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How to Design an Amazing Poster

October 2016 - by Naz Rasul

When designing a poster, it’s vital that you appeal to the visual perceptions of your target audience. Whether you’re promoting an occasion, hosting an opening or advertising a new product, cause or business venture, your poster has to be clear, eye-catching and be able to sell your message in a matter of seconds.

Imagine somebody is standing at a bus stop waiting for their bus - There are a handful of posters scattered on a wall in front of them and one of them is yours! The person looks up at the wall and glances over towards those posters, and Boom! – That’s all the time you have got to grab their attention and make your poster stand out from the rest!

So how do you pull this off?

How are you going to 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 (and what not to include!) in your design to make your poster as effective as possible.

Think of a blank canvas and now put all the pieces together like a jigsaw . . . . . . .

1. Background

The background colour will form the foundation for a poster and is very important – so think and choose carefully. Choosing a background colour may not seem like a big deal - but in actual facts it sets the mood and tone of your poster, so it is important to consider this early in the design process.

2. Eye-catching Imagery

Posters are visual instruments for you to capture the viewer, so a strong, engaging image is vital to drawing the focus. Ensure your image is related to your message, ensuring it evokes the emotion you are wanting to convey. For example, if you’re promoting a festival, set your imagery to be colourful, fun and inviting. If you’re raising awareness of a charitable cause, use a close up of a person looking sad and in need of your help. You need to tap into the reader’s emotions through imagery!

3. Snappy Headline

To help your poster stand out – Don’t be boring and start writing ‘War and Peace’ , you need a Headline that instantly grabs the reader’s attention and communicates your message clearly and immediately. Make it short, snappy and compelling in a clear, bold font so it can easily be seen from a distance.

4. Tagline

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 create interest so that the viewer will want to know more.

5. Content

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. Imagine you are the reader, what information will you be scanning for so what information do you need to highlight?

Keep in mind that your audience is not going to stand around to read masses of information on your poster. You’ve only got a very brief window of opportunity, so cut the waffle and keep content to the point. Don’t try to highlight everything!! As you will then be competing with yourself and as soon as you start to do that, you have lost the battle before you even began!

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!

By following this simple checklist, your poster will have all the right ingredients to really stand and be noticed!! And if it does that, then its Job Accomplished!

Alvi Pixels Design Studio
Be Different . Be Noticed



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