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Making Humanities Conference Posters: Design Tips


Gumberg Library proudly supports the research and scholarship efforts of our students.

Register to particpate in the 8th Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium by March 10.

The event will be held in the Power Center on April 6, 2016.


How to Get Started

When you create a Humanities conference poster, think of it as telling a story. The thing is, on a poster you do not have much room to be long-winded. You have to reduce the "plot" of your story to just the most important events, to only what will get the jist of the story across. In making a Humanities poster the real question is NOT "What should I put in?" The important thing is knowing what can be left out.


With this in mind:


1. What are the main three or four points that you want to make in this poster?

2. Give each a subheading, and see how they can be arranged to work together.

3. Write each into paragraphs, or bullet points – whichever works best for the concepts
Some will be more important than others. These are the central ideas.


Things to Remember

1. Have a snappy, understandable title.
     a. This is not the time for something "academic" with a semicolon and 3 commas.
     b. Think "New York Times bestselling novel."

2. You should only use a total of 400-600 words on the entire poster. So each word is precious. Don't waste them.

3. Use readable font sizes. Depending on the size of the poster, this means:

     a. Title: 90-120 point
     b. Headings: 48-72 point
     c. Body text: 30-60 point

Remember people are standing back from it to read it. And they may not even stop, only slow down for a second.

4. Think about color choice.
     a. The easiest to read is light text on a dark background.
     b. Just be sure to avoid clashing colors and crazy combinations.

5. No academic jargon. Use clear, simple language.

6. Again, people’s attention spans are short, so be brief. Figure out what must be said to "tell your story" and leave out all the rest.


A Suggested Humanities Poster Template