How to obscure your message.

© Kathryn Tosney
Professor of Biology
The University of Michigan

Tosney home page
Society for Developmental Biology

7. Distract them visually.

Try for utter chaos.

    Maximize variety

    Refer them elsewhere

Make each panel a different size and shape.

Make sure panels don’t line up in a regular array; instead, try for multiple jagged edges that catch the eye, and distract people from the message.

Use many different colors. Try for maximum visual impact. Purple, chartreuse and orange can virtually blind even innocent bystanders.

Constantly refer viewers back to an earlier panel or figure.

Group all graphs and figures in one place, far from their legends or the relevant text.

Use many abbreviations--the more the merrier-- but kindly provide a (very LONG) list of definitions that people can consult,
and put the list in an inaccessible place


poster home page

examine negative series in order:
page 8 of negative examples

or compare corresponding examples:
positive page 7