Tips for Laying Out Competition Boards

Tips for Laying Out Competition Boards
from the AIAS Website

1. Grab the Interest of the Audience: Provide a clear, succinct statement of what makes your design great. Very clear. Very succinct. Judges facing heaps of entries paw through them at a furious rate, and the brilliance may not leap to the glazed-over eye.

2. Identify Your Message: Determine the purpose or main concept of your design boards. Do you want to advertise a specific element of you design? Explain how your design process came about? These key pieces of information will influence the overall design.

3. Utilize the Power of Branding: Consider what important text and images you might like to include in the design boards, such as the name of project, design process, any explanations that can't be understood with images, a single large photograph or image or a series of smaller images.

4. Be Clean and Concise: Narrow down your list of potential elements to a few key images and words. Design boards should contain as few elements as possible, to deliver a single message that's easy to spot from a distance.

5. Make it Readable: Try resizing the text and images to emphasize and focus on the design board's most important message. Select a font for the text that is easy to read from a distance and matches the theme of your project. A general rule of thumb to follow is that your design boards should be readable from 10 feet away when projected on a 10 foot wide screen.

6. Keep it Subtle: Choose a color scheme that suits the purpose and audience of the competition. Avoid using too many colors on the same design board.

7. Be Creative: Experiment with different arrangements of these elements in your layout software, or print them out and arrange them on a flat surface of piece of poster board. Try overlapping elements, as well as putting them side by side or in a sequential order.

8. Final Thought: Remember that your design boards have to express everything you would say to the jurors in person. Look at your design boards like a magazine article. By the last page does the reader get a full understanding of your project or are they left with questions?