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8 tips for a creative poster design

8 tips for a creative poster design

Posters are awesome! They’re creative, bold, informative and can provoke so many emotions. Some posters get you excited and eager, such as for music gigs or events. And then others are chock full of information. Knowing your audience and product, service or event, is the first bit of critical information for a poster. After that, the mood, emotion or reaction will lead to the colour, font and graphic choice, which all complement the information.

1. Use colour to set the mood

Colour is a key aspect of any poster design. Colours create a sense of emotion and attract the eye. Depending on the poster subject, the colours may need to be bold, subtle or romantic. You can (and should) really go all out with colour. That said, ensure the colours you choose compliment each other – there’s nothing worse than a garish design!

2. Experiment with typography

So much can be conveyed from a poster from just the fonts used. Show authority with a bold sans serif, enhance elegance with an italic serif or express playfulness and fun with a loose handwritten font. When selecting fonts, choose at least two – one for the headline and one for body copy.

3. Create visual hierarchy

Posters should grab attention and be a quick read. Bare in mind people aren’t going to stop and stare at your poster for hours, so arrange your information in order of importance. If you’re working with little copy, go for a bold, simple graphic. If you have lots of information, let the typography be your focus. Think about a big headline and segregate information into chunks.

4. Use negative or white space to form a clever composition

Creating an image from ‘nothing’ is something like magic. When it finally pops out at you, it’s amazing. Another way to use negative space is to draw the eye into a small area of focus, with lots of negative space around it to let the viewer’s eye ‘breathe’.

5. Remove unnecessary elements

Sometimes, less is more. It intrigues the viewer. A single word or dramatic image can communicate so much more than lots of words or intricate photos or illustrations. Don’t add extra graphics or words just for the sake of adding more.

6. Create a point of focus

Use photography that’s in or out of focus to give more/less weight to the text. Crop a photo tight to show the most important and eye catching feature. Both of these techniques will create a point of focus and lead the eye around the page to what you want your audience to see/read.

7. Take the viewer’s focus on a journey with clever perspective

Life isn’t always lived on a straight line. Different angles and points of view can make for a more exciting poster. Change the point of view of a photo. Take it from up high or down low. These designs lead the eye either up or down across the page instead of just being straight and boring.

8. Don’t hesitate to use humour

Be silly and have fun with the design! Create a play on words. Use unexpected imagery ( unless of course, you have a serious subject). Humour can engage audiences in a much more captivating way, being memorable and intriguing. Done in the right way, humour can pique the viewer’s curiosity as to what the poster is advertising.

Of course, knowing your audience before you attempt to sell to them is hugely important. But, by following our tips here for best practice poster design, you can make sure the poster design matches their likes, buying habits and culture.

Let's all get creative together

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