Graphics: consider the alternatives

Diagram of poster with graphics focus Diagram of poster with text focus
Do this ...

Emphasize visually - graphic elements should dominate.

... not this

Visually de-emphasize to obscure your message.

  • Use graphics, cartoons, and figures instead of text. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Portray the main points in the smallest type.
  • Use color to emphasize or to link words and images together.
  • Avoid color - think grey or monochrome.
  • Use bold lines and obvious pattern or color to distinguish figures.
  • On graphs, use thin lines or bars with patterns that are hard to distinguish.
  • Use graph and table formats that portray the data without reference to extensive keys.
  • Make all figures so small that the important information is invisible from 2m away.
  • Write explanations directly on the figures.
  • Use complicated legends far that require the reader to constantly look back and forth between figure and legend.
  • Minimize abbreviations and cross-references.
  • Use lots of acronyms and shorthand that the viewer has to memorize or constantly look up.