Posters chock-full of charts
December 9, 2013 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I need to design a poster for my research project, and the majority of the content will likely be in the form of simple charts / diagrams / conceptual maps. I'm looking for examples of well-design posters that have multiple charts (ideally 2x2s).

Most of the charts will be 2x2s, and there will be at least 15, but no more than 25, figures in all. The poster size can be fairly large and each chart will be pretty simple (with not a lot of detailed info/data), so I'm not particularly worried about legibility, but I am fearful that I'll end up with an overly-busy and boring mess!

Could you help direct me to examples of well-designed posters that display many, many charts in an aesthetically pleasing, engaging, and organized way? Thanks!
posted by jus7brea7he to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Have you seen the better posters blog? It has a lot of good advice for designing science posters (which is I think what you're talking about? I have no idea if other fields do poster presentations at conferences)
posted by quaking fajita at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

How about Nicholas Felton's Annual Reports?
posted by bcwinters at 9:41 AM on December 9, 2013

Concentrate on simplicity. Try to strip back anything superfluous so you are really only presenting the most essential information. Go tonal rather than a hundred different colours. Interesting data is that which is communicated well. Let the data speak for itself. Think of it like telling a story; give me the facts but throw in a little light and dark along the way.

For inspiration, you might want to do a Google image search for the term 'infographic' to see the myriad of possibilities. I'll throw in the names of Josef Müller-Brockmann, Armin Hofmann, Paul Rand and Wim Crouwel for you to image search too. They are all classic designers who have a systematic approach underneath their work and it really shows in their end-product. They keep only what is necessary and ditch the decoration. Reduce, reduce, reduce! Feltron, as bcwinters points out, is a good modern example too.
posted by 0 answers at 9:48 AM on December 9, 2013

Like for comic books, it takes some practice to learn how to read research posters in the proper order, and it's easy for the writer to accidentally screw up the flow.

If you were standing in front of it explaining the project to someone, you'd start at the upper left and finish at the lower right, but there's some path that you'd follow to get there; it can be primarily horizontal rows, or primarily vertical columns. If you're careful, you can do a mix: I've had reasonable success with a horizontal introduction, 2-3 vertical columns describing different branches of the investigation, and a horizontal conclusion. My point is, make sure your poster isn't just a grid of boxes, but has dividers indicating which direction to go next.
posted by aimedwander at 1:19 PM on December 9, 2013

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