Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences
University of Oxford 2 – 7 September 2007
Preparation and Display of Posters at CIEGL, Oxford 2007
Advice on creating a poster
There are many ways to create a poster. In this document we outline how to do so using Microsoft PowerPoint. Similar results can be achieved using, for example, Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher, as well as WordPerfect, Apple Pages, and other similar packages.
An important initial decision is whether to create the poster as a single large sheet, of A0 or A1 size, or to compose it from multiple panels of e.g. A4 size. The former looks more coherent and impressive, and allows the production of large images, but will require access to a large-scale plotter (available at many print-shops), and is more awkward to transport. The latter is much simpler to produce and to transport, but limits any image or object to a single sheet of A4.
If you intend to produce a poster at A0 or A1, you should identify a print-shop or other location which can print such a document, and find out which file formats they can print from (e.g. PowerPoint files (.ppt), PDFs (.pdf), etc.). Most print-shops can also laminate the poster; this is recommended, as it will help to protect the poster when you transport it.
Font size: we recommend not using a text font size of less than pitch 24, and preferably 28. Larger is better! Remember that people need to be able to read your poster standing up, and there will be between 50 and 100 posters in the room. Limit the total quantity of text as far as possible.
Font type: do not use more than one font unless you have to. Multiple fonts make the poster look 'busy' and more difficult to read. Simple, clear fonts are always preferable, rather than 'fancy' fonts. So, e.g. Arial, Helvetica, Lucida Grande, Palatino, Times or Times New Roman, but not Broadway!
Greek fonts: all the usual problems apply. Including Greek in PowerPoint is problematic (the best method we have identified is to compose Greek text using a unicode font in your word-processor and then to cut and paste it into the PowerPoint document using the same font; the other alternative is to turn your Greek text into an image and insert it into the PowerPoint document as a picture file). The additional problem with any file employing a Greek font, even a unicode font, is that if you intend to produce a poster which is to be printed out by a print-shop, the font must be supported by the print-shop, not just your own computer. Basic unicode fonts such as Arial, Lucida Grande, or Palatino, are therefore preferable.
Making your poster more accessible
We have three suggestions for communicating with your audience (readers) more actively:
1. You can make your poster available to anyone who wants to read it in detail, by making a copy of the digital file available. You can do this either with the original PowerPoint file (or Word, etc.), or else by making a PDF of your poster (using Adobe Acrobat, etc.). The organisers may be able to mount these files on the Congress website.
2. You should include your contact details (especially your e-mail address) on your poster. You may wish to include contact cards, or other removable copies of your contact information for display with your poster, which interested delegates can take away.
3. Alternatively, you can fix a pen and paper on the board with your poster to enable interested delegates to leave their contact details for you to contact them after the Congress.
In the case of both (2) and (3), the exchange of e-mail addresses would enable you to send a digital copy of the poster (as under (1)) to the interested individual. This is worth considering because it will probably not be possible for all delegates to read all the posters in the time available.