10 Important Poster Design Suggestions

1_AIGA_InsideJob_1Poster design tips

When you get deep into the creative brain, it is sometimes difficult to come up with ideas for making posters. Target's former creative director and poster maker, Allan Peters, gives us his 10 most important tips for brainstorming and creation.

My name is Allan Peters. I went to art school because I wanted to paint every day to live. I didn't want to design business reports or apps, I wanted to fill galleries with work that people wanted to hang in their living rooms. I didn't just want to do a nice job. I wanted to do work that was provocative, work that made your brain happy and also your eyes.

Over the years I have fallen in love with poster design and won almost every price on the planet. I learned a lot in this way and would like to share a few of them Tips for poster design for anyone entering this field. If you'd like to add a tip, I invite you to leave it in the comments below.

1. Start with a good idea

A great poster is not about great aesthetics, but about a clever idea with great aesthetics. Start with a sketch, not on Pinterest. First fill some pages with ideas. Once you have one you love, start thinking about the aesthetics of illustration or writing. The idea should drive the visual, not the other way around. In the example above, I designed a poster for a creative conference called Inside Job. First I decided to design a pencil / pistol, then I decided to illustrate it with a black line weighing a weight to combine the visual language of the pencil and the pistol.

2. Two in one

2_ThxABillionposter design tips

Sometimes I start with a word list. I list nouns that evoke the poster's message. As soon as I have my list, I start visually combining it with sketches. In the above poster, the two words were "pencil" and "heart". The message of the poster was that Target loves education. A poster with just a pencil or just with a heart would be banal and fairly expected. The combination of the two elements creates something unique and possessable.

3. Be inspired by your life


In 2009 my wife was pregnant with our first child. At the same time, I was asked to design a poster for the Artcrank poster show. The only rule at Artcrank is that the poster must focus on bicycles. I combined bikes and babies in this print that plays gender bikes.

4. Enclose the medium

poster-design-tips4_St-Paul-bike crossing Poster_2x

If you work in screen printing, you should overprint. It is great Technology that allows you to get an extra color at no cost. If you are working with digital printing, check the possibilities. Many screen printers shy away from digital printing, although this is actually the case a great opportunity to incorporate photography and subtle shading. When printing a letter, you should examine various papers that give a deep impression and a natural paper structure.

5. Use your hands


Try to think and work away from the computer. Find out how best to do it Your idea, and if that means shaping 3D writing and pouring paint on it, do it. The natural imperfection associated with craft can reinforce an idea that requires a certain level of humanity.

6. Rule of five


A wise man once told me that a good 50 foot poster should be as effective as a 5 foot and 5 inch poster. In the example above, the posters were "Target" from a distance of over 50 feet. At 5 feet you notice the little person playing on the logo. At 5 inches you notice the emotions of the model as well as its eye-catching wardrobe.

7. Embrace the mark

poster-design-tips7_TargetBranding2015When creating a poster for a brand campaign, take the brand logo apart and examine what you can use as building blocks for your design. By integrating the logo elements, your poster is user-friendly and it is avoided that a customer asks you to enlarge the logo. In the above posters for Target I created patterns with the dot and the ring of the Target logo and integrated the different target groups into this brand world. These posters are clearly Target and read Target at a glance without ever showing a Target logo.

8. Explore Scale


Sometimes exploring the extremes of scale can make an otherwise boring picture more interesting. I only show one car and one product on these posters for a summer campaign. However, the size of the product combined with the heading increases the visual interest.

9. Take off


If you know that your poster is in a sea of ​​posters from other designers, this is ideal to make your poster stand out. You can do this with bright colors, patterns, or high contrast. I have even seen people who have small flashing lights built into their prints.

In the Artcrank poster shown above, I integrated black and white lines with a bike to show the speed and highlight the bike's linear frame design. This has contributed to making the posters stand out from the crowd both at the trade fair and in Instagram feeds.

10. Keep it simple

10_TargetSpring poster design tips

The most important tip, which I cannot emphasize enough, is to keep your poster design simple. Select an idea and execute it with as few elements as possible without losing the integrity of your idea. People are bombarded all day with images that fight for their attention, Make sure your poster is easy to digest at a glance. You shouldn't have to explain the concept to anyone.

The poster series highlighted here is for Target's spring campaign. I chose a collection of symbols that Spring had at a glance and illustrated them only with an Exacto knife and a sheet of paper each. The simple illustration style makes them unique and interesting.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about the design or branding of posters, feel free to contact me on Twitter at @allanpeters, If you want to see more of my work, check it out,

More information on posters and ideas for poster production can be found here and here!

The Post 10 Essential Poster Design Tips first appeared on HOW Design.