If you’re a graphic designer or marketer, you know that compelling poster design layout ideas can be hard to come by. It seems everyone’s an expert, but few really know how to visually tantalize the senses, evoke emotions and motivate action. There are four basic components of successful posters, though they’re not all always present in every poster printed: headline, images/graphics, body copy and call to action. Here, we’ll offer poster design layout ideas for each component so you can design, print, and distribute powerful posters that sell.
Your poster headline is one of the most important components, and in many cases it represents the only text on your poster. Your headline should be compelling in message, for sure, but you also need to make sure it’s easily read through large fonts, striking typeface and powerful positioning. Naturally, poster headlines can be at the top of your poster design, but they can also be on the bottom, in the middle or even typed vertically up or down the sides. There is no limit to where you can place your poster headline, and sometimes the most creative positioning gets the most attention. All that is important is that your headline is easily read.
When it comes to poster design layout ideas, many will argue that bigger is better when it comes to images in graphics. However, in some cases small images, icons, logos and other graphics are more powerful. You’ve seen the art nouveau posters that include some text, a bare or patterned background, and a single small image component in the center. This works, because it is different and intriguing. Other off-center uses, such as a character leaning in from the poster border or looking down from the top of your poster, are equally powerful. This isn’t to say you can’t center a large image or even create an image collage that takes up your entire poster design – only that you’re not limited. Just like your headline, what is important is that your message is cohesive and clear.
Some posters have no body copy at all, but for those that do it’s important that it doesn’t take up too much space. A couple of paragraphs or a few bulleted points will do the trick. Your goal is to make your entire poster easily readable in less than 10 seconds. Body copy can be positioned anywhere, but copy centered near the center or bottom of your poster is generally the most logical. In most cases your body copy should be somewhere underneath your headline to provide logical order and easy-to-read flow for passers-by.
Call to action
Not all posters include a call to action and of those that do in many cases the headline is the call to action. Still others include separate headlines, body copy and calls to action. No matter how you decide to present your call to action, be sure to place it in a prominent, easy-to-read position. Remember that the goal is to motivate customers to take the next step in the purchasing process (or some other action, depending on your organization), so you want your poster readers to recognize what the next step and how to complete it at a glance.