click here to view the intro click here to plan your poster you are here click here to review your poster design click here to learn how to print your poster click here to learn how to present your poster
click here to download the PDF manual click here to view other tips, tricks and lessons on YouTube click here to view other resources click here to contact us
click here to learn about composition and layout click here to learn about laying out text and fonts you are watching this chapter click here to learn about importing and scaling images click here to learn about importing your graphs click here to summaries what you have learnt

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

      intro | plan | layout | text | colour | images | graphs | summary | review | print | present | manual | youtube | resources | contact

Colours can make a poster attractive and improve readability, however, they need to be used wisely and sparingly.

Use color to attract attention, organise, and emphasise - but don't overdo it. The size, colours and contrast of your information will ultimately impact on the readability or legibility of your
final poster design.

All visual media (images, charts, and graphs) should be converted from RGB to CMYK format for print.

RGB: Red, Green, Blue.

CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black).

See the tabs below for more information on the relevance of colour in your poster.


Primary Colours - Red, yellow and blue.
These are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues.

Secondary Colours - Green, orange and purple. These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.

Tertiary Colours - Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That's why the hue is a two word name.
Analogous - Match colours with adjacent hues.
analogous Monochromatic - Focus on one colour with variation in intensity.
monochromatic Triad - Space your colours around the wheel for a contrasting theme.
triad Complementary - Oppose two colours on the wheel for a simple theme based on two hues.
complimentary Compound - Combine different hues.
Avoid overly bright (or highly saturated) colours –
It might attract attention but will tire your viewers eyes.

Limit your colour selection, chose 2-3 colours that harmonise well together and stick with those colours throughout.

Your choice of colours should reflect the theme of your subject area (Life Sciences and Medicine tend to use green/blues/turquoise for example).

If exact colors are important to your data,
balance those colors to look correct under fluorescent lighting. Saturated colors may become unpleasant to view.
Visit some of the websites in your chosen area of research. Do you see common colours being used in this research sector?

Search for an online colour wheel, and create your own colour palette.