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Academic Research Posters: Visualizations

This guide will help you create an academic poster to present research for your class.

Visualizations

Including visualizations can help your poster stand out and help others understand your research. There are lots of ways to include visualizations on your poster - graphs, charts, photographs, as well as many others. 

Other Visualization Resources:

  1. Here is a chart of lots of different types of visualization strategies: A Periodic Table of Visualizations
  2. 50 Great Examples of Data Visualization
  3. Flowing data: Data visualization, infographics, and statistics
  4. Visual.ly: Infographics and data visualization
  5. Gallery of data visualization
  6. Data visualization: Modern approaches - Smashing Magazine
  7. You could also create a tag cloud of your interview data

Current Events Photographs

Ethically Reusing Images

To use photographs and other images ethically, they need to be cited in your paper or presentation. For help citing images in MLA style see:

More Tips for Images

  • Make sure that you don’t increase the photo from the original size. If you copy and paste the image and it’s too small, enlarging it will only pixilate your photo and it will not print properly on the final poster.
  • Many images on the web are protected under copyright and should not be used on a poster. You can legally use photos in four ways:
    1. Find photos that are licensed as Creative Commons (flickr),
    2. Ask permission from the photographer 
    3. Buy your photos from a stock photo site (e.g. iStock ) 
    4. Take your own photos
  • Photos as background images rarely look good. The image tends to overpower the text and make the poster hard to read. (If you must, you can fade out your image by using image editing software.) Instead, try using a background color or boxes to set off your text and images.

Finding Images

For research, images need context and information about their creation to reuse them ethically. Where you locate images can help you with both. Here are a few places to try.

Typography

Using multiple font styles can really make your poster stand out and look professional. Consult this graphic to understand different font styles, what fonts work best together, and what fonts to avoid. Link to online PDF of graphic. 

Disclaimer: While Comic Sans is sometimes called an inappropriate font, in reality it is one of the best fonts for people with dyslexia.


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