Poster Toaster (1) | D.Day 2014 Lausanne

The idea is to review academic posters based on the way their content is organised and formatted in order to gain insights into strategies to keep or avoid when creating one.

I took photos of posters presented during a day-long conference for doctoral students of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at the University of Lausanne. Below is one of them.

(click to enlarge)
poster d day 1

Boxes boxes boxes

This student obviously likes to separate information into boxes. I do think boxes can be beneficial when used parsimoniously, to highlight a particular information for example. When used throughout a poster, however, they start to loose their effectiveness. In this case, the lines separating the boxes are so thin, and the text and figures are so close to them, that they are hardly do their “job”.

The classic “Too much text”

Although the text occupies only a minority of the poster area, it is made up of sentences and the font is small – information is therefore somewhat difficult to read.

Use of colour

I like that there is colour in this poster, but I does not appear to have a specific purpose. Indeed, it is used for the section numbers, the figures, the conclusion, it is in the logos near the title. Is it there to organise the flow of reading, highlight important information, or make figures more pleasing to the eye? Such inconsistent use of colour tends to be distracting.

Any thought?

1 thought on “Poster Toaster (1) | D.Day 2014 Lausanne

  1. Sam Hardman

    This poster seems quite cluttered to me, there is so much going on and I don’t know where to start! I also agree with you that there is too much text and a lot of it is too small, especially on the graphs. I do like the colurs though and the big pictures in the middle help to make it interesting. Making good posters is hard and I have made some myself that were full of the same mistakes.

    I recently discovered the Better Posters blog ( and I go here now for poster ideas and advice, the author will also give you feedback on your own poster if you ask on twitter!


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