How To Design A Poster That Will Make An Impact

Bite. Into. Me.
That is what a good poster makes you want to do. It grabs your attention quickly. It delivers a memorable message. Then, it sends you on your merry way. Whether you are advertising, inciting a debate or trying to raise awareness, posters are effective tools. But remember, a poster is not a book. It is not a video. It is a piece of paper.

It is up to you to use that space effectively. These are some of the most important elements of designing a poster that will make an impact:

How To Design A Poster That Will Make An Impact

1. Define Your Audience

No matter what format you are using to communicate, defining your audience is always the first step. Who are they? In what are they interested? Why do they care about what you are saying?
Perhaps the most important piece of defining your audience is identifying how familiar they are with your subject matter. This is vital because it determines the type of language you can use. If your audience has no exposure to your subject matter, you will need to keep your terms much more basic than if they are industry experts.

2. Set a Goal

Set only one goal. Posters are not the place to share every passion you have. They need one clear message with one clear goal.
Let's repeat – set ONE goal.
Identify what you want people to take away or what you want them to do after seeing your poster. This will determine the messaging you use.

3. Create a Bold Title

Depending on the attention span and location of your audience, the title of your poster may very well be the only piece they see. Keep it short. Make sure it is clear. Think of your title like a newspaper headline – short and engaging.

4. Design an Easy to Follow Layout

A great message delivered as garibaldi goop is as effective as throwing a dictionary at a 2-year-old and asking them to read. The best posters are easy to follow. They guide your reader through your text. Typically, this is done by creating a series of columns that read either from left to right or from top to bottom.
Remember, like a newspaper, the prime location of your poster is above the fold (aka the top half of the poster). Also, a reader normally looks at the top left corner first – so place the best bite there.

5. Use Images and Color

A picture is worth 1,000 words. This is one of those colloquialisms that is completely true... as long as you are using the right picture. You only have a limited amount of space on your poster. Make sure whatever image or images you use represent your message clearly and effectively.

Word to the wise, be sure to use a high-resolution image. Most printing companies will recommend 300 dots per inch (DPI). While your picture may seem clear and crisp on a computer, when it prints, a low-resolution image will appear blurry.

Incorporating color into your poster is also a good way to attract your readers' attention and guide them through your poster's layout.

6. Remember White Space is Your Friend

There is a tendency to pack posters with as much information as possible. Heck, you have a lot to say. But remember, you set one goal for your poster. Giving your reader adequate white space allows them to process and remember your message. It is key to accomplishing your goal.

The author of this article, Nicole provides advice and information on the marketing industry, including print marketing, Internet marketing, the best poster printing practices, and more.

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