Typeface suggestions for a Scientific Poster

Merkinz's picture

Hey everyone,

New to the forums here, been browsing and using this site for years but never posted. I'm after some advice for what fonts to use for my conference poster.

OK I'm presenting an A0 poster at an antarctic research conference and am getting tired of my usual Caslon/Helvetica-Neue combo and wanted to change things up a bit.

Obviously its a little difficult to describe whet I have in mind. Its a science poster, thinking cooler colors, lots of white as it will have a few hairline diagrams on it.

I've done a few years of design but I'm a science major and there is a prescription for poster making in the science realm so its quit easy to make some thing a little different by simply going outside their prescribed parameters ("everything must be sans-serif", "force justify paragraphs", "do what we tell you" etc...)

So I'm looking at trying to mix things up. What can everyone/anyone recommended? I don't mind buying a few fonts at the right price. I'm [i]liking[/i] the "Economist" for my body text and I really wanted to use "Futura" for headings and diagram labels but its just not fitting right for the main heading at the moment :S

Suggestions please :)


Merkinz's picture

Thanks Tomi, but I feel like that's more of a sales pitch than a suggestion. What should I use your font? What should I use for the body? ... ???

I'm looking for combination suggestion. Maybe some examples. Why this or that will or won't work.


nina's picture

"Its a science poster, thinking cooler colors, lots of white as it will have a few hairline diagrams on it."
I'm thinking a clean, more recent, but maybe not too slick sans for headings should serve you well. But it's hard (and doesn't make very much sense I think) to give concrete advice and suggestions at this point because your brief is so open. There are, at this point, literally hundreds of combinations that could work well.
Bear in mind that we mostly don't share your background knowledge for instance of what these posters usually look like in your discipline*, and how you would like to pull yours away. We also don't know what your layout will look like, how much text you have, how many titles; should the titles be readable from a distance, or do you expect people to walk up to the poster anyway? Also, are there going to be formulas or Math stuff, or just «plain English» text?
And especially for the headline face: I'm guessing it should mostly feel clean? – Also, techy / serious / friendly and accessible / unusual / …? Also, would you want your poster to look consciously designed (suggesting a more unusual typeface maybe), or mostly just nicer-looking than your average science poster?

So if you could narrow down a bit (1) intended setup/structure/layout, (2) requirements to the typeface (figures, Math coverage, language coverage and such), and (3) the «flavor» of what you're trying to achieve, that should make it easier to recommend specific faces.

* Actually, pretty much all the science posters that I've seen around my part of the world have been pretty gruesome in terms of design, so you're off to a good start! :-)

JamesM's picture

Merkinz, could you post a mockup of the layout you'll be using? You could just use greeking (placeholder text) if you wish, but it would help to know how the piece will actually look.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

… I really wanted to use "Futura" for headings

Allow me to point at “something like” Futura, but much more smarter – and brandnew.
For body text you may want to try Andron which is a ‘science typeface’ (quite new).
There’s a free font available.
If your text deals more heavily with Math characters, Minion-derivated fonts from typoma.org may also be a very good choice.

Merkinz's picture

Thanks for all the input. I'm working hard on the design at the moment so I'll upload a draft later on today for all to observe.

Thank you Nina for your post I think uploading a mockup will help convey what I'm trying to get across. So I'll answer your questions in detail when I upload the poster. Oh and by the way, I do want it to look "designed" very much so :) I want it to stand out and look a little different. ... even odd.

Thanks again. WATCH THIS SPACE.

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