My classmate Sunshine Baker and I worked on a paper together for our Quantitative Research Methods class. Earlier this year, our project was accepted for the UCF Graduate Research Forum Poster Session. We excitedly began working on our poster. Sunshine typed up all of the relevant information into the PowerPoint template we were required to use. Here is our “Before” poster:
After adding in the content into the template, Sunshine handed over the first draft to me to focus on design. We had a list of requirements from both UCF and the Nicholson School of Communication. I compiled that list of requirements together in a Word document.
Next, I took a look at some sample posters while considering how I would approach our design and layout. I was not impressed. To learn more, just do a Google search and a Google image search for “poster session examples.” YIKES! Hideous. I also did a survey of the posters in our graduate lounge and the graduate conference room, but I wasn’t super impressed by anything I saw.
I turned to other places for design inspiration. UCF has a page on their website called “Brand and Identity Guidelines” explaining our school fonts, colors, and design samples. I used this as inspiration for the poster to promote a sense of school pride and spirit. I decided to go with black, white, and gold for our colors based on the brand and identity guidelines, and I selected the fonts used by our school: “Americana” from the UCF logo and “Adobe Caslon” from many marketing materials.
After I decided how I would approach the design for our poster, I realized I just couldn’t work in PowerPoint 2007. After calling the poster “help” line and hearing that the template only existed in PowerPoint, my genius designer/superteacher BFF Chiara Ojeda suggested that I just open the template in Keynote. Voilà! (And also: why didn’t I think of that?) I began designing the poster using Keynote, a far superior program if you asked me. After many, many long days of work and the help of Flickr and The Noun Project, I created our finished product.
Here she is, our “After” poster:
If I had one more week to work on the poster, I would be 100% happy with it, but knowing the time limitations, I am definitely satisfied. The final task in this journey is to prepare for the Graduate Research Forum. The posters will be judged first, and then the poster session will begin. Sunshine and I will be talking to people about our research and answering questions about our work. I can’t wait! Since this is my first poster session, I am nervous because I don’t know what to expect AND excited because it’s new and fun and challenging.
Have you ever been given a serious design challenge you had to work hard to overcome? Share with me!