# What can you tell me about poster design and typography in LaTeX?

Are there any packages that would be useful for large (1m x 1m) posters? Leaving the typography to the professionals would be useful if there are such things as large format guidelines for typography. Any other tips, tutorials or resources for LaTeXing a poster?

This is for an academic conference poster competition. There will be a fairly large amount of text on the poster. I also notice that larger fonts look almost silly when using default configurations in any graphics program (including indesign).

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– Yiannis Lazarides Feb 21 '12 at 1:22
This seems to be gathering some attention and developing into a list. Should it be a community wiki? – qubyte Feb 21 '12 at 12:43
Sounds like a good idea – Michael Markieta Feb 21 '12 at 13:14

beamerposter is a beamer-style poster/canvas "utility". Features include posters in A-series sizes, and custom sizes like double A0 are possible.

Some great examples are available from the beamerposter online resource.

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There are some pointers as to the typography in Conference Announcement Poster. However, just to add my two cents, I personally feel that this type of design as well as book covers belong to a professional graphic designer. Let someone with a more artistic background do the design and you can do the easy part which is the Texing. As other answers mentioned this can be done through beamerposter, a0poste, sciposter, baposter or you can produce your own set of macros, if need be.

Most good graphic design books (rather than typography books) spent an inordinate amount of write up on Poster designs.

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I like sciposter. Some people prefer a0poster.

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I recommend baposter. You can define a custom paper size with the class options paperwidth=<length>,paperheight=<length>.

Advice: Wordy posters never win the competition. The whole point of the poster is to attract attention. You can fill in the gaps in person. Make it big and dazzling! LEDs and anything unconventional is always good. The last time I was at a conference the poster competition was won by a huge scroll.

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If I were to use LaTeX to make a poster (if Illustrator would somehow suddenly vanish) I would probably use TikZ in overlay mode to have have great control of positioning and interplay of graphics and text. I might use something as low-level as \hbox to \somewidth{\spaceskip 10pt plus 100pt\relax T I T L E} for text that shall spread to same boundaries, so that it is perceived as a block. There would also be a lot of fiddling with \parskip and \lineskip (to bring back order in a space filled with many font sizes) and going from editor to the pdf viewer and back, until I would be satisfied with the graphical output. Basically A LOT of tweeking - but that happens to me even when creating a normal A4 layout.

Good fonts are of the utmost importance (may I never again see a poster in Comic Sans that presents any serious matter - or any other matter, for that matter). Usually sans serif fonts are best due to their readability. I have learned that I just can't get away with only typical regular and bold weights, because regular is too heavy for many poster applications. A light version of the font comes to the rescue. Light+Bold and sometimes Regular+Black work well together because of contrast, and contrast is very important. A poster should read in half a second and allow the viewer to become a reader and discover the secondary layer of information (like organizer, subject and registration address) and then tertiary layer (main programme) and then there are some descriptions and less important info.

This all can be done well in LaTeX without doubt, but requires lots of visual checks during the process. Nothing in the layout should be left to pure chance or even some package defaults. Typesetting a design in a program without instantaneous visual feedback isn't the easiest task.

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