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4 Tips for Creating an Effective Poster Design

4 Tips for Creating an Effective Poster Design

Lauren Kraseoften

You’re ready to make a poster. The creative juices are flowing and you have a deadline to meet, but wait! Don’t start without reviewing these 4 important poster design tips.

The User Comes First

This is probably the most important tip for creating an effective poster design. Scratch that, it’s probably the most important tip for creating any kind of design. That is, the user comes first.

Before you even begin designing, ask yourself – what is the purpose of this poster and for whom am I designing it? Am I selling something? Am I educating people? Am I promoting something? Who is my audience and what do I want them to get out of this? It may seem trivial, but taking the time to write a simple sentence defining why you’re printing a poster and who you’re making it for can give your design direction and purpose.

Reduce Clutter

Ideally, you want your poster design to have one single feature item, that’s one thing that stands out and grabs the viewer’s attention. If your design is dragged down by congestion, too many colors, too many textures or just too much “stuff,” that’s not going to happen. Instead, look at your design and ask yourself, what is the focus here? Is it clear? Does it stand out?

Use Text Sparingly

A poster is all about grabbing someone’s attention. Don’t get bogged down trying to tell a story with text. Instead, rely on graphics. It’s pretty obvious the poster above is for Batman, even without the text. If you need to use text, do so sparingly and be sure to integrate it into the graphic itself. Separating your text forces your viewer to split their attention, meaning you’re less likely to hold it.

Think Big

It’s a poster, it’s big. That means your design has to be big and so does your resolution. Taking a 20 × 20 pixel .gif of your logo and blowing it up to 200 × 200 inches just doesn’t work. It’s going to be blurry. Instead, start with large images, work on your design and always review your proofs to make sure everything looks poster-perfect before you send to print.

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