Holiday Giveaway Day 10: 10 Tips for Designing Eye-Catching Posters

Holiday Giveaway Day 10: 10 Tips for Designing Eye-Catching Posters

Today is the last day of our Holiday Giveaways and we hope it’s been as much fun for you all as it has been for us.

Posters were one of the first forms of visual communication and advertising dating back to the 1800s.

As you look for new ways to make a business impact in the new year, one great tool is a printed or digital poster.  Posters are a great way to promote an event, a new product or service, upcoming sale or special promotion.

From Belle Époque, to Art Nouveau to Art Deco, posters have used design panache to evoke emotion, energy and action for centuries.



Posters are still one of the most cost effective, easy to mass produce forms of marketing communication available today.

But how do you create a poster that will grab people’s attention?  We’ll we are here to help with few tips for creating a fun and memorable poster.


Keep your audience and theme in mind

Think about who you are designing for and what action you want them to take.  Are you trying to get them to take advantage of a sale you are having?  Then put your sales items front and center.  Want to get more people to attend your event?  If your event has a theme, then play that up in the design and style of your poster.  The key is to make sure your primary message and incentive comes across loud and clear in the design and copy.


Pick a design element for focus

With limited real estate on your poster it’s crucial that you choose your design elements wisely.  A centerpiece element is a great way to quickly grab someone’s attention and get your message across in an instant.

Make sure it can be seen/read from a distance

Think ad copy or poem not novella when writing copy for your poster.  You’ll need to choose larger type sizes to make sure your content can be read from down the hall, a few feet away or at a quick glance while walking by.    Consider big headlines to capture your audiences interest and then use a smaller typeface for the details once you’ve got their attention.




Cirque du Soleil


Use color and contrast to grab attention

Posters can be fun, playful, thought provoking or abstract.  Whatever reaction you are going for the use of color and contrast is a great way to evoke that emotion.

Coca Cola


Color can be used not only to attract attention but to guide the reader to what information is most important or create a mood that transports the viewer to another time and place.  For example, imagine you are hosting a beach party themed event using summer hue colors and a sun washed photography filters gets the theme across instantly.


Have fun with typography

Font selection can be one of the most important elements in poster designing.  Sans serif fonts can make a bold and impactful statement, while serif fonts can be used to stir emotion or create a sense of elegance.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with and mix typography.   Different typefaces can convey different messages.  Just be careful not to go overboard.  If you use typography as a focus element in the design then consider cleaner, simpler fonts for subtext and details.



Composition is critical

As you are starting to think about your design consider how the viewers eye will move across the poster.  What images or type do you want them to look at first and what is the progression in how the message will unfold to create a visual hierarchy.  Think about the balance of type, images and illustrations.   Pay special attention to how graphics interact with word or letters so they complement each other.



Jon Klassen


Less is more

Streamline your copy and your graphics so that the viewer can easily take in your message.  A simple word or image can have more impact if chosen wisely.  Also, play with negative space so that you can draw the eye a compelling image or illustration.  You can also use some of the negative space to place some copy that will help move the eye towards the image (but don’t overdo it… a little copy can go a long way).




Shapes and photography create visual interest

Interesting shapes, thought provoking images or inspirational photography is another way to help guide the eye around the poster.  Shapes can be used to connect copy blocks, frame a headline or play tour guide as you move the viewers glance from one section of the poster to the next.






Play with formatting and size

Posters can be all sizes and shapes so think outside the vertical box.  Consider a horizontal shape, square or oversized poster to make it standout or support your design.


Billion Gebregzi


Have fun!

And most importantly have fun.  Try things out of the ordinary, layer images, play with typography, and look for new ways to reflect your message and ideas.  Humor, playfulness and action shots all lend a unique feel to your poster and can help amplify your message and call to action.  You can even throw in some technology by using QR codes to keep the conversation going.

To get you started here are two free double-sided poster templates. Each poster template contains a Word and InDesign version. Simply swap in the images of your choice and change the text, and you are ready to go!



Our giveaway has ended! To get more information, including how to design your next poster, contact us here

What’s your favorite poster design tips?  Share in the comments below.

And as we say goodbye to 2016 we want to announce which charity received the most votes for a little extra holiday cheer from the DoubleShot team. Pets in Need was your top vote getter and will be receiving a donation from us this week. We think all the charities that were up for voting do some amazing work so we intend to extend the cheer throughout 2017 with a single quarterly donation to each of the other charities.

 Wishing you an amazing 2017!

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