Photo credit: Image source: Daily Billboard
Photo credit: Image source: Ad Forum
Large posters are one of the most popular printing formats, and are regularly used by brands of all descriptions and sizes. Large posters can range for a size life A2 - A0 which is commonly used inside a business, to large billboards like 48 and 96 sheet posters. The larger your poster design will be, the more expensive it will be to print, and if you are spending lots of money on a large poster, you want to ensure you are getting some bang for your buck! With this in mind, I'm going to look at 7 things you must consider when it comes to designing large posters for print.
Designing Large Posters that Work
1. The Role of Color
When it comes to designing large posters color can be your friend and really help your message to stand out; but it's important to remember that it can also be your enemy. Don't go overboard when using color. Use colors that relate to your brand or complement well with each other. Some of the best posters tend to be very minimal when it comes to color, using one main color for the background and subtly incorporating other colors to make text and graphics stand out. Remember the role that color will play in any images that you use also.
2. Powerful Images
One of the biggest reasons for using large posters and billboards is to showcase your brand or a product. This will almost always result in images being used. Ensure your images are high quality so they can be used in large format posters. Think of memorable posters down the years like the Eva Herzigova "Hello Boys" Wonderbra poster (recently voted the most iconic outdoor ad of all time) or some of the great Apple billboards from down the years. The power of the image has been a big factor in the impact these posters have had, so be sure to give plenty of thought to how you will use imagery when designing your posters.
3. Make it Readable
Your choice of text plays a crucial role in all forms of print marketing, but it is perhaps even more important for larger posters were your audience will have less time to take in your message. Think of large posters and billboards that are directed at moving traffic. Your text needs to be clear and easy for passersby to read. For posters greater than size A3, it is not recommended to use font size smaller than size 10, although this will increase as your poster size increases. It is also recommended to use no more than 8 words on a poster, unless of course you are The Economist as shown below.
4. White Space is Your Friend
When it comes to designing posters and billboards, the temptation can often be to try and fill as much of it as you can. White space relates to the use of space in design, so remember the importance of using space and letting your poster breath. A common trait of some of the most recognisable brands is that they adopt a very minimal approach to their posters. It's often a case of showcasing their product, logo or brand message and nothing else. If you're currently working on a large poster design, consider this minimalist approach and remember that space is your friend. Don't crowd your poster!
5. Think of Your Message
It can sometimes be all too easy to start adding in images, graphics, color and text to make a poster look great, without actually thinking about the purpose behind it all. Before you even start the design process, think of your message. What do you want your customers to get from your poster. Do you want them to know about a new product, an upcoming sale or perhaps just a general brand message? Whatever you want your customers to get from your poster or billboard, be smart in your use of images and text to help tell your story and get your message across.
6. Call to Action
There is no point in spending lots of time and money on designing and printing a large poster or billboard, without directing your audience to the right place. If you want them to visit your shop, visit your website or perhaps connect with you on Facebook and Twitter, be sure to make this call to action very visible in the design process.
7. Consistent with Your Other Print Marketing
Finally, it's important to be consistent when designing large posters for print. Ensure that any large print marketing that you use, is consistent in color, layout and feel to that of smaller print material or even digital solutions (like emails and images on your website and social media pages). If your audience come across other variations of your large poster, they are likely to recall it much easier as they are already familiar with the look of it. This will make your message much more memorable.
So there you have it, designing a large poster for print is not an exact science, but it is very much a process that requires some thought. Don't go overboard in the design process and remember that less can very often be more. Use the platform to get your message across in a clear manner that your audience will understand.