15 March 2012

Critique: Scattering

Today’s poster comes from Chris Bennett Milojevich. This poster was created for ACS (which is the American Chemical Society, I think), and is shown here with his permission. Click to enlarge the original:

Nobody will be confused by the solid design of the poster. The three column layout is easy to follow. The black text on white backgrounds is easy to read, although it may be a hair on the small side.

The poster is readable, but can we make it more beautiful?

There are two major things I would like to change on this poster.

In the lower left, the references and acknowledgements are out of all proportion to their interest. Those are “fine print” sections that few readers care about, yet they take up almost a quarter of the entire poster! The huge amount of white space in the references gives the game away. The designer committed to three roughly equal boxes in the column for no pressing reason, and is left with space to fill.

I would like to see both the references and acknowledgements reduced to about half what they are now. They should all be able to fit into the box that golds just the acknowledgements. That way, the conclusions – which are the much more important “take home messages” of the poster – could be made bigger and so-in-your-face-that-you-can’t-miss-it.

Then, there’s those logo bookends. They are painful to look at right now. While the rest of the poster uses gently rounded boxes, the logos sit in hard white boxes that don’t blend at all with the rest of the design. The angles are sharp, not rounded. The logos don’t line up with the title or the other text boxes. And it’s compounded because they’re placed on the poster twice.

I suspect these are pasted *.jpg images. The white background needs to be removed from these logos, and then the file format needs to be converted to *.gif or *.png (which I described here). The result should look more like this.

I played around a little with some of the other minor nits I had for this revision. Besides tweaking the logos, I moved the text down a bit within their boxes, and removed some underlining. I couldn’t do much about the huge footprint of the lower right sections with the image I was working with.

Related posts

The epic logo post
I’m looking through you

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