Jillian Deines went looking for inspiration for her posters the way most of us try to solve problems now. She searched on Google. Because Google customizes search results, my hits might not look exactly like hers, but this is what I got when I looked for “scientific posters” (click to enlarge):
Not exactly an inspiring collection. Then, up in the corner, it offers hope!A collection of related images on excellent scientific posters! I visiting those images, and...
Um. I can’t say these stand out as particularly stunning. At the least, most look far too dense.
The first image also offered me a chance to look at bad scientific posters. I went and looked at those, and...
Again, I don’t see a lot of differences in what’s on display in the excellent set of search results, the bad, and the generic.
The lesson here? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s that the difference between a good poster and a bad one is about the details, not the general layout. Maybe it’s that there are very few truly expertly designed posters, for reasons that I’ve discussed on the blog (scientists are amateurs at design, short time frame, and so on).
Edward Tufte on Data, Analysis, & Truth
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