Nature Preceedings has been a home for achiving conference posters. It is closing up and not taking new submissions. Existing ones will stay. For more, see Retraction Watch.
I love this article about comic lettering, focusing on Stan Sakai’s work in Usagi Yojimbo. I’m not sure how much of a lesson there is for posters, but I don’t care.
You know the difference between a serif and a sans serif. But can you tell your geometric sans serifs from your humanist sans serifs? Jenny Ambrose explains.
Some logos are so well designed, and so distinctive, they transcend language.
Kristina Killgrove (who was here last week) wrote on Twitter:
#PPA2012 / #AAPA2012 need to have "prettiest poster" contest. Not just 'cause I think I would win, but to show what good posters look like.
Before & After Magazine has a lot of helpful articles. This short freebie PDF remakes a business card, and ideas there are useful to posters, too. I particularly like the principle, “Colour attracts, black explains.” This related one of my “rules of two”: Limit yourself to two typefaces and two colours. Use a fancy type, printed in colour, for headings: headings attract people. Use a simple type, printed in black, for the main text: that’s there to explain to people.
Likewise, another post from their site has this gem:
No story, no design. No design, no story. I can’t underscore this enough. Without story, design is decorating. Arranging colors and shapes looking for something “cool.” ...
Only once you have the story will you have something to design.
Another great guideline is revealed by Chip Kidd in his TED talk. Kidd credits an instructor a Pennsylvania State University, Lanny Sommese.
Or type this:
But never show this:
I now think of this as “the Sommese rule.”
Wired magazine has started a design section. While their manifesto seems to focus on “real stuff,” which I take to mean physical objects, rather than paper and text things, there may well be lessons to learn for those making conference posters.
Rosie Redfield has a nice post on conference networking, including how to handle a poster presentation:
At your poster: Maybe you’re explaining your poster to someone, thankful that it’s attracted at least a bit of interest, when a second person walks up. Don’t ignore them until the first visitor walks away! Make eye contact, smile, say ‘Hi, I’m just explaining how we collected our data. If you can wait a minute I'll be able to talk about our goals.’ Then continue your conversation, but make it easy for the new person to join in or ask questions.
Finally, thanks to John Hawks for the plug! Every bit helps, because there is still much work to do.