Posters are a magical blend. They mix the talents of marketing people, graphic artists, and production specialists. A good poster takes advantage of all three of these elements to persuade the audience to take action. A key poster design point that is emphasized by all of the tips below is that posters need to make their point quickly – within a second or two. With that in mind, here are five tips to make effective posters:
1) Start with a concept, not a sketch: The marketing person has to begin the poster-making process. This professional should define the target audience, the pitch to be made to that audience, and the desired result of that pitch. But then the graphic artist should take the reins and develop ideas for artistically bringing those elements to the audience. This order – concept first, art next – takes advantage of both professional’s skills.
2) Follow your priorities. Like any good piece of graphic art, a poster needs to draw the viewers’ attention to the core concept first, then the secondary items. So if your poster is aimed at persuading teens to attend a hip-hop show, the name of the artist and his or her photo/image should be the most visible items. Since posters must grab the attention of passers-by in the first second or two, if the main point is not immediately obvious, attention goes elsewhere. Secondary items – such as the time and location of the event and other details – also need to be clear, but the designer can assume that if the viewer is persuaded by the main pitch on the poster, he’ll take the time to find the details.
3) Keep it simple. Cluttered posters do not get attention, because the human eye tends to look past busy images. Simplicity in a poster means the number of fonts should be limited, and they probably should be sans serif so they are easy to read. It also means that text should be limited to the absolute key points – provide an URL if more details are required. And images should be simple and clean – remember, people walking by the poster are only going to give it a second or two, so the image needs to be quickly and easily perceived.
4) Use bold colors. Solid, strong colors — red, blue, green, yellow – are going to be noticed more quickly than pastels or other “soft” colors. If your poster’s color scheme makes it blend into the background, change it! The last thing a poster should do is camouflage itself. Use a basic color wheel – see http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm – if you’re unsure about what colors are bold.
5) Choose your reproduction method carefully. There are many ways to print posters, and the most effective for your purpose depends on the number of posters you need, their intended location, how long they will be displayed, whether they need to be rolled or kept rigid, and other factors. Modern digital printing techniques can affordably create short runs in great quality, and finishing – such mounting, laminating, or UV coating – can make the finished poster durable and long-lasting.
Source: Ed Avis