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A Look At The Art Of Posters: 4 Elements Of Creating A Good Poster

If you’re planning or looking to create your own poster, here are four elements that you can take note of

A Look At The Art Of Posters 4 Elements Of Creating A Good Poster

When people think of posters, political propaganda, movies, marketing, ads, and the like are some of the things that come to mind. True enough, posters are 2D-visual graphics that are mainly used to portray ideas through images, texts, or, sometimes, a combination of the two.

While portraits vary in size, color, feel, and purpose, you can’t help but get intrigued in what goes in the mind of the artists that created each piece. The eyes can often mislead you, after all. So, what is being presently depicted in the portrait may not exactly reflect the message that the artist wants to convey.

Despite that, the process that goes into creating posters involve most of the steps and techniques fundamental to any artwork. If you’re planning or looking to create your own poster, here are four elements that you can take note of:

  1. Color

Color is one of the most basic and rudimentary elements of art. It is the most commonly understood and perceived component of any visual cue.

When it comes to incorporating color techniques on your poster, you should first be aware of how color theory works. Color theory, in general, is the theoretical understanding on how the human eye perceive hues and how they interact with one another.

The merit in understanding the fundamentals of color theory lies in gaining more control over how you can properly convey your message and how the final look of your piece will turn out. In addition, you can add more on the aesthetic value of the poster by having a grasp of the primal rules of color theory.

Knowing how to play around color combinations can make your poster more visually striking. This way, your poster will pique the interest of anyone who looks at it.

To better understand how integrating color theory can take your piece to the next level, you can take a look at some examples, such as these posters.

A Look At The Art Of Posters 4 Elements Of Creating A Good Poster

  1. Purpose

The purpose behind your artwork is the fuel that will drive you to finish your piece. Be it in poster making, oils, acrylics, or any form of art and medium, the reason behind your art is extremely crucial.

Are you going to use it for political propaganda? For decorating your room? Or for relieving your boredom? Whichever your reason is, before starting on the work, set your purpose first.

Creating art, however fun, can sometimes be draining. There are even instances that will leave you staring at your blank canvass for minutes. The experience is frustrating and tiresome, which can lead you to giving up on your work.

To prevent such an experience, ask yourself why you’re doing this and what you want to achieve. You’ll be able to find your answers eventually when you take a moment to reflect, especially when you doubt yourself or are unsure of your purpose for doing the poster. Those times are completely normal, and they’re actually a shared experience among artists. You’re never alone. You can read this guide to help you get those gears running and find inspiration.

  1. Audience

Often overlooked, the target audience is an important element in the process of creating your poster. Whether the target audience is a group of females, males, young queers, or anyone for that matter, identifying the ‘for whom’ of your poster can help you gain insights into how your piece will look.

Furthermore, knowing the demographic of your poster can help you select the right medium to further express your message. For instance, if your target audience are activist teenagers who advocate against the claws of capitalism, then using acrylics for that vivid and strong finish can help you emphasize the message.

In relation to your poster’s purpose, you can have an ‘imagined’ audience as well. This means that your target audience doesn’t need to ‘see’ your poster. You can simply use some of your imagination and your audience’s vicarious experiences in conceptualizing your work.

A Look At The Art Of Posters 4 Elements Of Creating A Good Poster

  1. Shapes And Structure

The shapes that you use on your poster can increase the symbolical, as well as the aesthetic value of your piece. Using the right set of shapes in your piece helps you and your audience get a glimpse of the meaning of your work.

Using geometrical shapes, for instance, creates a sharper and more abstracted visual effect on the poster. You can make use of these shapes when you want to let your audience ponder on the relationship of each angle.

You can use lines and sinews to give your poster more flow and detail, like those you’ll notice in art nouveau. This works best when you want to apply the traditional techniques with a more contemporary touch.

Taking advantage of the shapes and structures that you use on your poster can help you establish a connection between the aesthetic component of your piece and its figurative component.

Bottom line:

Art, in and of itself, is a movement. It’s a vital part of life that has enabled people throughout history to convey what cannot be relayed through words. In the same fashion, how you want your poster to speak to anyone who sees it is still the most important element of art.


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Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is the Cover Star of Vanity Fair December 2021 Issue