Posters are a simple yet effective way of publicising events or communicating important messages to the general public. Typically they include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. They should be designed to be both eye-catching and informative in design.
Posters may be used for many purposes. They are a frequent tool of advertisers (particularly for events, musicians and films), propagandists, protestors and other groups trying to communicate a message. Another type of poster is the educational poster, which may be about a particular subject for educational purposes.
BACKGROUND COLOUR Choose a background colour for your poster that doesn’t overwhelm the content you are trying to convey.
MINIMALISM Use colour sparingly. Limited use of colour is far more striking than a rainbow approach.
KEEP IT SIMPLE Keep the poster information concise and to the point. Remember the saying less is more. The most famous and iconic posters, such as Lord Kitchener’s “Your Country Needs You” or Wonderbra’s “Hello Boys”, only contain a basic strapline and simple contact details on the poster, yet remain the most memorable.
EASY READING Ensure the flow of information is clear. If you have to resort to arrows to indicate the flow, more than likely the content should be arranged better.
HANG ‘EM HIGH Use appropriate pictures or graphics that are relevant to the poster. Also, ensure that the graphics, logos or images are of a high enough resolution and quality to the size of the poster. It’s no good using small A7 size images, to be blown up to A0 size. This will result in a poor quality, pixellated, and blurry reproduction.
NICE AND CRISP Choose fonts that are easy to read. Consider the colour, size and ensure not to mix loads of different fonts together.
POWERFUL MESSAGE Choose one simple, memorable message. Ensure the message is in large lettering that will attract attention. More detailed information can be in smaller lettering.
THE NEXT STEP Include some contact information in your poster. The point of the poster is to attract attention, but you will want to show people where they can go for more info – such as phone numbers, e-mail and web addresses. If there’s a Facebook or Twitter page associated with your product or event, feel free to include them on your poster too. There’s also the option of featuring a QR barcode on the poster, allowing anyone with a smartphone to scan this in for an automatic transfer to your website or Facebook page.
PROOF READ IT! Make sure all the relevant information featured on your poster is checked and correct before you send it off for printing. We can’t stress how important this last stage is. It’s easily the most common mistake made when designing and printing ANY item. Ask as many people as possible to carefully look at your poster for errors. Get them to keep a special eye out for spelling mistakes and incorrect dates, website links, phone numbers, e-mail addresses or venues.
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