Posters are one of the best ways to promote something – be it an event, product or business. Since the dawn of printing, poster design has represented the easiest way to let people know of something and is still used today because of its continued success rate in getting the information out there. To a certain extent, the internet and social media has taken over but there is still a huge marketplace for poster designs. So if you wanted to create a poster design for your event, how would you go about it? We’re going to run through the top 5 tips for ensuring your poster makes the biggest impact, and consequently get you the most ROI.
Choose the right typeface
What is a typeface you may ask? Put simply, it’s the fonts you find in your graphics package or word processor. Typical fonts are Arial, Times and Helvetica. So let’s think about what your poster is promoting. Is it a modern, funky design you’re looking to achieve, or perhaps something more classy? These will determine your choice of typeface for the poster artwork. For a modern looking poster design you should go with modern looking fonts, such as Helvetica, Myriad Pro or Universe. These are what is called sans serif fonts, which mean ‘without serifs’. Serif typefaces are those like Times and Palatino which have the ‘squiggles’ around the character ends. Serif fonts are more suited to classy looking poster designs. There are many more styles of typeface you can choose from such as Slab, Script, Display and Calligraphic fonts.
Make it snappy and to the point
When it comes to designing a poster you need to remember to keep it simple – not necessarily from a design perspective, but from a content point of view. People will generally not stand still looking at great paragraphs of text on a poster. Cut out the bumf and make it simple, clear and to the point. You need to create a poster design that people can understand within seconds. If they have to read in depth about what you are trying to get across then you will lose them. Society today is all about quick kicks, they don’t have time so you need to make a poster design that will take only a few seconds to comprehend.
Choose big fonts for the title, and clear fonts at that. You want to tell the viewer what it’s all about in one second. Then instead of reams of text, break it down into chewable parts. Just mention the really important information, and use a list to get to the point. To separate parts of a poster text you can use different colours or even put them in blocks. This helps to keep a users focus. End with the contact details and any links to further information such as a website link, Facebook page or phone number.
Use colour themes for maximum impact
Colour is an essential ingredient for great looking poster artwork, but you have to get it right for the design at hand. Using a colour wheel, online or at your desk, will ensure you choose colours and tones which work together in a cohesive manner. There’s nothing worse than a poster design which uses colours that make the design look awkward and wrong. It can detract from the design and the content.
Choose bright colours for summer events and happy things. Club poster designs may look better with darker colours to reflect the night but it really does depend on your ultimate outcome. Sometimes you can use colours which you’d think would never work in a million years, but they do. Experiment to find the perfect colour scheme for poster art.
Professional imagery not clip art!
The amount of times I see a poster design, especially advertising a company or product and they use clip-art just makes me want to cry. Clip art was something that came about in 80’s and 90’s designs as there wasn’t the digital wave of images around then. For a while they worked, and people accepted clip art on posters. However, times have moved on and there is no justifiable reason to use it. Today there are some great stock photography sites such as iStockPhoto that have millions of awesome vector art and photographic imagery to choose from for your poster art. They are great value for money and will improve your poster design if used in the right way. Eye-catching imagery is essential for poster design so choose a great looking image.
Another option you can do is colorize the photo you are using. Give it a monotone effect to go with your colour scheme and this can make a poster image look really professional and stylish. You can use image manipulation programs such as Adobe Photoshop for this. Of course if you are skilled with Photoshop you can manipulate images even further by using filters and masking to create some truly unique poster artwork.
Look for inspirational poster designs
Don’t be afraid to do a bit of research to find inspiration. We all have days where the creative juices don’t flow like they should, and sometimes we need to just give our inspirational parts of the brain a kickstart. Of course we’d never advocate copying anyone elses poster design but we can take a style or elements from other design work to inspire us for our poster work. This can give us the creative wave we need to fulfill our design work. Just by searching for poster designs on the internet we can see many different styles of poster art which can be used to fuel our imagination.
So there you have it, a brief but useful guide for better poster design. Hopefully it will help you to create some wonderful and unique graphic designs that will promote your event or products tot he wider world. And here is an added tip just for you guys and gals: When your poster is completed and going to print, don’t forget to utilise the design for the web. Compress it to a JPEG, PNG or GIF and upload it to your social media profiles such as Facebook to further promote your poster.