Neuroscience Blog

Brain - Neuroscience Research Team.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Neuroscience Poster Design

Posted by brain - research neuroscience group

A neuroscience poster is not a page from a scientific journal.

Below are some good examples of a poster. They are aligned to the right side of the page. Posters aligned to the left side of the page (also they have an orange, oblique text in the right upper corner) are bad examples of a poster!!!
design: team & neuroscience blog team


A poster is made to present your work in a crowed room, with people with a coffe
in one hand, talking already to a colleague.

I'll not discuss here about the text editing, or how to be concise when saying something in a scientific poster. In a discussion with a neuroscientist a few days ago (and also a year ago), this topic was debated. He said to me that a poster must be simple, with a few colors, titles highlighted by blue (or other color) border. Images & text must be separated and this two components must have separate areas in the poster. Doesn't look to you as an old, dusty highschool uniforme? I'll name this "the old and dusty school poster".
I said to him that i disagree because the images and the text must form a "solid" body, and the appearance of the poster must be visualisated as a whole. Also, it must be interesting, it has to borrow something from the media prints. This happens because it must be seen by the audience, before reading the text. Also, it must be attractive: a beatiful & interesting poster + an interesting research = full succes. "The old and dusty school poster" may contain an interesting work, but after seeing 50 or 150 poster in the same graphical manner will forget it if you aren't very interested in the subject. A good poster, an interested public, a nice reserch work = they will remember it!!! and because of the poster appereance (a nice and interesting one) the discussion about your research will have a better starting point. (of course, if you don't find a "mad dog" who just looooooooves the "the old and dusty school poster").

A good poster talks about your work and about you. A good layout means respect for the public. (imagine a masterpiece in music played by a very bored violonist or by a bad guitar player - how would you feel? think about the ticket you payed! this is the same with a boring design). A white background has no effect, a good and interesting background may talk about you work from 20 metres, a distance where no title or text or image can speak. If the images and the text are composing "a story" about your research, the public will remember "the story" easier than they will remember a text in a border or the image in the left corner. A smart graphical layout will make a good impression about your work and about you. A blue polygon
and a pale image will never have this effect. A research work, combined with a smart layout will stimulate other scientists to interact, a table-based design will be nothing more than a table-based design. A good design will talk about your creativity (you are a scientist, you create!) and a square text, a square table and a square image will say nothing about your open-mindness. You don't have drawing skills? Or you don't have any idea about how the poster should look like? Ask a designer, or a colleague, or a student to help you! In fact, you don't know how to make a suite, but you want to look good at the conference, so you buy it! What good for a nice suite if the poster looks boring.

Some critics may say that a "trendy" poster will distract the public's attention from the text or the idea. This is, in our oppinion, a great dissrespect for the poster viewers. We never believed that a graphyc element can distract so bad a researcher(is he a child?! is he suffering from a mental ilness?) !!!! But, because we alwais consider our audience at least as smart as us, a good looking poster will not have decorative ellements just to have it. A good poster has
decorative ellements that fit the idea of the research presented in the poster. They do not distract, they underline the idea! Some critics may say that the message will not be clear any more if the poster doesn't have the "the old and dusty school poster" look. Who said tha unattractive means clear?! Some critics may say that a simple design will enhance your work with more credibility, but who said that the lack of preocupation for the ideea you want to transmit means a good atitude. Flavourless means the lack of interest, not a scientific atitude!
Some critics may say that you are loosing the content for the look. But we think that the content determines the look. So, a good looking poster will not have less information than a boring one. It is very probable that in a boring poster you will find a boring research told by a bored researcher.

Our poster conception ideas:

The introduction, methods, results, conclusions, discussions, citations, acknowledgments, must be put in an easy to follow order. The main idea must be illustrated as a central point.
The background must have elements to enhance the main idea of the research work.
The separation of the areas must be done by graphical elements and gradients that sustain
the idea of the research. Borders have nothing to do with the idea of the poster, because all the areas in a poster are talking about the same research, so why borders? Images that sustain the research work or results must be highlighted not by using heavy contrast with the background, but by using the whole design of the poster, so all the ellements must be put in order to highlight this images. Monochromatic or bichromatic posters look cold, threechromatic are annoying. Gradients are beautiful!

You are telling about your work and about you! Make it alive, you scientist!

ps: fro those who still belive that "the old and dusty school poster" is good, look here! Two posters published by Nature Neuroscience Reviews (one of them design. Kirsten Lee, designer).

Neuroscience Bucharest Blog Team.


Anonymous said...

congratulations! great design! although i presented in the past some "bad posters" i agree with you that it's time for a new design in this area! :),gorgeous templates!!

Alex T Friedman

Anonymous said...

a poster session may become a real evevt with this thinking.Thanks for the ideas!

Ron Wilkerson

Anonymous said...

frate, voi chiar suinteti studenti?
daca da, atunci sunteti super tari! treaba cu designul e tare!Ionescu

Anonymous said...

" Exceptional!...Inteligenta,talent,creativitate,rigoare stiintifica,argumentare impecabila.Site-ul blog iti spulbera instantaneu pre-
judecatile,te determina sa-ti reconsideri informatiile,ideile,conceptiile si,mai ales,
preconceptiile.Te contamineaza de indata de limpezimea si stralucirea gandirii,
citesti mai intai din curiozitate si te trezesti "captiv" fie in zona informatiilor de ultima ora,fie in spectaculoasele imagini NEUROART - un concept de o complexitate si o
noutate extraordinare si care ,cu siguranta, va face cariera.
Autorii site-lui ,al caror parcurs stiintific este deja impresionant (vezi -site autors &Claudiu`s CV) au construit un spatiu in care forma
nu mai pune limite,dimpotriva, elibereaza si te provoaca.Textul,imaginea (linia,suprafata,culoarea),simetriile si asimetriile se contopesc intr-un design
modern cu valente estetice dinamice si subtile.
Remarcabila este si demonstratia referitoare la Neuroscience Poster Design
care propune ,intr-o logica admirabila si cu un fin spirit polemic, o noua conceptie,diferita de "the old and dusty school poster". Mitul sobrietatii excesive (intr-un mesaj stiintific) nu mai poate fi asimilat astazi decat cu o rigiditate formala,evident neinteresanta (cel putin!),anosta,mai degraba. "Povestea"(the story) nu numai ca nu impieteaza continutul stiintific, dar il poate amplifica,evidentia si transforma intr-o realitate care se construieste si reconstruieste pe masura ce este descoperita din alte si alte perspective.Imi
creeaza mie, receptorului,senzatia ca nu sunt un simplu "spectator",ca povestea ma poate "prinde" si ca, pe masura ce eu o decodez,aceasta dobandeste noi valente.
Sper ca "povestea" acestor doi tineri remarcabili, studenti la Medicina, sa schimbe ceva
in avalansa de manifestari stereotipe care marcheaza (paradoxal!) lumea in care
traim si sa consolideze ,prin contrapodere, modelul pe care ei il propun, cel al
"indraznelii"creatoare,al entuziasmului,al onestitatii,al lucrului bine facut si al inteligentei. Succes! (Full succes!)

new neuroscience group said...

Un comentariu fascinant si documentat! :)

A gorgeous and well informed comment! :)

UCSD said...

WOW. Your work is stunning. Came across your blog through a google image search. Love it.

brain - research neuroscience group said...

Thank you very much! I am so glad you appreciate my work! Thanks again and keep in touch!

Anonymous said...

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Sorry for offtopic

Edgar Guevara said...

Great combination of neuroscience and art!
Which software was employed for designing the posters?

Gayathri said...

Nice poster designs. A good poster have a quality and eye-catching design. And also tghe font used in posters are standard fonts. Keep blogging. Thanks for sharing.