01 May 2014

Critique: Irrigation and butterflies

Today’s contribution comes from Andrea Barden (click to enlarge):

She writes:

I used a green and blue orientated theme as to me it linked in with the theme of the topic (irrigation).

This is a good way to try to approach the colour scheme. It is always helpful to just think, “What colour do people associate with this topic?” While you might be tempted to try “something different,” the risk is that you will simply confuse people instead.

I might have tried to simplify the colour scheme a little more, perhaps by not using the photographic background. The varying colours in the background change the foreground colours in the boxes, making it look more complex than it is.

I’ve tried to separate out the most important/interesting points using the blue boxes with the blue butterflies. It’s sort of a case of “follow the blues” in a way!

I like this idea, but am not crazy about the execution. The butterflies look like decoration, not guides. To have the butterflies guide people to highlights, they need to be consistent, and each needs to be clearly associated with one thing.

But these butterflies are not consistent. The orientation of the butterfly changes. Some are next to text, and one are next to a graph.

And these butterflies are often straddling boxes or other elements; the second one from the left is particularly bad in that way. Is it emphasizing the “Diversity partitioning analysis” or “Additive partitioning”?

The biggest issue with this poster, I think, is simply the volume of information here. There are too many elements in the space, and it looks cramped. A very hard-nosed edit to focus on the most essential elements would probably help.

I do like how the references and contact information are placed in the bottom, perhaps because it is one of the few parts of the poster that is not overloaded.

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