Webinar Report: Graphic design tips for creating effective figures

Learn how you can improve how you communicate your science visually.

Moderator: Brianne Kent, Postdoctoral Fellow and Chair of the eLife Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG)

Speaker: Anne Martin, Graphic Designer and Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oregon

There’s a balance that needs to be struck when designing our figures: we need to make sure that while we’re not overwhelming viewers with too much information, we’re also providing that essential context that makes figures understandable

An important part of science communication is creating figures and images. Whether you are sharing your research with experts or non-experts, in print or in oral presentations, presenting your data and your ideas through the use of figures is essential. And yet, visual communication is not part of most science curricula. For early-career researchers, who are applying for jobs and starting to build reputations, it is even more important to communicate effectively.

Earlier this year, eLife Ambassador Helena Jambor wrote a blog post on ecrlife.org titled “Better figures for life sciences”, where she provided useful tips for designing the most effective figures. As she states “good and clear visualisations are essential for reproducibility”. January’s #ECRWednesday webinar followed on from this, with Anne Martin diving into the do’s and don’ts of graphic design.

Find out more

  • Anne Martin shares more of her design tips in an ecrlife.org blog post
  • A thread of live tweets during the webinar contains some key points

We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

Interested in our full selection of #ECRWednesday webinars, on topics such as preprints, finding funding and more? Take a look at the collection of past reports and recordings.