No matter the size, all companies alike will find that one of the most effective marketing tools to use is quite simply a quality designed poster! Eye-catching, informative and engaging posters can work easily to grab the attention of new customers and re-ignite old.
You don’t need a degree in Graphic Design to be able to create your own poster. With numerous free online tools at your fingertips, anyone can dive into their inner designer and create a finished product that is as powerful as possible. There are so many ways to create your perfect poster and here are our top tips:
1. What’s the end goal?
Before you put pen to paper, you must first consider what it is you’re aiming to achieve. What is the goal of the poster? Who is the target audience for this marketing campaign? Who are you addressing and what are you wanting to communicate? With this narrowed down / settled, you can now move on to the creative process.
It’s not uncommon for a poster to have many goals, such as promoting a new product or service to gain a sale, creating traffic to a website or shop or simply to create recognition for a new small business. Some businesses still find success from advertising vacancies at their company on a poster. Basically the options are endless!
With all this in mind, you’ll then need to create a theme that targets this audience and keeps their attention, giving you time to get your message across effectively. This can be done by using specific design elements and colours that appeal to certain ages and interests. For example, a younger audience would engage well with bold colour themes and designs whereas a more mature audience would engage better with a more professional, clean design that doesn’t overload their senses. For an even more effective poster, you can take this a step further by implementing design elements based on your audience age, occupation, location, needs to communicate your message better – if you have the time and facilities to do so!
2. Colour Scheme
An essential element to designing any poster is its colour scheme. Colours speak to different ages in different ways – younger audiences respond well to bold colours such as red, purple, blue, where adults are attracted to much calmer colour shades. Remember, the goal is to grab and hold the viewer’s attention long enough for them to take in the information you’re providing, so if your colour scheme is distracting or off-putting to your target audience, this will not be achieved.
As well as relating this to your target audience, it’s also vital that you keep your colour scheme in line with the theme of your advert, for example, if you’re promoting a fun event, you should use brighter colours to associate with ‘fun’ mood.
You may want to keep your colour scheme in line with your existing branding for consistency. (It may go without saying that you should always have access to the specific colours you use through your branding so you’re able to transfer these across to other materials). This doesn’t mean you can’t also include other complimenting colours that speak better to your target audience or poster topic.
If you aren’t sure what colour schemes best suit your goal, there are plenty of articles online where you can find psychological theories in regards to how colours communicate differently to different groups. This being said, don’t overthink this. The important thing is that the colour scheme it’s eye-catching and makes sense!
3. Call to Action
A ‘call to action’ is a prompt to the reader to let them know they need to act in order to take advantage of what is being offered. These should be used across all marketing materials, website pages, social media posts – anywhere your business will be seen. Without a call to action (CTA), content in any form is pointless. These calls to actions can be as simple as ‘call us now’ or a QR code linking straight to your contact page.
You need to make these calls to action sound inviting and exciting so your reader feels the urgency to not miss out on what you’re offering. Use catchy phrases, bold and highlighted colours and fonts and take your time to help catch the eye to get the best results from your CTA!
Don’t underestimate the importance of font and font size when designing your poster. As with colour schemes, fonts can attract different people in different ways, and create a different vibe for your advert. Take time to consider what looks best and suits your campaign.
Typography, format, colouring all need to be considered to make everything readable, understandable and appealing to the eye. This can be a make or break element to your poster. If any of your writing looks obscure or confusing, the reader will simply give up reading and so whatever else you’ve included on your poster becomes useless!
Understanding the hierarchy of your information and arranging font and letters according to this is also very important. You don’t want to emphasise something that is neither here nor there and under present another important element! Think bold headings towards the top of the page, slightly smaller sub-headings, and other information in various sizes according to importance.
You also need to be careful of trying to fit too much information on your poster, as this will likely confuse people and again lose their interest. Keep everything snappy and to the point and leave them wanting more!
5. Get Creative
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and create something completely different! Your poster doesn’t simply need to be block images and text. Try adding background images, unique patterns and icons, graphics, sticker effects. This helps draw in the viewer’s eye, engage their interest and buy you time to get across your message.
Even if you are wanting to keep your poster clean and minimalistic, you will still find that incorporating interesting fonts, colours and icons will help draw in the reader’s attention. Remember, minimalistic doesn’t mean boring. Also, be aware of leaving too much white space on your poster and use all the space effectively.
As with any project, the first thing you should do is research and find inspiration. Search online for poster ideas, no matter what the topic. Even if you feel you know how you want your poster to look, finding examples of other people’s work is always beneficial, and will usually actually save you time in the long run, rather than creating extra work as some might think! There are hundreds of examples available, whether it’s a business poster, event or motivational poster… whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it. There are even free design websites such as Canva where you’ll not only find examples but free templates that are so easy to adapt! Take inspiration from as many places as possible and you’ll find it makes your job a lot easier in creating that really effective poster you had in your mind!
6. Design Templates
As I just briefly mentioned, there are also a number of websites that offer free design templates that can be easily adapted by anyone. There are so many options you can choose from and you can even take elements from a few templates to help create the perfect poster for you. You’ll find thousands of images, graphics, texts and design elements to add spice to your poster.
Check out our blog on ‘5 free graphic design tools for beginners ’ to find out more!
Printing Your Final Poster Design
Once you’re happy with the design of your poster, it’s now time to get it printed! There are loads of companies online where you’ll find fast and affordable printing services. Some are as simple as choosing your size and paper, uploading your artwork (poster) and go! Some websites even have their own free online poster maker so you can even start your designing there! This way you’ll know what the images and elements of your poster will all be suitable for print!
If you’re looking for some support with your Graphic Design or Print needs, chat with one of our team today. We’re ready to help!