When it comes to designing a poster, it’s important to appeal to the aesthetic tastes of your target audience. Regardless of whether you’re promoting an event, hosting an opening or advertising a new product, cause or business venture, a poster has to be clear, eye-catching and sell your message in seconds.
Imagine someone’s standing at a bus stop waiting for their bus. There are a handful of posters scattered on a wall in front of them – one of them is yours. The person looks up at the wall and glances fleetingly towards those posters, and Bam! – That’s all the time you get to grab their attention and make your poster stand out from the rest!
So how do you pull this off? How do you make sure that your poster is the one to catch their eye? For us, it’s all about structure; it’s about knowing exactly what to include in your design to make your poster as effective as possible. Just think of poster design like a jigsaw and put it together piece by piece. It all starts with a blank page; for what comes after that, read on…
The background colour forms the foundation of a poster and is what everything else sits on. Choosing a background colour may not seem like a crucial detail, but it can in fact set the mood and tone of your poster, so it’s important to consider this early in the design process.
2. Eye-catching Imagery
Posters are visual tools, so a strong, engaging image is key to drawing the focus. Make sure your image relates to your message and evokes the emotion you’re wanting to convey. For example, if you’re promoting a festival, make your imagery colourful and fun. If you’re raising awareness of a charitable cause, use a close up of a person looking sad. Tapping into a reader’s emotions through imagery is a great way to make an impact with your poster.
3. Snappy headline
To help your poster stand out, you’ll need a headline that grabs attention and communicates your message clearly. Make it short, snappy and compelling in a clear, bold font so it can easily be seen from a distance.
Want to add a little more? Throw in a concise, memorable sub-header somewhere below your main headline. This allows you to elaborate on your message and fuel intrigue so that the viewer will want to know more.
Additional content is optional depending on your message, but if you’re promoting an event or grand opening, it’s important to include the who, what, where, when and why. Bear in mind that your audience won’t stand around to read droves of information on your poster. You’ve only got a brief window of opportunity, so cut the waffle and keep content to the point.
6. Call to Action
The whole point of a poster is to inspire action, so make sure you don’t forget to tell your reader what to do next! You can do this by including contact details such as your website URL or social media handles – anywhere that the reader can go to find more detailed information on what you’re promoting. A simple ‘Find out more at …….’ usually does the trick!
Ready to get out there and turn some heads with your poster design? By following this simple checklist, your poster should have all the right ingredients to really cause a stir!
For a more in-depth take on how to design an effective poster, check out ‘The Science Behind The Perfect Poster’.