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5 Secrets for Designing Eye-Catching Event Posters

event-poster-designYou’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 5 tips to create a powerful, effective event poster.

Event Poster Design 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 a Pinterest search for the particular type of poster you need to make and soak in the inspiration.

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 off-handed manner. If you are borrowing imagery, make sure that you use high-quality images that are not pixelated, stretched, or distorted. Also make sure they are licensed for commercial use. 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 two or three, and don’t use them at more than four 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 make 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.

Now that you have an awesome poster, create an event

 

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Brown Paper Tickets Wins Website Award

Thank you to all who voted in the Seattle Weekly “Best of Seattle” reader’s poll.  Brown Paper Tickets has been awarded top honors in the category of  Best Website Graphics.  According to Seattle Weekly, “Fair-trade ticketing company Brown Paper Tickets not only connects you with the hottest events in town at fair ticket prices, their website looks really cool, too.”

How nice of you to notice!  We changed our website graphics to take on the look and feel that makes setting up an event easy, and ticket-buying a pleasure.  Along with the new website graphics, anyone who produces an event now has free integration with MailChimp, a free, powerful email marketing campaign manager. They can also start ticket sales from their own website, and get 2.5% of the ticketing fee sent back to them if they are using their own credit card processor instead of the Brown Paper Tickets credit card processor. In addition to these great features, ticket buyers can also purchase tickets, tell Brown Paper Tickets which charity to donate a portion of their ticket purchase to, and tell their friends which shows they are going to through social media with less clicks.

Since 1986, The Seattle Weekly has been keeping tabs on the best the Emerald City has to offer, and this not the first time that Brown Paper Tickets has made one of its “best of”  lists.  Just last year, in June of 2011, Brown Paper Tickets won the  “Best Mobile App” award in the Seattle Weekly Web Awards, saying “Turn your iPhone into a scanner to check in and out of events – cool app for event producers!”

Speaking of mobile apps, the Seattle Weekly has created a mobile app that allows readers to carry the list of their best-loved treats, temptations, people and businesses. Get the “Best of Seattle” app here.

Thanks for the love, Brown Paper Tickets fans!  Share the love and spread the word with your friends and neighbors who are producing events!

 

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