Tag Archives: large format

Conference poster full of tips for creating conference posters

In case you need a quick guide to making a conference poster, here are two versions of my poster of poster tips. Just view them large, or display with a room projector and invite students to come up and read together. More details below the images.

Poster example (Colin Purrington's)
Advice on designing scientific posters

Both posters are descendants of a document I created circa 1997 for my evolution students at Swarthmore College. The bottom one is available as a PDF if you want to print an actual poster of it — which I highly recommend if you are assigning a poster project for your class.

My full tips are at Designing conference posters. I created the website for my students, too, but eventually made it public in case it might help make the world’s poster sessions more enjoyable.

Fabric conference posters

I was invited to talk about poster design in Berkeley (DOE NNSA SSGF) and DC (DOE CSGF) this past summer, and used the opportunity to test out fabric as a medium for large-format conference posters. Below are some photographs if you’re curious how logos, illustrations, and photographs look when viewed close up on fabric. By the way, I ordered the posters from PhD Posters (they mailed to my house in a tube, inside a box). And if you’re interested, my poster design tips are here (rather long-winded because I’ve maintained page since 1997).


The rolled up poster above is also fabric. I didn’t have the nerve to fold it into luggage-sized square, but I’ve heard that it can be done … though crease lines an issue. Might be able to iron them out, I’ve also read.


The photograph above isn’t as crisp as a glossy poster, but was totally fine for my purposes. If it really mattered, I’d just print a copy on my photo printer at 1200 dpi (or whatever) and then use double sided tape to attach. Even paper posters have fairly low photo quality, so attaching a high-resolution version is always an option when you need it.


Yes, you can see the fabric if you get close enough. People standing 6 feet away wouldn’t notice and probably wouldn’t care if you told them.





This logo is actually from the poster that is rolled up. It’s at http://colinpurrington.com/2012/example-of-bad-scientific-poster/ if you want to see the whole poster (you can download and print for your class, if you’d like; yeah, students would just love that).

fabric-poster-edge-detailThis photograph shows how the edges can get a little frayed. Holes from pushpins are also visible. Much less annoying than the rips and gaping holes that paper gets.

Poster page revisions

I finally got around to making some long-needed changes to my page on designing conference posters: http://colinpurrington.com/tips/academic/posterdesign.  For those who care, the poster-like file with poster tips is now just a PDF, not a Powerpoint template.  This PDF will hopefully be useful to those who want to both an example layout and tips on how to craft a poster. Teachers can print this PDF out on a large-format printer and pin it to classroom wall a month before student posters are due.  The second big change is that the Powerpoint templates are now text-light, which will make them easier to use as templates (i.e., no need to delete all the annoying “tips” text that was there previously).  Templates now come in a few different flavors, too (and more coming).  Finally, lots of minor changes to the page itself, though just as long-winded, with apologies. If you know of somebody who needs poster help, please feel free to send them the link.

Advice on designing scientific posters