How to effectively communicate your science through design?
In this episode, Meike Latz, both a scientist, freelance science illustrator, and lecturer in science visualisation, shares her insights on the world of science visualisation with us. She discusses her passion for this creative field and offers valuable tips on enhancing the visual appeal of your scientific posters, presentation slides, and graphical abstracts.
What fascinates Meike about science visualisation is to use knowledge from visual perception and graphic design to make complex scientific concepts more accessible. She believes that science achieves its worth through being communicated, both to the science community and with the public. In her view, science’s ultimate purpose is to create an impact, and this can only be realised through effective communication.
As a science illustrator, Meike designs:
- Illustrations for research papers or presentations
- Conference posters
- Graphical abstracts for scientific publications
- Presentation slides
Meike shares some tips on designing visualisations for communicating your research findings in posters and graphical abstracts.
On creating graphical abstracts or flowcharts:
- Summarise the main message in 2-3 sentence
- Identify keywords that represent the message
- Find suitable and easy graphical representations of these keywords
- Determine the flow of the story and turn it into a simple(!) layout
- Incorporate your manuscript’s title
On designing posters:
- Have a central visual element to capture people’s attention and make them pause
- Include a visual summary (=graphical abstract) for easy access of the general content
- When turning a research paper into poster, pick out the important elements rather than trying to condense the whole manuscript
On general design advice:
- Keep it simple (as simple as possible)
- Avoid cramming too many things in too little space
- Utilise negative (empty) space for balance and creating emphasis
- Always keep your objectives and the interests of your target audience in mind
For the link to her course click here.
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