Creating Posters that Pop

Posters are one of the most basic types of advertisement and do a good job of creating general awareness.  Though you will want more individualized campaigns further down the advertising funnel, posters are a key part to most plans.  A well done poster will engage your audience and encourage positive opinions of you and your event.  A poorly done poster will do the opposite.   Since negative exposure is worse than no exposure at all, it is vital that a bad poster is never distributed.  While creating a great poster is a creative process that requires instinct and skill, creating a generally good poster is not all that complex.  So take these few tips to heart to prevent a bad poster, and seek additional training if you are looking to create truly amazing advertisements.

  1. Use good graphics.  Grainy photos, busy backgrounds, and horrible clip art make a big statement, but in a bad way.  They tell people that you didn’t care to be professional and just slapped some graphics onto a sheet of paper and expected it to work.  The first two also make your posters harder to read; if people can’t read your posters from a distance, they aren’t likely to walk right up to them to see what they are about.  If you are unable to find good graphics for your poster, leave graphics out and go for a simple, clean design.  A poster can be effective without a single photo; it won’t be effective with too many.
  2. Use a maximum of 2 fonts.  Once again, posters need to be easy to read.  People will be walking by the posters, and you want to give them a reason to stop and look closer.  Too many fonts confuse the eyes.  Using the same font throughout a poster will add to its sophistication and allow people to focus in on the words and graphics.
  3. Go simple.  Elaborate, detailed posters can be amazing.  But if you aren’t sure if you can pull one off, or have limited knowledge of advertising, stick with the safe bet.  A simple poster will not leave a negative impression; a poorly done elaborate poster has that undesired potential.
  4. Less is more.  A cluttered poster is uninviting and people are likely to skip right over.  Include only the most necessary information (generally that means time, location, a contact number, and a brief explanation of what the event is).  Use only one or two pictures, or have just a picture in the background.    The less you have on the poster, the more important each piece of that poster will feel to the observer.
  5. Be consistent.  Most campsites have a variety of events throughout the year, and some of those will use posters.  As much as possible, reuse the same styles and colors in your posters.  For example, if you have a quilting retreat each fall, try using the same font and colors and general layout each year.  Or maybe your campsite has a layout it uses for every event, with different colors depending on the event.  Try to find ways to remain consistent so that people can see your poster from a distance and automatically associate it either with your campsite or a specific event.
  6. Don’t do overkill.  When you decide to put up posters, you do want to be certain that they are in a wide variety of places.  But you should be careful of how often you use posters.  If your campsite has a different poster every week, or multiple posters up at a time, people are likely to stop paying attention to what they say.  Choose particular events to advertise widely about, or put up a poster that has information regarding multiple events at once.  You don’t want people to become too accustomed to seeing them around.


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