Serif in Education

Digital Poster Design – some tips

As part of the Computing curriculum, children might need to produce a digital poster. This may be to accompany a game, or a website. PagePlus from the Serif Design Suite gives students the power of great design without having to use complicated software. Students can design professional-quality documents and present work creatively, customising their images, colours and fonts. As well as printed brochures and posters, pupils can produce interactive PDF’s and eBooks for sharing on the latest mobile devices.

Good digital poster design needs to convey information whilst at the same time, appealing to the aesthetic tastes of your audience. Essentially, it needs to be eye catching, but for the right reasons! Creative Bloq is a great resource for finding tips and ideas on topics such as poster design. In one article, they interviewed three top illustrators and designers on their poster projects and got them to offer tips on how you can design better posters.

“Behind a good poster should be a message or idea,” says illustrator/designer Jesús Prudencio. “It must communicate something and should reach everyone.”

Find a focus, and make an impact, he says. “I like to follow the trends, but do not usually apply them to my designs. I like minimalist design and simple lines. I try to convey what I want with a few elements that make an impact and have a lasting message.”

Illustrator Sam Gilbey recommends balancing the composition. “The core skill is learning how to balance a composition, and looking at how the viewer’s eye will – ideally – bounce around the image, rather than being taken out of it. That’s no different to creating any other artwork, but if you’re including type as well, then the challenge to weigh everything just right can be tougher. Use a grid wherever there’s a significant amount of type to include. Other than that, it’s about finding your own style, and then within that, trying to find a way to tell a bit of a story with your image.”

Radim Malinic is one of the UK’s best-known and established creative forces. With clients including Acer, Arts Council England, BBC and The London Film Museum, he is known for his incredible use of colour and composition and his straining photo-montage work. “Ever since I’d discovered the font Graphik, I wanted to use it and this was the right opportunity,” says Radim. “Graphik possesses a beautiful combination of boldness and elegance.

“To illustrate the contrast, I used SF Movie Poster, the super condensed font. Then it was a question of mixing the two fonts to find the right result.” Be playful but considered is the message here.

Radim’s comments on mixing fonts got me thinking – how important is the font on a poster, and in branding in general? The Guardian newspaper recently released their brand guidelines through a series of posters. The Guardian Creative Director Alex Breuer and Deputy Creative Director Chris Clarke were tasked with unifying a wide range of styling, typographic patterns, colour theory and grammar when they joined the company two years ago. They say the new brand guidelines will help “demonstrate the importance of their design language within their DNA”.

Aware that only a small portion of readers are familiar with The Guardian’s history as a newspaper, the design team has sought to add a layer of diversity to evolve their editorial language so that their identity is not solely in their masthead, but also “from the smallest articulation the roundel, to tonal colour theory for different accents of content”.

As for the title ‘The Guardian’, they say “our title piece identifies us, and it tells our readers they’re in safe hands”. Typography is clearly important, as they say “a font is to a newspaper what handwriting is to a human: if you know us well, you’ll know it’s us. As for colours, our colours categorise, signal and signpost. Colour allows our readers to navigate a page instantly. Our colours are always harmonious, never contrasting.”

What is clear from all of this is that nothing, whether on a poster, in a newspaper, or on a website, is there just for the sake of it. Everything has been careful considered, and has a purpose. Food for thought for students, perhaps.


For more poster design tips, visit Creativebloq: