by Johannes Madsen
It is not enough to be good at Illustrator or Photoshop to be able to make an effective poster or flyer. Something that looks good might not brings people to an event, a website or whatever the reason for the poster is.
1. Consider the purpose of the poster
"Why?" is the big question. Why does your poster exist and why should people look at it? These are important questions to consider before working on your vision for poster. Focus the way you design your layout and communicate your message to fall in line with what the poster is trying to do.
2. Know your placement and audience
Where is your poster going to be looked at and who will look at it? A poster for an event might be set up around town. In that case you might want to make the fonts big enough to see from across the street. If the poster is at a bar, school or hospital I would consider that in the tone of the poster. Thinking about the people who will be viewing it and putting yourself in their shoes and seeing their needs can change the way you design the poster
2. Prioritize information
A poster can have lots of information. Names, dates, places and descriptions that are all important. Make sure you have an overview of what is most important before as you set up your text. Make an order of information that makes sense and tells a narrative.
You can use font size, color and other elements to highlight the important bits. Is bits of information go together you can code them the same color or wrap them in a box together.
3. Simplify your fonts and colors
Avoid cluttering the mood and tone of your poster by using too many fonts or a color scheme that isn't balanced. Pick a few elements and make them more present.
4. Clear call to action
What is it the poster is trying to get people to do? It might be to go to an event or visit a website. Use QR codes to make it easier to visit a website.
Making sure your poster is clear about what 'the next step' is can make is much more effective.
5. Capture the event
Set the mood and tone of your poster to match the event it is promoting. It is easier said than done but also where you can challenge your creative abilities. If you can create an imediate sense of what the poster is about it will be much more effective.
Too much on a poster can take away from what is important. It is tempting to want to add more effects and colorful features on your poster but it might just take you longer to do and make the whole thing more confusing and less effective.