Knocking One Out of the Park: Creating Effective Posters for Presentations

Amy, Jason and Shane posing with their poster

Stepping Up to the Plate: Experiences as First Time Instructors of a Library Research in Context Class

I came to this session because Jason Cottle, the graphic designer from ECU is a dear friend of mine and has created a lot of posters for me over the years.  He presented this paper along with Jeff Coghill who is also with East Carolina University. His presentation was part of the Effective Dissemination of Findings: Pitching Your Research with Speed and Accuracy  and was cosponsored by Public Health/Health Administration Section, International Cooperation Section, Translational Sciences Collaboration SIG, Clinical Librarian and Evidence-Based Health Care SIG, and Outreach SIG.

If you are interested in seeing more of his work you can view his posters on the Laupus Library website http://www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/about/Presentations.cfm

You might have seen the poster he designed for this conference (for me, Amy Blevins and Shane Wallace at the University of Iowa). It’s at the top of this post.

Jason Cottle has a Bachelor of Fine Art and is not a librarian. He is the full time graphic designer at Laupus Library in North Carolina. In addition to working on posters for conferences, he also designs signage, assists in web design and promotional materials for the library. Dr. Dorothy Spencer, the director of Laupus Library never thought she would hire a graphic designer, but now, she can’t imagine not having him. The health sciences campus is very pleased when Jason helps them with projects as well.

To sum up Jason’s presentation, posters should be eye catching and contain white space with high quality images.  Remember that text should be kept to a minimum because people can’t read your poster. Sometimes conference halls are crowded and people are jusst struggling to move without bumping into someone.  Also, don’t be intimidated by programs. You don’t need to draw your own sketches like Jason, use creative commons images from Flickr, photos you’ve taken yourself and clip art. Just remember to test the images for quality before printing (I like to just view the poster at 100% on my computer. If the image is blurry then, it won’t print well).  Also, PowerPoint is a great tool and many institutions offer templates for poster creation.

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