01 September 2016

Critique: Neutrino topology

Physics is not the best represented academic field on this blog, so I was pleased to get this submission from Paola Ferrario, who was kind enough to share this with readers of the blog. Click to enlarge!

I like many things about this poster.
  • The typography is clean.
  • The big central circle attracts the eye and breaks up the monotony of rectangles.
  • There aren’t a huge number of words.
  • The margins between all the elements are comfortable.
  • There are pictures of real objects.
  • Logos are mostly kept down in the inf print section.
  • There is a good use of bright colours to highlight headings.
I have one major problem. I know where to start reading the poster. I know where I should end up when I finish reading the poster. What I am supposed to do between those two points is completely baffling to me.

The text in that big central circle is particularly baffling. That it is set against a different shape and colour provides a visual cue that suggests it isn’t part of the main text. It looks like a “callout” that you are either supposed to read first, or that might be an aside that you can dispense with altogether.

One way that might improve the reader’s plight without restructuring the entire poster is to be explicit about what order the sections are supposed to go in. Here, I’ve added some numbered bullets to sit next to each heading. I used the eyedropper tool to match the colour. I was not sure what the typeface on the poster is, so I used sans serif numbers from Erler Dingbats

Adding the numbers the quick way I did means the headings are not centered correctly. And this may not be the exact order Paola intended, but those concerns are easily fixed if you have the original file to tinker with.

1 comment:

Paola said...

Thanks for the comments! You guessed the right order :-). The central circle is thought to be read after the first three texts, but at the same time is also the key point of the whole poster, so one could also simply read it as first thing and then read the other texts to understand the implementation of this key idea. I'll keep your suggestion in mind for the next poster!