05 September 2013

Critique: Protein binding

This week’s poster was originally shown at ISMB/ECCB by Stephen J. Bush, who was kind enough to give his permission to share it with you! Click to enlarge...

Without a doubt, the most eye-catching aspect of this design is that central circle, with a dig-eared rectangle overlain on the top, straddling the two columns. It’s just a couple of steps shy of drawing a bullseye in the middle of the poster. You can’t help but look at it. If anything on this poster warrants further consideration, it’s that figure.

The benefit of this circle / polygon combo is that it draws your eye in. The downside is that it is not clear where the image belongs in the overall narrative. Is it an example for the Introduction? Or maybe the Results? The corner of the polygon almost forms an arrow pointing down to the Results. This might be a cue for the reader, but it’s so subtle that it’s hard to tell if that was deliberate or not. The central circle could even be part of the Methods, although the position doesn’t suggest that as strongly as the other two.

The typesetting around the circle is good on the left side, but the the numbered list on the right of the circle creates a little tension between the curve of the circle and the right angle created by the list.

Everything else is crisp and there is not a lot to pick at. It might benefit from one more pass to see if there was anything else to cut, but the poster does not seem to have large amounts of fluff.

The moral of the story is: When you have an element of a poster so powerful that it dominates everything else, you need to make sure it is doing exactly what you want it to do.

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The eye loves the circle


Stephen J. Bush said...

Thanks for the critique!

You actually had it right about where the circle belongs -- it's a part of the results. In the actual figure, the figure in the circle is actually the sixth image in the group of five to its lower right (right where the text box is pointing). How would you recommend a less subtle approach?

Would you also recommend aligning the bullet points to the circle?

Annica said...

Yes it is not clear where the image belongs in the overall narrative. When your main concentration is on the element which is dominating everything else, then make sure the element great design which should be appealing and informative. You can check my designs at logo design brisbane