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4 Pillars Of Show-Stopping Poster Design

Design studio in Manchester

Digital media has saturated our daily lives, bleating its promises from screens and store displays. Yet it is not the be-all, end-all route to promotion – some tools never lose their spark on the imagination, regardless of what age we’re in. Posters are a key marketing tool for many businesses, and they rely on smarts, cunning and eye-grabbing character to stay relevant in their sphere of influence.

Although no two are exactly alike, we’ve narrowed down four elements of poster design that make for a show-stopping advertisement. If your marketing tactics can employ them, you’ll have great success in turning people to your door…

1. An emboldened tagline

Beyond the title of your event, performance or conference, the accompanying tagline on your poster is what’s going to linger in everyone’s memory. It should have a visual format to match the name, or whatever theme you’re trying to express.

A professional talk on happiness at work, for instance, may present the tagline in an arch that ascends on the sides (resembling a smiley face), whereas a vintage film night could be headed in italics to recall a hand-drawn feel.

2. Hi-resolution imagery

There are few excuses anymore for poor, muddy images in branding collateral. The internet is awash with quality photos and graphics, which means a modern poster shouldn’t fall behind on its presentation skills.

Photographs must be high resolution, the colours have to pop, and any font has to be laid in the deepest inks you can afford. If you prefer a fine art drawing as your main image, then it cannot be blurred to any degree, even on its less noticeable facets (as when people inspect it more closely, they want to be blown away by the detail).

3. Reflect the style of your event

Posters have an immediate impact on us. We assess an event within a few seconds of seeing it advertised, carrying that impression on to our further encounters with the brand. In a flash, people have to be able to qualify your pitch: is the event an outdoor piano concert, a fast-talking seminar, or a relaxed open mic night?

The visuals don’t need to be too specific – a humorous or semi-abstract picture can draw people in from afar – but, somewhere, there needs to be a firm reinforcement of what you’re promoting. Imagine if there were no words; what would the graphics say alone? And don’t forget to present dates and prices clearly somewhere on the poster.

4. Break up the points of interest

Saying that, although visual dynamism is all well and good, don’t be indulgent. Try to command the viewer with one centrepiece image, or look for ways to space graphics out, angling them towards a focal point.

Less can be more when used in the right proportions. Bold patches of colour between text, header features and print graphics can offer some relief from aesthetic overload. Even a plain white space, in an area that’s crying out for it, can throw your other, more complex details into sharper appreciation.

Stuck for a poster design that is going to sizzle for your target audience? We have plenty more tips to share for excellent poster prints. Email sales@indigo-litho.co.uk or head along to our design studio in Manchester for a free design assessment!