22 May 2014

Critique: Visualising sound

In my grad program, we had a grad school departmental seminar every year, where all students would give 15 minute talks on their research. The first year students often gave some of the best talks.

This wasn’t because students got worse as presenters as they went through the program; it was because the incoming students only had project proposals. That weren’t trying to cram everything into a short amount of time.

I am reminded of this because today’s contribution, from Benjamin Gorman, is also a proposal (click to enlarge).

This is an attractive, approachable poster. The first thing that pops out about it is the attractive and consistent colour palette. If you had said, “green and pink” to me, I don’t think I would have expected it to work as well as it does here. My concern, as usual for posters with coloured backgrounds, is how well it will read if it’s in a room with less than ideal lighting.

The use of large images throughout is also a factor in this poster’s attractiveness. They are simple, concrete, and easily recognizable. Again, this is an advantage of having a proposal: you don’t have graphs of data, which are almost always abstract.

While I normally rail against boxes, they work here, for a couple of reasons. There are not many of them. They are light, rather than dark.

Each row contains two columns within it. Normally, I would suggest that these be equally wide. But here, the size of the images, particular of the glasses in the middle, dictate the space the text flows in. Forcing the columns to be equally wide here would require squashing the images in the middle, and I think the result would be less interesting than it is here.

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