At Hamilton, many of the posters we deal with are for the sciences and conference presentations. These posters often have specific sets of demands, and specific types of audience: they're often like lab reports put up on a single page, heavy on text and struggling to be visually interesting.
Colin Purrington, a scientist and visual artist, has several templates he suggests for effectively dealing with the layout of information for presentation posters, such as this one:
He has some great tips for making a poster that meets the needs of a research presentation, but is still visually interesting (or at least readable)—follow this link to read his advice and better equip yourself to provide useful critiques (as well as find the rest of his templates). Some of his good points include, "As long as you maintain sufficient white space, keep column alignments logical, and provide clear cues to your readers how they should travel through your poster elements, you can and should get creative," and, "The most important part of producing a great poster is to embrace the rough draft process" (though the drafting process can be fairly rushed at college). You'll probably want to share his website with anyone designing presentation posters!
Another great resource is the Better Posters blog, which is specifically about creating better science posters. Zen, the author, gives tips and advice, documents his design process, and provides detailed critiques of posters. Explore his blog!
Some interesting posts:
The Last 10% of the Poster Should Take More Than 10% of Your Time, on the importance of those final, subliminal, polishing touches.
Critique: Privacy, a thoughtful critique of an already good poster (I actually disagree with this critique, but think the thought process behind it is great—I think the original poster is the stronger choice because it stands out more, but the critique does point out the major flaws that come at the design's expense).
Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323 • 315-859-4735 • Copyright © 2017 The Trustees of Hamilton College. All rights reserved.