When it comes to graphic design, perhaps the most exciting type of project to undertake is the poster. Unlike other larger, more complex mediums, the poster is generally a simple attempt to attract attention and communicate basic information about an event or a product. Sometimes staring at a pure, blank art board is an exhilarating feeling. Other times, it can be a frustrating task deciding how to start. Whether you are a designer looking for inspiration or a novice needing a few tips, this post brings you the tips you need to make your next poster your best poster.
1. How to Get Attention
Your first task is to decide on captivating photography or an interesting main element that will make people stop and take notice. Some posters use shocking imagery to get a point across like this one, designed for the Montana Meth Project. As you can see, the subject matter certainly makes an immediate impact. Other posters will use plenty of white space and an interesting question, or some creative word art to make you stop and think. This first step is the cornerstone of your project and it’s very important to choose carefully.
2. Simple is Nice
Your poster should say what it means through pictures and colours rather than through words and written details. Keep text to a minimum and make full use of your website, if you have one, to inform people of further details. If you bog down your poster with text, your poster will not look as interesting to people passing by.
3. Fonts are Fantastic
If your fonts are a little unusual or unique, this will add to the depth of your design. Try to avoid common fonts that might be used on a standard document or for an everyday purpose. On the other hand, don’t use fonts that are crazy to the point of being hard to read. Many times it’s a good idea to use a sans-serif font in a headline. It’s important to limit the number of fonts you use on your poster. The more fonts, the more potential for confusion. If you have the ability, it’s also a nice touch to use your text in a non-standard way like this poster for a James Chance concert.
4. Move the Eye and the Information will Follow
It’s important to design a poster with information consumption in mind. Always try to start with the most important information in the largest font and work your way down in the order of importance. Display this information in such a way that the eye follows this information down the page as if you were writing a short story. Use cues in your main design element to point at important information or provide direction.
5. Colour Correctly
Try to use a colour scheme that is fundamentally correct. Respect the basic rules or colour theory. You can even start designing your poster based on a pre-determined colour pallete. Match or compliment the colours used in your primary imagery to add consistency to the piece. Colour Lovers is a great place for ideas and sample palletes.
6. It’s a Balancing Act
Basic design and layout skills dictate that good design displays good balance. Try to ensure your poster follows this ideal. To tell if your layout is balanced, divide your page in half and compare the number of elements on either side of the page to each other. Try this diagonally as well. Adjust your design accordingly.
7. Break All the Rules
Sometimes good design means breaking out of the formula to produce something unique. If this is your plan, it’s important to know what rules to break so you can break them like a pro. Hopefully these tips will help you design something that is both different and good.
For some fresh inspiration, make sure you visit Design Reviver.