Examples of good academic poster design

Do you have any good examples of academic poster design? Most posters look exactly the same (I don’t want to pick on anyone in particular), and from my experience at conferences, almost nobody reads them. There’s a good article on this here.

What I rarely see is:

  • Clean layout – everything is wrapped in boxes and coloured backgrounds
  • Nice typography – it’s rare that the text is legible from a foot or two back
  • Data that doesn’t look like it was copied straight out of Excel
  • Consistent use of colour

Can you share any examples of good design?


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Method 1

I can’t remember a single academic poster, from my ‘scientific years’, that was (at all) well designed. All I can think of are walls and walls full of text (usually in the same font), and me not reading even 10% of them. But to be honest, most teams wouldn’t have the budget for (or the tradition of) hiring designers to do them.

Posters usually need to cover a whole research project, and follow a certain constrained structure. They are mostly based on published work (or work that will be published soon), so they have to organise the information in a more or less standardised way (abstract/intro, problem, conclusion). I’m not sure about this, but I think most of them turn into publications sooner or later, so they are like a step in between.

I am curious about your question, though, I think it’s a really good one. Doing a quick search I realised the best ‘posters’ I’ve seen are infographics, so you can probably incorporate some of those principles to the boring old poster. I can’t really find any good examples from hard sciences, but this is how I would imagine a good poster could look like:

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Edit: Found two new ones (the first is the winner for me)!

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All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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