29 August 2019

Link round-up for August, 2019

Sigma Chi has compiled a few short pieces of advice for poster presentations. And by “presentation,” the point where you are talking to other people during the meeting. There is not much on poster design here.

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Today in the intersection of typography and psychology, an airline napkin that is much too easy to misread:

Delta Air napkin reading, "The world is better with you out in it."

“The world is better with you out in it.”

  • We parse text expecting to see common phrases. Who says, “you out in it”? Nobody. People says, “with you in it.”
  • We group things by proximity. The break between the second and third lines puts “with” close to “out” than the next word, “you.”

Both of which means that “with you out” is easy to misread as “without you.” Damn.

Move the “you” to the second line, or removed the word “out,” and I think it would be fine.

Hat tip to Natalie Walker and Drugmonkeyblog.

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In interesting new fonts, we have Gerry. It’s ugly.

Better Posters in Gerry font

But it’s ugly on purpose. Because it has a political point to make. Each letter is a map of an American congressional district, gerrymandered into a weird shape. The font is ugly because gerrymandering is ugly.

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I’m still collecting responses to Mike Morrison’s billboard poster style. These comments come from Neil Cohn. The integration of text and graphics is kind of Neil’s thing: he does research on comics.

What I find the worst about this #betterposters design is that it shows how poorly trained scientists are in visual communication skills that the "solution" is text alone, abandoning what should be an effective visual and multimodal medium.

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A short thread by Josh Martin on the billboard style:

YES: limit text, and focus on takeaway. BUT: Give me details we can talk about!

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Never let it be said that this blog shies away from controversy. Darren Dahly wrote:

Unpopular opinion: Posters are just a way to get you to pay to attend the conference. I know some people get something out of it, but its 2019 and if you are getting on an airplane to stand next to a poster for 1 hour...

That’s the start of a thread and discussion. Darren’s not just pissing on poster sessions, but pretty much academic conferences as a whole. He just picked posters to make the point.

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On a related note, an article about conference swag.

We could get rid of cheap swag altogether. What if you left your next conference or trade show without heaps of notepads, pens, and USB drives stuffed in a cheap tote bag, all of which will eventually end up in the trash?

Hat tip to Shaena Montanari and Kristina Killgrove.

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