Poster design is arguably one of the trickiest graphic design art forms. Visually capturing the essence of your message is hard enough, even more so when you have to do it in a way that attracts the eyes of many passers-by. Generating fresh ideas for one of the oldest forms of advertising is tough, but not impossible when you follow these poster design inspiration ideas.
When in Rome ...
It's one thing to know who your target audience is, another thing entirely to understand where your target audience goes, what your audiences does, and (most importantly) what your target audience responds to. Learning these things from the beginning streamlines the process of crafting a successful poster, so make a point to get to know your target audience well before you start sketching.
Review the competition
You're likely marketing products and services similar to those of your competition and to the same target audience, so you should see how your competition fares with their designs. Track your competitors' posters and when you notice that they're running an extended campaign, you can bet that it's working. That being said, do not copy your competitors! Instead, let their designs build a springboard you can use to differentiate yourself from them.
Study winning entries
It's not hard to find great poster design examples from contest winner galleries. Do a quick online search or browse your favorite design blogs to locate poster design contests, and then take a look at winning poster designs from the past few years. Again, the goal is not to copy or to necessarily emulate another designer's work; but you can find poster design inspiration by transposing general themes and layout ideas into your current project.
Look to the finish line
Never lose sight of your end goal. Is your poster part of an impression campaign meant to brand or increase awareness, or is it a direct-marketing piece with a definitive offer and call to action? It's important to highlight your most important details and trash the rest. Just because a poster offers more real estate doesn't mean you should add more noise. Instead, make your designs and text larger or creatively use white space to make a point.
Break the mold
The easiest way to get noticed? Be different. Try the creative use of color, sizes, proportions, design concepts, themes and even custom die cuts to make your poster seem like an anomaly. This is how you separate your designs from the pack and call attention to your message despite the environment. A brick design on a brick wall is easily lost (though potentially creative), but a bright yellow triangle-shaped poster on a black wall is nearly impossible to miss.
Successful, response-generating poster design can be a challenge, though many designers find poster design to be one of the more enjoyable mediums. Prepare to meet your goals, and you'll elevate your poster design prowess.