6 Must Have Graphic Design Tips for Posters

6 Must Have Graphic Design Tips for Posters

Posters are a wonderful art form due to their unique ability to be put up pretty much anywhere there’s a flat surface; it’s this accessibility which means they’re just perfect for advertising.

However, due to the fact that posters are always going to be displayed in densely populated areas, they need to be able to seize people’s attention away from the busy world around them. And, for a graphic designer, this is a far from easy task!

As there’s such a high demand for posters in the world of graphic design, I’m going to dispense 6 tips which should improve your poster design skills no end and make sure people can’t walk past them without stopping.

  1. 1. Convey a Strong Message

People are only going to glance momentarily at your poster, so you need to hook them from the instant their retina focuses on it.

To achieve this you need to tap into the heart of the product/event you’re advertising. It could be a gig poster, a film poster or even a government information poster, but whichever one it is there’ll be a core message to promote.

The best way to start figure out this message is by brainstorming. When you break down the main focus of the product you’ll begin to understand exactly what represents it e.g. a gig poster means a band which means instruments etc.

And it’s these elements which can then be used as your initial hook to capture the attention of passers-by and, for example, get them interested in attending a gig.

  1. 2. Balance the Design with a Grid

It’s always essential to balance a design, but with posters it becomes ABSOLUTELY essential due to the combination of text and images.

All that information can be bewildering to a viewer, but by using a grid layout you can ensure it’s balanced and that the viewer can easily make their way through the information as you intended.

  1. 3. Research the Audience

Certain posters are going to be aimed at certain individuals, so you really need to know your audience like the back of your hand.

You see, different demographics are going to engage with certain aesthetics. A good example is two posters being designed for the following groups:

  • A poster promoting health and safety on a building site
  • A poster advertising the latest, bestselling romantic novel

Can you see what I mean? The two posters are aimed at complete polar opposites of society, so, in general, there will be specific elements which will appeal to certain demographics.

  1. 4. Prioritise Readability

Your poster is going to have to be readable from some distance if you want people to notice it.

So, ensuring the title is large enough to stand out is essential. You want it to be as bold and eye-catching as possible. Arial and Sans Serif may seem ordinary, almost boring, fonts, but they’re incredibly effective at increasing readability and catching people’s eyes.

And keep all your text roughly in the same area. If you have it spread out all over the poster you’re going to leave viewer’s wondering where it is they’re supposed to be reading.

Remember, simplicity makes engagement a whole lot easier!

  1. 5. Limit the Text

A great poster is one that mixes images and text to provide contrast and help guide the viewer’s eye, but don’t go overboard on the text.

As I stated earlier, posters are, more often than not, going to be displayed in busy, public areas, so you’re only going to have a short time to engage with the viewer. Sure, you should get the basics across with your text, but you don’t want to leave the viewer ploughing through a short novel as they’ll get bored.

However, there are ways around this such as offering up unique URLs which can provide further details or even build a QR code into the design which are just perfect for people on the move.

  1. 6. Don’t Forget the Details

Many graphic designers live their creative life by the motto of ‘show, but don’t tell’ as exposition makes for pretty dull storytelling.

However, posters are one of the few exceptions to the rules as you have to tell in these situations. It’s no good, for example, designing a poster advertising a popular clothes retailer’s summer sale if you don’t include dates of times.

If you miss essential details such as these all your posters are going to do is drive people round the bend! Make sure that all the crucial information is present and correct, though, and your poster is going to help bring people flocking in.





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