04 February 2016

Critique: Gull movements

Today’s poster is courtesy of Christine Anderson. This was presented at last year’s World Seabird Conference. Spoiler alert: this poster contains seabirds. Click to enlarge!

Christine wrote that she was a blog reader, and posts like this and this inspired her.

Many things work on this poster. Neither the big, big title nor the picture of the gull can be missed. The picture being in a circle helps draw in the eye. The choice of colours, I think determined by the maps, is generally harmonious.

One of the unusual things about this poster is how it handles the author list. There are six authors, but the lead is quite a bit bigger than the others. I am guessing that Christine was the presenting author, and thus the only person at the poster during presentation time. This might have some advantages for the reader, as it allows you to identify who the presenter is quickly. On the other hand, having the presenting author’s name larger than those of the co-authors might be viewed as a downplaying of the contributions of the other authors. But then again, just the ordering of names does that.

This technique probably can’t work if the presenting author is not the first author. It would look dumb if the author list was:

Christine Anderson
Mark Mallory
Grant Gilchrist
Rob Ronconi
Chip Wesloh
Dan Clark

There are two things that might improve this poster.

First, almost everything could do with some more generous margins. The poster looks a little crowded. The Figure 1 legend looks like it’s just about set to bump into the latitude numbers on the neighbouring map.

Second, the recommendation for a little more spaciousness also applies to the text. The crowded feeling isn’t helped by the bullets. If you’re going to have bulleted lists, I like them set with hanging indents, like this:

I also added 6 points after each paragraph.

Christine wrote that the poster got a good reception, which I am always pleased to hear!

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Critique: Rein it in
Bullets versus sentences

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