What Makes A Good Poster?

MBE poster printing services

A poster is basically a large printed picture designed to be eye-catching and informative. The primary principle of a poster is communication. Because of their ability to make a visual statement, posters continue to be a hugely popular media format. This effective marketing strategy can often convert viewers into buyers.

What makes a good poster? Read on to find out more…

A little history

The poster was first utilised as a form of advertising in the 19th century by the French painter Jules Cheret. Around 1880 his stone lithographic process allowed every colour in the rainbow to be achieved with the ability to combine word and image, resulting in a lithographic poster. He created more than a thousand posters during his career of 30 years.

Through the Moulin Rouge poster crazes of 1891 to the New Century and Early Modernism of the early 1900s, posters began to create an abstract and more visual modern language. From rebellions in the 1960s, Postmodernism in the 1970s and ’80s, to the poster of today, it has evolved to meet the changing needs of society.

Types of posters

Look at just a few examples of modern-day posters below:

Ad posters

Well-known global brands such as Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike have produced posters designed to be distributed around cities with iconic culture images.

Educational posters

Used in the academic and corporate environments to inform viewers of company announcements, research work, and interesting facts and figures.

Movie posters

These posters remain extremely popular and sought-after following movies like Star Wars and Jaws.

Public events posters

Posters are still a key medium for promoting sporting events, concerts, musicals, conferences, and fairs.

Travel posters

Strong visual statements with dramatic images of locations are ideal for the travel industry as a form of encouragement to travel to unusual destinations.

The importance of great poster design

Before you begin to design your poster you need to be aware of the brand and image you want to portray. This allows you to then define the message on your poster. Addressing the needs and challenges of your viewer, and how your business can help, or what you can do for them will let you make logical design decisions.

When you design a poster, it should be clearly readable from a distance. It also needs to relate to your target audience. That’ll be determined by whether you’re communicating with business people for example, or to children. If you keep the tone of the poster relevant for these viewers that will be a perfect start.

Poster composition

You should initially draft an outline including pertinent information. This could cover a title, date of the event, ticket pricing, any event rules, and parking locations. Remember that too much information will only cause confusion, so be objective and decide which are the most important facts.

It’s really essential to aim for a good visual balance as this guides the viewer through the heading, images, and text. Find a focal point that makes an impact and then keep everything aligned.

Poster colour

Getting the colour mix right is crucial. Aim for three colour themes, to begin with, which can be contrasting or complimentary. Your main colour should account for around 60% of your design, with the other colours taking 30% and 10%. Other colours can be added as necessary.

Pure black and white provide ultimate contrast values with contrasts of shading using dark text on a light background. Choosing the right colours will ensure your poster stands out.

Poster images

Poster images and pictures work really well and can have a tremendous impact. You’ll need to select dramatic and relevant photos to create the visual appeal needed. Ensure the photos depict your brand and use them as the focal point which can then be surrounded by the text.

Poster text

Bear in mind that the fonts will have a significant effect on the message that your poster delivers. Choose typefaces that let your headlines grab the attention of your viewers. The size and position of the text guide your readers where to look. Make sure that your call to action is highly visible and clear.


When you’re designing a poster try something that’s memorable and unique to your business. Experiment with vintage elements, comic illustrations, or loud colours. Remember to consider the location of your poster in relation to colours and size. And factor all of the following into your poster design:

  • Construct a foundation
  • Draft the outline
  • Select a colour scheme
  • Add images and graphics
  • Add text and CTA

Get poster printing from Australia

If you need specialist help, MBE provides professional poster printing services in Australia – all you have to do is let them know your requirements. Experts in large poster printing will quickly assist you in getting the right poster for your seasonal sales promotions, company events, or special menus for restaurants. Whatever the occasion MBE will deliver!