5 Minutes Read | Design

How to Design a Successful Poster

Kimberly Mak

Designer | Piktochart

Imagine this – you and your team have been working hard at planning an exciting event for your community. You hope all the planning will finally pay off and people will show up, but you’re not 100% sure of the best way to promote the event. That’s when you decide to create a poster to get the word out, even though you’re not exactly a design expert.

Fear not! We have some essential tips that’ll help you design a killer, eye-catching poster before you know it!


Information is Key

First things first: make sure you’re presenting your information in a clear, clean, and concise way.

A poster that’s overloaded with everything from the title, the date of event, and the ticket price to the availability of early bird-priced tickets, event rules, and parking locations may seem like the appropriate thing to do. Some people might even argue that the more information you put into your poster design, the more people you’ll attract to your event. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. With more information crammed into your poster, your audience will become more and more confused and overwhelmed.

To minimize confusion, be smart about how information is presented in your poster design. The following tips are a huge step forward in designing your poster.

Headlines

Summarize your poster title in 1 headline. It could be the title of your event, a recruitment announcement, a product announcement, or something similar. Keep it short and concise. The headline will be the first piece of information to capture the audience’s attention.

Below are great examples of well-styled headlines.

Two things to highlight include the title and the tagline. It’s important to know which information to emphasize based on the objective of your poster.

infographic poster examples
Source image one: The Berry; Source image two: Ed Nacional

Details

Make sure to only add the essential details to your poster. They should support your poster’s main objective without blurring its central message. For example, if your poster’s design is meant to be used over the long term, like a promotion for real estate or other tangible products, some essential details might include the features and the selling points of the property and, most importantly, your contact details.

For comparison’s sake, we have two visuals below from the same poster template.
infographic apartment ad

On the left is an example of excessive information. Let’s take a closer look. We can see that the property ID is prominently displayed and it’s certainly handy to have the ID on hand. However, with the contact information basically hidden down at the bottom, the emphasis on the ID becomes essentially ineffective.

The poster on the right, however, keeps things clean and minimal. In the header, we’ve kept only the title of the ad large, while less important (but still handy) information is in a smaller font. All the apartment details are neatly summarized into four bullet points without any unnecessary clutter.

In conclusion, be sure to take your spacing and important details into consideration. Be smart with the amount of information you add to your design.

Call-to-action

The call-to-action, or CTA, acts as a guide to encourage the audience to take the next step after viewing your poster. It’s most commonly used in posters that are intended to motivate the audience to participate. Some examples include buying tickets, reserving a place, registration deadlines, discount prices on products and more.

Can you guess what is the CTA for the Artisan Market’s poster below?

halloween poster infographic

Typography Hierarchy

Once we have filtered and decided on the structure of your information, it’s time to place them on the poster by using the principle of hierarchy.

But first, what is text hierarchy, and why does it matter?

poster typography hierarchy

There are three main levels in Typography Hierarchy. All of these may sound technical and intimidating, but don’t worry, we’ll walk you through your poster design. If you require some guidance to get you through this, we have an awesome delight team on standby for assistance! Ready?

Here’s an example from our Piktochart library to help you get familiarized with the three levels of the hierarchy.

poster hierarchy

By applying this hierarchy to your visual, not only does it harmonize your visual, it also helps to convey your message in a tactful manner. Take a look at the poster designs below.

The one on the left has no text hierarchy making it difficult to read and comprehend compared to the design on the right.

wedding invite poster infographic

Stand Out

Chances are good that your poster design will either be displayed on a bulletin board or published online. In both places, you’ll be competing for your audience’s attention with various other promotional visuals. It would be a shame if no one stopped by to view your poster simply because other posters or visuals caught the viewer’s attention first. There are limits to a person’s attention span (and available time). Don’t let them use it up on someone else’s poster.

We want you to succeed, so we’ve got you covered with another set of tips to ace that poster of yours.

Photography

Using stunning and relevant photographs in your poster design gives a huge boost to your visual. It’s one of the easiest and most creative ways to get attention to your poster. People resonate with real life images, and the human brain quickly forms an understanding of the poster design and intention.

Takeaway tips on using photographs:

  • Choose a photo that will maximize space in your visual
  • Find one that will work well and complement your text and not disrupt it
infographic poster piktochart

You can also use a masking feature to help organize your photos. This will come in handy when there are several photos to display in your visual. By having a photo masked and displayed at a consistent size, you give the viewer an easier path towards retaining the information in your poster’s design.

promo poster infographic

Above are some Piktochart templates that include the photo masking feature. Try the Store Launch, Black Friday 2, Happy New Year 2016, Charity Event, Black Friday and Happy Holidays templates if you would like to give this feature a go.

Try out Piktochart’s pre-made photo frames feature, just like this:

Illustration

Illustrations can come in different styles and are especially appealing to the human eye. An illustration could be the hero image in your poster that supports the purpose of your design.

Make sure to choose an illustration that complements the color of your poster design. It’s all about balancing it out. Yes, you want to have the illustration stand out and you still want to maintain harmony with the other visual elements.

Let’s take a closer look at some examples.

These scary Halloween illustrations look great, but the icon colors seem to be blending in with the background color.

iconography posters

Try this quick fix to give your design a boost!

Here is the result:

icons poster infographics

Text frames are handy tools for short-form visuals like posters. They combine illustrations with editable text. Text frames are a time-saving feature in Piktochart that allows you to pick an illustration and conveniently add your own text.

Typography

Using typography for emphasis is a smart and minimalist approach to conveying your main message in a poster.

There are a number of factors worth considering when using typography; you can consider using kerning, leading space, and typeface among many others. But for now, we’ll keep it simple with one cool tip!

Did you know you can customize your text by masking an image onto an icon? If you’re in a time crunch, use this simple method to make a big impact!

And voila, it looks like this:

masking tool piktochart posters

We hope these tips are helpful in your poster design. Like all creative learnings, we can always learn a thing or two from each other. So, embrace your creativity within and share the links to your Piktochart creations in the comments below!

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