A poster, the original design on the RIGHT, was passed to me to be printed and mounted. As usual I gave it a critical eye and decided I wanted to make some changes. One day the original graphic designer is going to notice that his or her posters are changed before printing, but until then, as long as posters pass through me I will exercise my graphic design skills! My redesign is on the LEFT.
COLOR: I kept the purple background, and I liked the effect of light blue on purple. However, the electric blue and orange and 2 shades of light blue as well as black and white, was too confusing. As a viewer, I'm very distracted by the orange. I see the Date, then skip to the "John Hannah..." and then "Evolution in Action". The Title of the lecture (ie, a really important part of the poster), disappears in black text on dark purple, and the photograph bleeds into the background purple too. So, I changed all text to a clean white and light blue.
FONT: Count the fonts on the original. Not just fonts, but also note the font shadow, font outline, font glow effect... on top of all the colors! There lacks a cohesiveness. I stuck to 2 fonts: Futura (everything except "Bugs & Bytes") and Georgia. No shadow/ glow effects - much cleaner. Used either color and/or font size to emphasize important info.
COMPOSITION: I did like the use of "B" for both "bugs" and "bytes", so I kept that but changed the color so that it stands out and lightens up. The original composition is bottom heavy: one's eye goes from orange to orange, and then gets stuck in the black heaviness of the B, and the empty purple space in the mid-right feels uncomfortable. The blackness of the photo connecting to the B doesn't help the heavy, unbalanced feeling.
"Evolution in action" seems to float, unnecessarily making a division 2/3 down the page. It's hard to see in the above image "Evolution..." is encompassed in a stripe passing horizontally across the page, making the purple and black within that stripe slightly darker than the rest of the poster. A distracting effect, further throwing "Bugs..." into the background.
There are three columns of information at the top of the poster - visually confusing! "Richard and Glenda..." and "Lecture in..." broken into three lines - bumpy flow of information!
I separated the "B" from the photo, un-overlapped "Evolution...", framed the photo in white. Got rid of that empty space. Re-grouped information. Put a rectangular frame around the whole thing, to pull the elements together. I allowed more space between the huge "B" and the bottom of the poster, for balance.
Your average person generally doesn't look too much into poster composition, but hopefully my edited sign is more comfortable on the eyes and brain than the previous would have been...