Poster design is a science. It is a broad field of art and marketing which is both highly creative and highly lucrative, and therefore much study and research has been invested into it.
You can benefit from those that have gone before you even if you’re not involved specifically in designing posters. The ideas and concepts that work for poster design can also be applied to many other fields of art and marketing such as website creation, blogs, and many other types of print work.
Here are a few lessons you can take from poster design and use in your field of expertise.
1. Use of Space
Much like a painting or a photo, a poster, website, or blog should first be designed with the big picture in mind. All the space available to you should be taken advantage of, and all the basic rules of composition apply.
This includes using lines to direct the eye, shapes to create the mood, and the rule of thirds to evenly distribute the objects. More specific to posters, website, and blogs, it’s important to avoid cramming too much into the space you have available.
White space is incredibly important and can be used to draw attention not only to certain objects in your poster, but to your poster as a whole. The less clutter you have in your poster, website, or blog, the more important it will look and the better impression it will make on viewers and readers.
2. Colour Schemes
Don’t go all out with colours. It’s much better to decide on a colour palette and only use select tints from the limited array you set aside. Having a scheme of colours can be much more attractive than using whatever random shades appeal to you.
If you don’t have a Doctorate in Colour Psychology, read up on the basic of colour schemes and what goes well with what as well as what doesn’t. If you see a colour scheme you like in a website or poster, feel free to experiment with it for yourself!
Try to avoid combining colours that clash with each other, as well as palettes that clash such as pastels and neons.
Because the text of your poster or website will be how you convey much of your information, it’s important to use a font that is clear and easily readable. Use one with plenty of inner space and wide circles in letters such as ‘o’ and ‘p.’
If you have a title, make it larger than the rest of the text and able to be seen from farther away. Titles, headings, and sub-headings should usually be sans serif fonts to make them appear cleaner and easier to read.
Text body, if you wish, can be a serif font but make sure it’s not too curly. A good general tip is to never use more than three or at most four different fonts inside one poster, website, or blog. Two different fonts is usually more than enough.
4. Word Count
Keep it concise. The less text there is the better. Your poster, as well as the main page of your website or blog, should appear more as a basic outline than a full novel.
Just include the most important information and keep it as straight forward and as least confusing as possible. Make sure to include where to go to find out more and do have a page that provides more detailed information for the curious.
In order for the text you do include in your poster, website, or blog to be as readable as possible, it’s important to make sure there is a good amount of contrast between the text and the background it is set against. When it comes to text, the more black on white or white on black you can provide the better. If not, at least make sure to set light text against a dark background and dark text against as light a background as you can muster.
If you have text set against a picture background, try fading the picture as much as plausible and making the text nice and dark. Also, make sure you turn down the contrast rate of the background picture so that no spots in it are too dark to decipher the superimposed text.
6. Limit Info
Besides just limiting text, you should, if possible, choose one or two simple themes or ideas for your poster and stick to those. One really good idea on a poster or web page is better than a jumble of ten intermediate ones.
One heartwarming and descriptive picture, illustration, or photograph is better than ten okay ones. You will be able to get all your other information out somewhere else but for the poster or the main page of your website, keep it simple and concise.
What about you?
What other tips do you have? Can you relate poster design with your field of expertise?
Photo credit: pat o rama