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How do I Design a Poster?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

To effectively design a poster you should typically consider the purpose for your poster, ensure you use colors and shapes that work to reinforce your message, and keep the image you use appropriate to the size of your poster. Many of the specific methods you use will depend on the purpose of that poster. Whether it is for advertising or for use in presenting ideas during a meeting, you should be sure to focus on both the form and function of your work.

One of the best ways to begin to design a poster is to consider its purpose and message. If you plan on using the poster to advertise a product or service, then it should first and foremost serve to show what it is you are advertising and make a positive statement about that product or service. A new product you are selling should be the most prominent aspect of the poster, and new services should be represented in a way that demonstrates how the service is useful.

Woman painting
Woman painting

If, on the other hand, you are trying to design a poster for use in a business meeting or classroom lesson, then you should focus on the message and the purpose of the information being relayed. For example, if you want to emphasize the importance of diversifying projects for your business, the way you design a poster for this point should clearly show how diversification will benefit the company. Your message should be the focus of your poster, and it should be clear from even a casual glance.

Since a poster is a graphical method of conveying information, you should keep color and shape in mind as you design a poster. You should use colors that serve the purpose of your message or reinforce your product. If, for example, you are trying to design a poster to warn about the dangers of smoking cigarettes, then you should use colors like red, black, and yellow, which tend to indicate dangerous substances and animals. You should also use shapes that support your claims or message. A poster advertising a vacation package should use shapes that are soothing or inviting, rather than harsh or jagged.

The way you design a poster should also typically reflect how you are going to print it. If you are printing an image through a commercial printing company, you should find out if they can print “full bleed” or not. Full bleed printing prints an image all the way to the edge of the paper, while most printing leaves a border around the printed image. This is important to know as you design a poster, to ensure the edges of your image will not be cut off during printing.

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