Faced with a blank sheet of poster board, the job of coming up with a creative poster can be a daunting one. However, by following a few basic guidelines, the step-by-step creation of an attractive, effective poster is not as overwhelming a task as it may seem. Simply keep in mind that your objective is to get others to take a closer look at your poster and come away with some basic information. You’ll use color, a great graphic and your imagination to achieve that objective.
1. List the information that absolutely needs to be included on your poster. For example, if you are advertising the performance of a local theater group, you need such information as the date, times, and location where the play will be presented along with the title of the play and either ticket prices or a phone number to call for tickets. If you need to make a science project poster, you would want to include the name of the project, probably in the form of a hypothesis or a question.
2. Decide on one large graphic element for the poster. By having one large graphic, you’ll attract the eye to a focal point on the poster. Possibilities for graphics include such ideas as a black and white drawing, a photograph, a diagram, a cutout from a magazine, or an abstract design.
3. Choose a color for the poster board that coordinates well with both your subject and your graphic. For example, the color of a poster that will feature a full-color photograph should pick up one of the colors of the photograph; a black and white photo would be more effectively displayed on a brightly colored poster board than on a white one. Hot pink would probably not be the best choice for a poster describing a serious issue.
4. Mount your graphic in a prominent yet interesting position on the poster board. Try tilting the graphic to the left, for example, about one-third down from the top of the poster. Consider using a black marker to outline the edge of your graphic to make it stand out more effectively.
5. Use the yardstick to draw a thick pencil line where you want the title for your poster to appear. For example, if you have tilted the graphic to the left, you might want the poster title to tilt at the same angle. Once your pencil line is drawn, lightly sketch in the letters or use stencils if you wish.
6. Choose a complementary color for completing the letters. The letters will have considerably more “pop” if you outline them in black. If the poster is an extremely dark color, you might consider cutting out letters of a lighter color and gluing them on.
7. Consult your list of items to be included on the poster and find a unique way of including them. For example, on a white poster you might list the items using different colors for each in rainbow-order. Or you might cut out appropriate shapes (such as balloons, hearts, hands or whatever suits your purpose) and print one piece of information on each and glue them randomly onto the poster.