Who the course is aimed at: Science students and Research Scientists who create presentations and posters, and have to produce figures and graphical abstracts for publication.

Learning Outcome: Participants in this workshop will gain an understanding of good graphic design practice, as it applies to scientific visual communication.

Date: 15 May 2024

Time: 12pm - 1:30pm (GMT) 1.5 hours 

Location: Online (Zoom) please note the course needs to be attended live

Requirements: No previous experience is necessary. 


Good and effective visual communication is becoming increasingly important for research scientists, both when communicating with their peers, via paper figures and graphical abstracts, and when explaining their research work to non-scientists, via information sheets, brochures, etc. Despite its importance, research scientists are often provided with little or no training in visual communication. These workshops provide participants with sufficient knowledge and hands-on training to improve their use of visual communication by creating a basic platform of good practice and skills that they can then build upon.  To see Gill explaining the reasoning behind the development of these workshops click here

The straightforward graphic design guidance given in this workshop can be applied to any form of visual communication, regardless of the software being used to create it, and will result in a significant improvement in its effectiveness.

This workshop will look at the basics of good graphic design practice, particularly the design of scientific poster although the principles can be applied to a range of contexts such as scientific figures, slides, etc. Participants will learn tips and guidelines that they can apply to any form of visual communication in their field, regardless of what software package they use to create it. All examples shown in the presentation are taken from the biological sciences. Gill will also present a Marine Biology related case study to demonstrate how the application of five simple graphic design tips can improve the visual communication of a typical scientific conceptual figure. Prior to the workshop, participants are encouraged to send Gill examples of visual communication that are typically used in their area of research, to ensure that the workshop can be made as relevant as possible. There will also be time during the presentation for questions and discussion.

Gill is also offering a second workshop which tackles the trickiest aspect of scientific visual communication; drawing the visual elements that make up figures and graphical abstracts. Participants are provided with hands-on instruction in the basic functionality of Adobe Illustrator and are also shown a methodology to follow that will allow them to draw visual elements that can be edited, adapted and combined to create the figures they need. See Creating Figures using Adobe Illustrator for more details.

Topics covered in the workshop 

  • Layout and composition
  • Grids, alignment and use of space
  • Type and typography
  • Use of colour
  • A case study - to demonstrate how the application of five simple graphic design tips can improve the visual communication of a typical scientific conceptual figure
It really helped to see examples of work and how they could be improved by following the tips outlined in the talk.

Course participant

Good Graphic Design



Full price: £55

Member price: £45 

Student Member price: £35

If you book on both our Scientific Visual Communication courses you will get a discount so check out Creating Figures using Adobe Illustrator

If you would prefer to pay by instalment or invoice, please contact us at events@mba.ac.uk


Membership categories eligible to apply for our bursaries are Students, Postgraduates and Newly Qualified

Bursaries Deadline: Wednesday 01 May at noon (12:00 midday).


For details of how to become a Member 

Any queries please email events@mba.ac.uk