Posters can be a perfect way of summarising information for an in-class presentation, science fair exhibit, fundraiser or other event. However, poorly constructed posters often detract from the information you are trying to communicate. Consider a few simple steps to help make your poster shine.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Determine what you want to communicate. This will depend mainly on your purpose for creating the poster board. For example, a science fair poster should accurately communicate the most important points of your research, experiment and conclusions. Pinpoint both your message and your audience and cater to their needs.
Take note of any specifics required for your poster. If this poster is part of a graded assignment, look at your directions to see what you must include to earn the maximum number of points. Posters for other purposes are likely to have guidelines as well.
Look at other posters to get an idea of what you like and don't like. Think back on any posters that have captured your attention in the past and note unique characteristics. Check the Internet for any pictures that may give you ideas.
Decide what type of poster you want to use. Some traditional styles include a plain, unfolded poster, boards that fold in half, and tri-fold poster boards. Think about which style will be the most effective for communicating your information.
Sketch what your board will look like. This should include a rough scale-drawing of your board and which pieces of information will go where. While creativity is important in putting together your board, do not deviate too far from the typical layout. Keep things ordered in left to right, top to bottom format, or use the panels of your board to create columns for your information.
Put information in a variety of forms. These may include written information, diagrams, or actual examples of the items you used. However, if you want to set up an experiment or other display in front of your board, you should leave blank space behind it so that it does not cover up any information.
Edit your information until you are left with the absolute bare minimum. Almost all posters are too crowded. Don't let yours fit the stereotype. If at all possible, limit your text to bullet points with very short introductions and conclusions. Remember, you don't have to put everything you want to communicate on your poster. You can give the rest orally or in printed handouts.
Incorporate plenty of colour into your board. Feel free to spray paint your board, use coloured matting, or include colourful diagrams. However, take caution to make sure that your poster does not overstimulate.
Print, cut, draw, paint, or use other methods of making your information tangible. Use large print, bold titles and font that can be clearly read from at least 6 feet away. Be sure to lay it out on top of the board to make sure you have enough space before adhering it to the poster.
Give your board plenty of time to dry. Carefully repair any problem areas.
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