Creating Effective Poster Presentations | Create Your Poster | Colors
George Hess | Kathryn Tosney | Leon Liegel

An Effective Poster
Define Your Message
Know Your Audience(s)
An Effective Abstract
Create Your Poster
    :: Planning
    :: Focus
    :: Layout
    :: Headings
    :: Graphics
    :: Text
    :: Colors
    :: Editing
    :: Software
Present Your Poster
Examples of Posters
Resources
Video Library
Focused
Graphic
Ordered
Using this Site
Reproducing Material
The Authors
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Use color to attract attention, organize, and emphasize - but don't overdo it.


  • Use a light color background and dark color letters for contrast.

  • Avoid dark backgrounds with light letters - very tiring to read.

  • Stick to a theme of 2 or 3 colors - much more will overload and confuse viewers.

  • If you use multiple colors, use them in a consistent pattern - otherwise viewers will spend their time wondering what the pattern is rather than reading your poster.

  • Overly bright colors will attract attention - and then wear out readers' eyes.

  • Consider people who have problems differentiating colors, especially when designing graphics - one of the most common is an inability to tell green from red.

  • Consider people who have problems differentiating colors, especially when designing graphics - one of the most common is an inability to tell green from red.

    (Photos from Vischeck, an informational site about color deficiencies. Used with permission.)

  •   Photo of mock strawberries in full color
    Mock strawberries as they appear to a person with full-color vision.
      Photo of mock strawberries as seen by a person who can't tell red from green
    Mock strawberries as they appear to a person who cannot tell red from green.

  • NOTE: need a simple list of safe color combinations to use, or combinations to avoid.


    Additional information about color deficiency ...

  • Making figures and graphs that are color-blind friendly.

  • Wikipedia article on color blindness.

  • Simulations of what people with color deficiencies see.
  • Ishihara tests for color deficiencies.

  • Information about web safe colors that help avoid issues with color deficiencies.