Typesetting beautiful conference posters with Tickzposter

By | June 11, 2015

To make a conference poster you probably use some vector editor: Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, or maybe LibreOffice Draw, Impress or MS PowerPoint. But you can also code it, and by that I mean using some markup language to actually write how the poster should look like, and then compile the code. Sounds insane at first, but it is actually easier than you might think, and it has several advantages:

  • You can use pre-defined themes, which means that you can focus on the content and not worry about the aesthetics.
  • The results are usually clean and organized.
  • By changing a single word in the code you can completely change the look in a second (see the figure below).
  • Your figures and tables can be linked to graphical output from, e.g., R.
  • People will sense that something is different from what they know, but won't be able to quite place it -- something unusually neat about how the poster fits together.

The downside:

  • You need to be comfortable with the idea of markup language, e.g. LaTeX. It can have a steeper learning curve for someone new to it.

Example using Tickzposter

For my poster, which I am going to present next week at EU Macro in Copenhagen, I used LaTeX package Tickzposter by Pascal Richter, Elena Botoeva, Richard Barnard and Dirk Surmann. The package comes with nice templates and plenty of helpful stuff -- it is all in their downloads section.

  • Here is my final poster that I am sending to print.
  • Here is the source code of the poster (feel free to recycle).
  • Here is the whole repo with figures and all that.

And below are three versions of the poster that I made just by changing a single \usetheme argument (click to enlarge).

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