June 5, 2013 | Subscribe

Poster Design 101

Posters 101

You've secured a venue, entertainment and a schedule for your event. Now it's time to start promoting! With a beautifully designed poster, you can build organic buzz around your event and watch it spread like wildfire. Follow these tips below to create a powerful event poster.

The Basics

1. Select tools and a style that suits the feeling of your event
Use what you've got! Hand drawn, painted, or cut and pasted collage posters are still relevant and can be quite successful, but if you feel comfortable in a graphics or word-processing software, go for it! Whatever your skill set, decide what style and effect you're going for and back it up with your medium or application. Feeling lost? Do an online image search for the particular type of poster you need to make and soak in the inspiration. If you find something you like that fits the vision for your event visuals, reverse engineer it and then make it your own. Imitation is the highest form of flattery!

2. Choose engaging imagery and give it a great home
Less is more, but there is a big difference between simple and plain. Choose central imagery that is clear but has enough detail to be interesting. A beautifully composed photograph of a performer can be effective, but so can a seemingly unrelated illustration. Many well-done show posters use visual metaphors to illustrate something about the experience of the performance in a somewhat offhanded manner. If you are borrowing imagery, make sure that you use high quality images that are not pixelated, stretched or distorted. Whatever approach you take, create a clear focal point with the imagery through placement. Try placing the image off center, using the rule of thirds. Also, when grouping multiple graphic objects present them in odd numbers so that they feel organic (I.e, 1, 3, 5, etc.).

3. Use fonts that connect to the imagery and keep it clean
Fonts can make or break a great poster. Be unique but not over the top. You don't have to use all of the fancy free fonts you've been collecting. Look to continue the shapes, patterns and textures of your imagery through the design of the letters you use. To be on the safe side, limit the use of various fonts to 2 or 3, and don't use them at more than 4 different sizes. Use more stylized fonts for titles and headings, at a larger size for easy readability from a distance. For body text, use a simple clean font that is easy to read at a small size. Pay careful attention to alignment and be consistent. Don't casually jump back and forth between center, left and right alignment. Limit the use of all caps to headings, and be consistent with capitalization. The difference between the design of a professional and an amateur is often most evident through the treatment of text.

4. Be intentional when selecting colors
Not sure what colors to use? Take hints from the colors of the imagery you've selected! If you're using a photograph, use tones from the actual photo (you can utilize the eyedropper tool if you're using graphics software). Choose contrasting colors. Neutrals are easy on the eyes for small type. High-impact colors like red, orange or yellow, can draw attention to sparingly-selected important details. Remember to continue to connect with the characteristics of your other elements with the selection of color – how does it make you feel? Does it flow with the textures, forms, and lines of your imagery and fonts? This level of intention will help result in a cohesive end-product.

5. Balance your components
You've picked strong imagery, exciting but readable fonts, and a beautiful color palette! Play with the elements until you've achieved good flow and balance. The eye should move easily from the engaging imagery to easy-to-read text. When arranged properly all elements should come together to create a single unified visual experience. Step back and take a look at the design at its actual size. If you are perceiving disconnected objects, rearrange them until the composition feels harmonious and cohesive.

Looking for more information on posters for your event? Download our resource guide on creating and distributing posters and stay tuned for our article on prepping posters for print!

Need some additional help designing your event posters? Email Promo@BrownPaperTickets.com or call (800) 838-3006 (Option 5). We're here to help!

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Pro Tip: Reports Series - HTML and Event Descriptions
For beginner, intermediate and advanced producers

An event description is often the first thing people see when purchasing tickets to your event. Take your event description design to the next level with the use of simple HTML code.

Stylized text
Bolding, underlining and italicizing text in your event descriptions can help make important details standout amidst information-heavy event descriptions. For example, bolding the names of acts/artists in your show is recommended for quick visibility.

Separating text into shorter paragraphs through the use of line breaks allows for easier reading and better retention. Be sure to create these breaks within the Event Description box.

The code, when implemented, should have no spaces between the letters and the brackets. Remember to always close the HTML tag (</>) so that the style applies to just the text you want to highlight.
  • Bold - < b > This < /b >
  • Underline - < u> Is < /u >
  • Italicize - < i > Awesome < /i >

Linking in your event description is just as easy as stylizing text. Linking to your venue, information on featured artists, or your website, are all great ways to add value to your event page! Note: You must add “http://” to any link you want to include or your link will not work properly.

The code, when implemented, should have no spaces between the letters and the brackets. Remember to always close the HTML tag (</>) so that the style applies to just the text you want to highlight.
  • Links - < a href=”http://www.yourlink.com”> The Test You want < /a>

While we do allow you to upload images in the “Look and Feel” section of your producer account, you can also embed images at a larger resolution to give your event page some extra pazzazz. You will need to have your image posted somewhere online to link to (this can be from your Facebook or Twitter page if you do not have a website hosting your images). When creating your images, we recommend image resolution widths of 480px or 720px.

The code, when implemented, should have no spaces between the letters and the brackets. Remember to always close the HTML tag (</>) so that the style applies to just the text you want to highlight.
  • Images - < img src="http://yourimagelink.com" >
  • Linked Image- < a href="http://www.linketoyourimage.com ">< img src="http://yourimagelink.com" >< /a >

Videos, Playlists, Picture Galleries
One of the best parts of embedding HTML is the ability to add more advanced audio visuals to the page! Again, while we provide the ability to add videos in the side column of your page, you can also include a larger resolution video on your main event description from sites like Vimeo and YouTube. Additionally, if you use any websites to host your music or podcasts like SoundCloud or Reverbnation, you can copy and paste their embedded audio player. The same is available for picture galleries from sites like Flikr.

The code, when implemented, should have no spaces between the letters and the brackets.
  • YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud or Flikr all have the ability to “share” your content. Find that button on the video, song, or photogallery you'd like to include on your page and copy/paste the embed code. If you can customize the size of the content, we recommend selecting a 480px width box.

Interested in discussing how you can further utilize HTML on your Event Page? Give our Client Services Tech department a call at (800) 838-3006 (Option 4) or email Support@BrownPaperTickets.com.

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220 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109
(800) 838-3006

Good stuff inside:

>> Poster Design 101

En español | En français

>> Pro Tip: HTML and Event Descriptionsd

Tips on Using Social Media For Events

>> Click to see all articles

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