The Poster Roll

This is my version of a blogroll – a collection of links to some helpful resources and inspiration for designing thoughtful, neat, and eye-catching academic posters.

There has been interesting discourse on whether graphic design should be part of the skillset of academicians and researchers. It is not unlike wedding planning – you can certainly do everything on your own and pick up some nifty crafting or event organizing skills along the way. It will be time-consuming and stressful at times, but it will also be a lot of fun. Alternatively, you may want to leave everything in the hands of a professional wedding planner.

If you do go the DIY route, the list below should provide a somewhat decent ‘mood board’ from which to begin. Going down the list it does veer towards more complex visualizations and big data analytics; nevertheless it’s good to have an idea of what’s out there and the many possible ways of representing information on a conference poster.

Better Posters

A pioneering (already in it’s 10th year running!) and helpful blog on poster making by Dr. Zen Faulkes. Also accepts poster submissions for helpful critique.

Tips for Designing Better Research Posters

An informative one-pager by Natalia Rodriguez.

BMJ Infographics

Fair play to the BMJ for putting out infographics to accompany their articles; hopefully other major scientific journals will soon follow suit. Mostly work by Dr. Will Stahl-Timmins.

RAW Graphs

For relative D3 newbies this web-based app is all kinds of awesome. It is, in their own words, the “missing link between spreadsheet applications (e.g. Microsoft Excel) and vector graphics editors (e.g. Adobe Illustrator).”

The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards

Basically the Oscars of the dataviz world. They celebrate innovation hence a lot of the work featured is one-of-a-kind and rather ‘out-there’, but it’s good to set lofty standards.

Visualization Resources

A brilliantly curated list of plugins, web apps, tools and showcases by dataviz extraordinaire Nadieh Bremer.
I will not reproduce the entire list here so head over and enjoy!

Artistic Careers in Science

Not a resource per se, but if you’ve gotten this far you might want to check out this poster by the University of Utah School of Medicine featuring real-life career paths of people who merged both their art and science backgrounds to build flexible and undoubtly extremely fulfilling careers.