and explain the information on them in more detail. Think of them as a power point slide for a quick presentation. You only need to put the essential information in a concise form and be able to verbally explain the details. A poster is not an essay, so paragraph-style content should be avoided. Instead bullet points, tables, graphs, charts, and images should be used to convey your message. Simple, one-sentence messages and bullet-point lists are appropriate for communicating important information to support the illustrative elements of the poster. Think about how to minimize the amount of text and still be effective in presenting your work visually. Usually the simplest posters are the most effective ones, if prepared carefully. The content needs to flow logically and be easy enough to absorb, even if the viewer is not too familiar with the topic.
10 Poster Design Tips
- Include a prominent header containing your team's or product/service name in a large, easy to read font across the top of your poster.
- Use large font size throughout the poster with headings and titles larger that other text so that it can be read from far away.
- Be concise and simple in your writing by using bullet-point lists instead of paragraph-style text and/or statements.
- Be selective with the poster's content - include only the most important and relevant information about the project.
- Organize and present information in a logical way that is easy to follow (problem, methodology, findings, conclusions).
- Make sure there is enough contrast between the background and font color; use either dark font against a light background OR light font against a dark background (recommended).
- Include simple and understandable visuals such as graphs/charts/tables, and use captions/labels for all visuals, including images.
- Use high-resolution images and make sure to view the document at its actual size to ensure that the images will not be blurry when the poster is printed.
- Check for typos/abbreviations by having several reviewers look over your poster (advisors, professionals, friends who have not worked on the poster).
- Avoid using team member pictures to fill up space.
Most importantly, remember to employ the less is more philosophy.