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5 Make or Break Poster Design Tips

1. Hierarchy

When you design your poster you need to understand the viewing process and create a design hierarchy based on what is most important. You need to ask yourself questions such as… What is a viewer going to notice first when they look at my design? What is the most important information in this poster? What message am I trying to get across? Is my message easy to understand and remember?

You need to be able to draw in a viewer to look at your poster, but also get your message across quickly. Everything needs to be super easy to read and should be easy to absorb and remember. Before you begin to design your poster make sure you have everything you need such as copy, dates, images and so on.

Then, you can start to create a concept based on all the important stuff that your client needs included. Once you have a concept created play around with the organization of the elements so that you have a clear hierarchy that helps your client achieve their marketing goals.

2. Imagery

Powerful imagery is key to a good poster design. Text is just usually not enough to capture people’s attention, especially if your poster is competing with other visually powerful designs nearby. The imagery you use can be anything such as a movie star if you are doing a movie poster, illustrations are common in band posters and so on.

Research what has been done before and what works so you can come up with something original, eye catching and effective. The job of this imagery is to capture a viewers attention for a few seconds so you can draw them in. Then you can use supporting elements such as a text headline and other details to get your message across quickly.

When you design a poster start with your image concept and then build the copy and rest of the design elements around your main imagery. This keeps the design process more natural and you won’t be forcing stuff to fit around each other.

3. Flexibility

A good poster design should work in various situations. It should look good in a variety of places, eye levels and under various lighting conditions. If it doesn’t, it should be easy to edit so you can adjust things like levels, contrast, type size and so on without changing the poster design too much.

When you create your poster be sure to have enough room to be able to move things around and make adjustments. If your poster is super complicated and cramped full of tons of type and design elements it can be frustrating to make adjustments at a moments notice.

4. Placement

A key aspect of poster marketing is location. There are many different places your poster could end up such as on the side of bus stops, on bulletin boards, on a billboard, hanging in someone’s room, inside a movie theater and more. You need to know where it will be used ahead of time so you can design to those specifications.

A poster that someone sees at normal eye level needs to be approached differently than a poster that is going to be up high on a billboard with cars traveling by at 70 miles an hour.

5. Testing

If possible you should always test out how your poster design looks in it’s final destination before you go ahead and print a ton of final copies. You don’t want to print 5,000 posters to find out they look horrible or can’t be read easily in their final destination.

If you can’t print out test copies and preview them, you should at least do research and study other designs that are similar to yours. If you are doing a movie poster go to some theaters and check out how they are hung, how they are created, what the lighting is like, how big the fonts are and so on.

Knowledge is power and if you know what works all your posters designs will be a huge marketing success. Don’t forget to head over to Next Day Flyers for all your poster printing needs!

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