You’re presenting at a conference, advertising a car wash, or telling the world about your one-woman show. In any case, you need a poster. At Matcha Design, our team is renowned for creating fantastic posters for a variety of events. Often, companies and individuals come to us, asking “how do I create an eye-catching poster?” For everyone who has come to us with that question, here are our seven golden rules of poster design.
1. Make It Pop With Contrast
The ultimate goal with a poster is creating something that is meaningful and legible from a distance. And contrast is your best friend when it comes to meeting that goal. Look at highway billboards next time you are on the interstate, and you will notice that they all have dark colors right next to light colors, to make it clear even from a speeding car.
But contrast isn’t just about color, contrast is also about having crisp, sharp lines between your colors. This is where professional printing equipment comes in handy. With the right equipment, professional designers are able to create contrast that is sharp even when the image is larger-than-life.
2. Importance Determines Size
You probably have a lot of information to convey in your poster. Remember, the most important thing should always be the biggest. It doesn’t matter if a passer by knows where your event is happening, if they don’t know clearly what the event is.
When you have to decide how big a certain text will be, it is important to think about the context that people will read the text in. Are you hoping to attract people in a conference hall or on a busy street? This will determine how large your largest text needs to be.
3. Context Is Key
As we already mentioned, you need to think about where people will be reading your poster, and how long they will have to look at it. Another important piece of context is: who is your audience? If you are making a poster targeted toward retirees, a QR code might miss the mark.
When it comes to untangling your audience’s needs, it’s useful to have someone in the graphic design industry on your side. These experts have experience with posters in a lot of context and are prepared to cater to your specific needs.
4. Mix Up Typography
Your poster isn’t an essay. Don’t keep it 12 point font, Times New Roman.
The best posters mix typography in creative ways to make them fun to read, eye catching, and legible. When you think about mixing typography, don’t throw in everything and the kitchen sink. Restraint is key. Start by varying orientation. Maybe then you could try bolding some of the text. It can be tough for an amateur to tell when two fonts will look together, so if you don’t hire professional help, it might be a lot of trial and error.
5. Create With Color
Just like there are fonts that look great together and font combinations that are uninspiring, there are good and bad color combos. When you choose your colors, your safest option is to look for a designer-recommended color scheme.
Color schemes can sometimes be tough to decide on because there are some color schemes that are difficult to discern for the visually impaired or colorblind. There are online tools that you can run your poster through to determine whether the poster is legible for people with different visual abilities.
Professional graphic designers are accustomed to creating accessible graphics for the visually impaired, so if you hire a professional, they will be able to steer you towards good color schemes right away.
6. Pump The Photo Quality
Photo quality is essential for a good poster. One grainy photo, even if it’s a background image, can ruin a fantastic poster. The best way to ensure that your poster will be great quality after you blow it up to size is getting a professional to take the photos with a high-resolution camera. Photos from your phone just won’t do here.
Printing equipment is another factor that governs photo quality. If you don’t have access to a good-quality printer, you probably shouldn’t print your photos yourself.
7. Get A Second Opinion
You should always have a second set of eyes on your poster before you print it out. After you’ve been staring at that poster on a computer screen for hours, you won’t be able to see a typo even if it’s front and center.
You should also have someone look at a proof before you print out a whole batch of posters for circulation. If you have a professional designer helping you with your poster, this step will be built in. Our team at Matcha Design is great at taking visions of posters, applying these seven rules, and creating something beautiful. Reach out for a quote today.