10 Tips on how to design a poster

Want to know how to design a poster? Consider the key guidelines in designing a Poster.

1. Conceptualize an Idea

Behind a good poster should be a message or idea and it all starts by conceptualizing later executed by putting it down on paper either by sketching. Develop a number of ideas and once you settle on one that you consider suitable, then start to think about the illustration or lettering that will build on your idea. The idea or message is what drive the illustrated visual and not the other way around. The idea or message need to be the focus of the poster and It must communicate and should reach everyone.


2. Easy to Read from a Distance

The top priority of a poster is generally to communicate the intended message example informing someone to an event. Key information expressed from an idea should be easy to read from a distance and be able to draw people to the poster and create a hierarchy in the text. A typeface used in terms of color, size and form is a contributing factor on readability from a distance. Including whitespace on your design improves readability avoid cluttering elements on your design.

The Typeface used on a poster can be in three distinct categories.

  • Headline: The main and mostly the largest type (text) element in the design. It can be in addition to an art element or it can be the art element. It is usually opted to be a large size for a readable typeface that is interesting and demands attention.
  • Details: This form the second level of typeface and it usually answers the questions of What, when, where? What information does someone need to get from what your poster is asking of them? Provide the information here in a concise manner. Its sizing can be according to two options – drop the size to about half of the main headline for very clear hierarchy or continue to use a larger size and use another technique for contrast. (The choice often depends on other elements and importance of secondary text.)
  • The fine print: It’s everything else that someone decided needed to be on the poster. Make it small and keep it out of the way.

4. Embrace The Brand

When creating a poster for a brand or for a brand campaign, apart from the brand’s logo you need to explore on what you can use as building blocks in your design. Integrating the logo elements will make your poster owned by the brand and will avoid a client asking you to make the logo bigger.

5. Standing Out

Many are familiar with this phrase, as you know your poster might be overwhelmed by  other designers, therefore, it is ideal to make yours stand out. This can be attained with bright color, high contrast or by using pattern. Use of black and white as contrasting colors help posters stand out.

6. Simplicity

The most important tip that needs to be emphasized is to keep your poster design simple. Consider executing on one idea with the fewest elements possible without losing the integrity of your idea. Try not to bombarded your poster with too many visuals that will be fighting for attention. Ensure your poster is easily digestible at a glance.

7. Inclusion of a Call To Action

The goal of every poster is to expose people to something. Most of the call to action  involve inviting someone to something, such as an event,  or a concert. For that reason, a call to action is vital and need to be given a high-level of prominence in the design. The call to action is often the event information or a contact point in poster design. Knowing what your target audience are supposed to do when they see the poster, then you can design the call to action.

What are your guidelines for poster design, give your comment below?

The freelance graphic designer behind Simpauls is myself, Paul Simiyu, and I offer the highest quality in service, customer support and for the best value for money. Don’t just take my word for it, read some of my client testimonials or check out my portfolio.

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