Poster printing is a cost-effective, high-impact promotional vehicle. Used by established brands, start-ups and small to medium size enterprises across the globe, poster campaigns are a versatile way of promoting a brand, product or service. Designing one is not as hard as you may think, not when you follow these seven simple steps to create an eye-catching poster or two.
Using the Oxfam poster from a series that was produced for a campaign some years ago, you can see some of the points illustrated. This simplicity can be deceptive. It looks easy and, in many ways it is, but you need to be aware of a few factors…
#1 Don’t be intimidated by all that space!
If you are unsure about how to go about creating a poster, or doubt your creative ability, whether the blank page in front of you is A4 or A0, it can be a vast expanse of white paper that daunts and intimidates you. The key to an effective poster is space so don’t think you have to have something on every square inch of it.
Clashing colours, a cacophony of fonts and information can all jar against each other. Remember, your poster has seconds to convey its message to a passing reader/customer/fan, etc. Sometimes, simplicity works best and this means that words can sometimes be the only thing that a poster needs. The fonts were used, in this way, can be significant.
Make sure they are easy to read but grab attention, as well as important words in bold or heavier type so that they stick out. This poster by Oxfam tells the consumer what they want them to do. The font stands out clearly and the message is simple.
In the main, posters are viewed from afar but you need to make sure you have the information needed, along with the right design, to create an impact. The rule of thirds can help in the design process – your poster should be attractive from 50 yards, 5 metres and 5 inches away. In other words, as you get closer to the Oxfam poster above, you can see there is another information but the main message ‘Give Clothes’ is highly visible.
#4 White or ‘free’ space
By calling it white space, some people think that the concept means any area not written on or has a graphic should be white. But what it means is free space on the poster. On the Oxfam poster above, there is plenty of free or white space around the text and the graphic. In other words, there is nothing to distract the eye.
#5 One image…
… that says it all can be better than littering the poster with all kinds of pictures. In fact, by doing the research, you will see that successful poster campaigns do use only one key image. In the Oxfam poster, this is the graphic of the coat hanger.
#6 Using Templates
If you are seriously questioning your ability to be able to design and create a piece of artwork with such a large amount of space, there are thousands of poster design templates online that you use. Or, if you are still not happy with the final look and appeal of the poster, you can always use the in-house design team of a printing company to give you a hand. Sometimes, investing in specialist services of this nature will mean you render more success from your poster campaign than you would without a professional graphic designer.
#7 Have fun!
There are all kinds of examples of unique, tongue-in-cheek, slightly controversial poster campaigns that have been a runaway success. When it comes to posters, sometimes being different can work. Creating a poster is, after all, a creative process and ideas don’t always flow thick and fast. This can be frustrating but keep at it. From a silly idea can come to THE marketing idea that can propel a product or service from obscurity to instant stardom. Having said that, we do advise caution. There are times when creating a poster that you may think is funny etc., may be to someone else incredibly offensive. Another tip is that you should make sure to regularly save and backup your creations. Disaster proofing is a big part of any designer’s work, and you should make sure you have multiple copies of your design stored in different places.
Retailers produce posters all the time, with a large chunk of their promotional activities and revenue being directed at poster campaigns. They can provide inspiration and ideas as to how one graphic and a few words can have a huge impact on an audience. What will your poster say?