01 September 2011

Critique: Plant real estate

This week, I have another favourite poster from the Ecological Society of America meeting. This poster is by Sara Kuebbing, who made it in PowerPoint. As always, click to enlarge.

The title is big, which made it easy for me to read at a glance while I was walking down the wide hallways of the poster exhibit in the Austin convention center.

Similarly, the plant pictures on the left make for a nice entry point.

The reading flow on the poster is very good. There is never any question of where to look next.

I like the complementary shades of green, which is always an obvious choice when showcasing plants. Alternating the colours in the title also added some visual interest. I was a little concerned that the green at the very top of the poster might have been a shade too dark if the lighting wasn’t as good as it was, but this poster was located in decent light.

With all the green, there may have been a bit of a missed opportunity to use an opposing colour. I might have used tom red for the key data points in the graphs pop. In the marked up version below, notice how the red of the comment boxes I added pops against the green.

The poster would benefit from a stronger sense of hierarchy in the test (discussed by Marcia Hoang last week). The headings, while well marked out by the green bars, look weak. The size of the headings is too small, and the regular poster text below the headings often looks more powerful than the headings, especially when bolded.

Clearly, Sara paid attention to the vertical alignment of each column. The overall effect would be strengthened if the column widths was more consistent. I would have suggested making every column either the same width, or a multiple of the width, of the column with the introduction.

Thanks to Sara for being generous enough to share this with me!

External links

Abstract to the poster

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