A poster is a proven, cost effective method of improving your business, whether it’s to promote an event, bring in customers, bring attention to a particular product or service, or create brand recognition. It’s also effective for non-profit activities such as a fund raiser.
Choosing the Right Size
The first thing is to understand what sizes are best to choose from. If you will be using a printing service, find out what sizes they support. A few common sizes include 11×17”, 18×24”, 24×36”, and 27×39”. There are also larger movie poster sizes including 27×40” and 40×60”.
The best size depends on where you’ll be placing it. Try out a size by cutting some paper or cardboard and see if it works well.
Choosing Your Message
Before creating your poster, it’s essential to settle on the right message. This along with the design elements will determine its success. It may be helpful to get the input from someone with a marketing background in selecting the best message to write. In most situations, the message should be brief, very clear, and a large font. You may only have a few seconds of someone’s attention, and people may have a hard time reading a smaller font.
Someone with a marketing background will understand how certain methods will encourage action more than others. For example a “25% off Today” will work better than “25% off”, as it creates a sense of urgency, of missing out. A single purpose message will usually work best.
Use a Poster Mockup
Using a poster mockup from the Internet can save a great deal of time, and give you a professional background and layout to build upon. A poster mockup will usually be in Photoshop format. There are free mockups available on the Internet, as well as higher quality paid mockups. Unless you have someone on your team with Photoshop design skills, it’s better to invest in work someone else has done.
Before using a mockup, ensure the layout is going to work for the poster size you have in mind. Also ensure the colors will work well with the surrounding environment the poster will be placed at.
If you will be using images, aim for high quality. Poor quality images may give a bad impression, when you probably want to convey a high level of professionalism. Also be sure to use royalty free stock photos. Just because an image is on the Internet, does not mean it’s free to use. Being sued for copyright infringement is not a great way to start out with your first poster.
Why use an image? It can grab the attention of your customer and encourage them towards your call to action. An image can be created to make your product look especially attractive.
Get Second Opinions
Get some second opinions on the effectiveness of your poster from as many as possible and ask them to be honest and provide any constructive suggestions. As the creator, it’s easy to assume it’s perfect. It’s more important for the poster to be successful than to feel good about your creativity. Also, keep in mind that in a business situation, effectiveness matters more than how nice it looks. Oftentimes, simple is better and it’s easy to get carried away.
Physical placement of your poster is critical, if it’s not looked at, then it’s effectiveness hardly matters. Spend time evaluating all physical placement options. Consider the optimal height, distance, and if someone will need to turn their head to notice it. Ensure the font size works well for the distance that most customers will view it at, by testing with yourself and others. Be sure to consider how you will actually hang the poster, it may influence your choices.
Consider Your Audience
When designing your poster, consider the type of audience that you want to impact, and if necessarily, tailor it to that. For example, if you want to appeal to a business professional, keep the poster itself very professional.
In this age of social media and use of the Internet, it’s easy to overlook the power and simplicity of the simple poster. These can be connected by including a web link, email address, or QR code at the bottom of your poster.
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