If you need to create and print a poster (either for a client or for yourself), you may have little clue where to begin. It’s normal to assume that designing a nice poster might be no different to designing a leaflet or your business card but in most cases, this couldn’t be farther from reality.
Even if you have a vast experience in design, creating a brilliant poster could be a mammoth task and in case you don’t have prior experiences with posters, it might be very tricky to know where to begin. Moreover, demanding clients with extremely tight budgets (often with unrealistically-optimistic deadlines to match) really doesn’t make your job easier.
The main problem is that pretty much all designers simply assume that a poster needs to be ‘pretty’ and nothing else. In fact, this is a fatal error. There are a number of factors you will need to take into consideration when designing a poster and to be honest, most designers do not bear in mind half of these.
Even once you are beyond the design stage, there is still the very complex issue of actually printing the poster. Even the greatest of designers start getting confused at this point.
If you are not fortunate enough to work with a good team of talented designers who are well-versed about the art of poster print and design, you need to aim to find a professional who can provide online reprographics services while maintaining the highest quality standards. I have compiled here all the needed expertise into five key points to help you through this entire process, from design all the way to print. Here it goes:
1. Keep in mind the audience of your poster
As a designer, it is very easy to view each project as ‘just a design job’ when you are commissioned by a client. However, you need to keep in mind, every design always has a purpose or aim.
The goal of any poster is to communicate a message to a group of people. It has to inform its audience about a event, product launch, movie, campaign or whatever it is. It also needs to do this in the most visually enticing way possible.
2. Finding your focus point
Every poster must be designed around a focus point and that point needs to help to communicate the idea behind the poster in a visual manner.
3. It should be eye-catching
Posters are often used to catch the attention of people walking by and they look to communicate a desired message. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your message is, if the poster does not catch the eye of your target audience in the first place, it will be rendered pretty useless.
Obviously, a clear focus point and a simple design are both features of an eye-catching design but there are many other factors too.
4. Look closely into detail and consistency
Attention to detail is an important part of design, but even more so with large printed images such as posters.
When they are printed, posters are often pretty large and any inconsistencies are easily spotted. You need to be crafting perfect poster designs or you are probably going to end up with an unhappy client.
5. Utilise different fonts
Typography is a difficult aspect of design and it probably is no surprise that many designers don’t get it at all or get it completely wrong.
A lot of designers tend to play it safe and instead of incorporating multiple typefaces into the design, they select just one (or maybe 2 if they are feeling adventurous).