The power of the poster Terry O’Sullivan 28th March 2012
Overview • what is a poster? • design decisions • poster sessions • lessons from advertising research • the P factor
What is a poster? • Wittich and Schuller (1973) define a poster as a ‘visual combination of bold design, colour and message intended to catch and hold the attention of the passer-by long enough to implant or reinforce a significant idea in his or her mind’ (cited in Hand, 2010, p. 56)
a visual aid a focus for a discussion and feedback a networking opportunity an interaction occasion viewer - content viewer - you a foot in the door a rehearsal an overview of your project ‘selected highlights’ a form of self promotion a fashion statement Posters can be…
Design decisions • one piece design or an assemblage of pages? • what are the guidelines? • what do you want it to do? • looking good counts: • ‘It is clear that the perceived scientific merit and originality of posters correlates with visual appeal.’ (Goodhand, et al., 2011) • lots of templates on the web. Powerpoint or Publisher? • landscape or portrait?
Posters are an interactive medium • audiences interact with the poster, but more importantly with you • do you have an ‘elevator pitch’? • see http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/ • can you prepare answers in advance to questions which the poster might spark? • do you have handouts? • do you have freebies?
Do’s Clear branding and ‘new!’ information Short headlines and a product shot Minimise clutter Logo in upper half Photographs (but be careful with people) Blue dominant colour Don’ts Too much text Confusing pictures Humour Images of women Price information Red dominant colour Lessons from Outdoor Advertising (van Meurs and Aristoff, 2009)
Conclusions • Be clear what you want the poster to do • Allow plenty of time for planning and production • Make it look good • Put yourself in the picture
References • Goodhand, J.R., Giles, C.L., Wahed, M., Irving, P.M., and Rampton, D.S. (2011) ‘Poster presentations at medical conferences: an effective way of disseminating research?’, Clinical Medicine, 11 (2), pp. 138 – 41 • Hand, H. (2010) ‘Reflections on preparing a poster for an RCN conference’, Nurse Researcher, 17 (2), pp. 52 – 59. • van Meurs, L. & Aristoff, M. (2009) ‘Split-Second Recognition: What Makes Outdoor Advertising Work?’, Journal of Advertising Research, 49 (1), March, pp. 82 - 91