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A Step By Step Guide
  • Define Your Audience
  • Distill Your Message
  • Consider Your Presentation Requirements
  • Using Backgrounds and Colour Effectively
  • Leaving Space
  • Creating Legible Text
  • Using Graphics for Impact
  • Using CorelDRAW 9
  • Video Tutorials
  • Have someone from your target audience evaluate your poster

  • Define Your Audience  

Effective communication starts with knowing who your audience is. At poster sessions there is intense competition for audience attention. In their first 3 seconds your audience will determine whether to stay and explore your content or leave. If they stay you have 30 seconds to secure their attention by conveying an overall understanding of your subject matter.

  • Distill Your Message  

Considering the fact that your audience has only a limited time to view your poster,if there was one thing you could say on the poster,what would it be? Select a statement,photograph or diagram that is sure to attract your audience ’s attention.This is your 3 second hit.Your focus item should be enlarged so that it will occupy at least 30%of the area of the finished poster.Remember that your audience will not approach you if it is not clear what your topic or theme is from a “safe distance” of 10 feet (3 meters).

  • Consider Your Presentation Requirements

Determine the size of the space provided for you at the conference you are attending. Find out if the conference has any regulations regarding minimum font and graphics sizes.

  • Organize Your Information

Divide your information into main sections,for example:

Title -concise name of poster,contributors, organization
Introduction -statement giving quick overview of poster
Problem -statement of the problem
Method -brief description of the processes and procedures
Results -outcomes,findings,data
Conclusion -summary,discussion of significance of results,a few easily remembered key conclusions

Take each of these sections and summarize its contents into 3 categories:

Heading -title the audience will see first
Statement -one sentence relating to the heading, the audience will read this definition and should have and understanding of this particular section
Support Material -if the definition has sparked their interest,they will move on to this section which should include documentation and illustrations

  • Using Backgrounds and Colour Effectively  

• Colours and backgrounds should be subtle. Colour should highlight,separate,define and associate information,if it begins to compete with your information for attention then it is too strong.

• Colours may look different on your screen than they will in your print.If you are concerned about colour consistency you can consult a Pantone book (found at most printers)to pick your colour.

• Some of your audience may be colour blind so make sure contrasts are high between bars of graphs, lines on charts and backgrounds and text.The most common form of colour blindness effects red and green.

  • Effective Use of Colours

Title Bar Colour:navy blue;forest green;olive green; burgundy;rust;plum (Your colour should be dark enough to use white or cream as your main title text colour.)


Background Colour:solid cream or beige;pale version of title bar colour;any of the previous fading to white; white (Background colours should always be light enough to use black for your main text.)

Highlight boxes and Graph backgrounds:pale version of title bar colour;white;light cream or beige

Avoid:dark colours if you are laminating;a rainbow effect by using too many colours;using holiday colours;extensive use of watermarks or busy patterns as backgrounds

  • Leaving Space  

• effective posters are spacious and easy to follow

• adequate clear space will direct attention to key elements

• remember the eye looks for edges,so align photographs,headings,text materials and axes in groups of graphs

• A column of text should be between 12 inches (30.5 cm)and 16 inches (40.5 cm)wide. A 36 x 48 inch (91.44 x 121.92 cm)poster with a portrait orientation uses two columns. The same size poster with a landscape orientation requires 3 columns. Leave at least 1 inch (3 cm)between columns.

• leave a minimum of 1.5 inches (4 cm)of clear space around the inside edge of your poster as no plotter prints right to the edge of the paper

• plotter paper comes in rolls,common sizes are 36 inches (91.44 cm)and 52 inches (132.08 cm)wide, find out what size your printer uses and design your poster to fit

Click here for more info

  • Creating LegibleText

• information should flow from left to right and from top to bottom

• columns allow readers who may be unfamiliar with your subject matter and method of research to easily follow the direction of your information

• your main title should be large, 90-150 point bold and readable at a distance of 10 feet

• text and titles written entirely in capitals are harder to read
 SAMPLE :: Sample

• body text should be 30-32 point,sans serif fonts are recommended

30 point font size will accommodate 250 words per square foot

• for ease of reading nothing beats black text on a light background

Avoid:extremely long titles;font sizes bellow 24 point;excessive use of different fonts;ornate fonts which may be difficult to read;single words highlighted within the text

  • Using Graphics for Impact

• aim for 40%graphic content,try to find ways to show visually what was done

• no photo,graphic or chart should be smaller than 5 x 7 inches (13 x 15 cm)

• graphics should be attractive,clear and specific

• crop and enlarge photographs to eliminate unnecessary information and focus attention on significant details

• viewers see what they are told to see in an image, so provide captions for your graphics

• when scanning materials for a poster,300 dpi (dots per inch)is sufficient for 5 x 7 inch photographs, 675 dpi for slides

Avoid:images from the world wide web,when printed large they often look soft and have large pixels

**More Tips Click Here


Alex will demonstrate the use of effects in CorelDRAW 9:
• Setting up page size.
• Copy and Paste text from other programs (word, webpage, excel...)
• Creating a paragraph text
• Outlining text
• Creating boxed tile and sub titles
• Using interactive transparency
• Gradient fill as background
• Image watermark for background download this for your exercise.
• Importing logos (UoG and Soe) webpage

  Have someone from your target audience evaluate your poster.

Click here to download PDF.