What makes a good poster design? Poster designers should follow a few basic rules when creating a poster to make it as effective as possible. In this article, you will find basic information about posters and good poster design.
A poster is a monochrome or multicolored sheet of paper, usually designed with text and images. A poster is placed on a suitable area in the public space to convey a message.
A poster is supposed to catch the attention, inform, convince and provoke. If the viewer feels addressed, a poster can influence his or her decisions through text and images.
An optimally designed poster appeals to the viewer’s curiosity, his or her intellect, but also unconsciously to the emotional side. Finally, the viewer’s reaction to the poster depends on his interests, inclinations and especially on his social situation. Consequently, each viewer may interpret a poster differently, based on his or her origin, the background, and social as well as political realities.
To be effective, a poster should
Important design principles must be observed when designing posters:
The content and information must be easy and quick to grasp as well as memorable and persuasive. Therefore, the statements should be brief and concise. Furthermore, keywords and key terms make it easier for the viewer to understand the message. Finally, you should integrate the core statement on the poster into the overall layout.
Make sure not to place the text at the edge of the poster sheet, even though there are some very well-designed vintage posters with text at the edges. You should choose the font color in such a way that it contrasts strongly with the background.
Choose colors that match the message and with high contrast for a better distance effect and attention. Strong colors are often an eye-catcher in a poster.
Images should support messages visually. They must have a direct connection to the core message of the poster. The chosen pictorial material should not overload the poster and confuse the viewer. Additionally, the legibility of the font should not be impaired by a dominant effect of the integrated images.
To make sure that your poster meets the standards of effective poster design, there are a few questions you should ask yourself when analyzing your draft poster designs:
The specific requirements for a poster design should be defined before starting with the poster design. Key aspects are:
The perception of an advertising or product poster by the recipient takes place in gradual successive stages, which are summarized in the AIDA formula:
Attention: A poster attracts attention
Interest: The recipient’s interest in studying the poster
Desire: The message provokes a desire to acquire the “advertised” product or service
Action: The viewer takes an action, which should be the purchase of the product or service
Posters in public spaces (pillars, buildings, streets, parking lots, etc.) are subject to numerous external influences such as the type of environment, lighting conditions, weather conditions, competition with other close by visual media, and partial concealment by persons or objects.
The sum of these influences, and the not always optimal framework conditions, have a great impact on the visibility and readability of posters. All the factors result in the most important characteristics to be considered for a good poster design:
Format/Size: generally, a large format is more noticeable, but a smaller, very bright and color-intensive poster is more noticeable than a large, dark-colored poster
Color of the paper/background: use light, not very cloudy colors. For darker colors, the contrast should be considered
Contrast: strong contrasts (e. g. light-dark or complementary contrasts) are striking; however, an overload of contrasts should be avoided
Size and conspicuousness of the motif: choice of an appealing motif in a size appropriate to the format. Originality and recognition should be drivers
Title/slogan: most effective and appealing slogan, e.g. an explanation, question or antithesis
Type and size of the font: choose a font that is easy to read and in line with the “character” of the poster
Remote readability: all the mentioned points have a major impact on the perception of the poster. The context of use (whether large-format city advertising or small posters for a literary reading, usually hanging in buildings) must be considered
Contents/information: information on the product, dates, locations, etc. are legible and included in “exposed” areas of the poster
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