The Art of Poster Design: Goals, Types and Directions

The Art of Poster Design: Goals, Types and Directions The article presents the classification of posters as a popular type of graphic design: check the definitions, art directions and examples of various posters.
The Art of Poster Design: Goals, Types and Directions

Posters are among the major attributes of the printing industry. All of us had at least one poster on the wall as a teenager and even more, some may still keep them as precious memories. Today posters can be seen everywhere: in the streets, public places and on the Web. But what makes them so special? Let’s define the essence of posters and their common types. Also, we’ll describe directions which are commonly applied to the art of posters.

What’s a poster?

A poster is a usually large sheet with images and text which aims at conveying certain information and making it noticeable for the target audience. Also, they can be presented small sizes, for example, digital version or postcards. Posters are thought to be one the first directions of visual advertisement which appeared in the 19th century. First posters were politically oriented but in a short time people came up with an idea of using them as product ads.

As posters grew their popularity, people started to apply them in many different fields and created numerous styles and directions for poster design. Let’s see what common types of posters are and which directions designers follow to create unique works.


By Studio JQ

Common types of posters

Advertising posters

Posters are most commonly applied in the advertising field. One of the earliest types of advertising posters were political posters which appeared during the First World War as means of recruitment. Today political posters are mainly used before the elections to encourage people to vote. They are usually based on typography which delivers candidates’ slogans.

There are also commercial posters which serve as the main tool helping to catch people’s attention and transfer the message of an advertised item. The major profit a poster is that it can be placed even in the most crowded places still having great chances to be noticed. Moreover, posters can be put on various digital and print media resources rising chances to hit the wider target audience. Advertising posters are designed that way so that they could present an item effectively and make people want it. In addition, posters wield a significant level of recognizability which means they can be helpful for branding.


By FOREAL studio

Movie posters

One of the most popular and beloved types is a movie poster. They are usually original images or illustrations which give a quick glimpse at the idea of the film. Designers need to emphasize the important details about the plot still keep the intrigue uncovered. Also, movie posters often contain the name of director and starring team so that film lovers couldn’t miss new masterpieces of their favorite actors.

The Art of Poster Design Goals, Types and Directions.

By tubik

Motivational and social posters

This kind of posters brings a great value to the society. Motivational posters are meant to encourage people to do something. They are often applied in big companies for employee’s motivation. Also, motivational posters can be a part of a social program helping people to overbear difficult life situations.

Social posters aim at uncovering different problems including environmental, political and social. They show the problems in different ways: they may be obscured via abstract ideas or irony as well as designers can present them in the most vivid ways which sometimes may seem shocking.


By Wesam Mazhar Haddad

Event posters

The objective of event posters is the presentation of upcoming events, be it a music concert or theatre play. To provide effective promotion, posters have to be eye-catching and original, so designers often try to apply creative solutions. For example, to advertise a music concert there is no need for concentrating attention on the band’s picture. Many concerts come with a slogan which is usually based on the name the latest album. It may be a good idea to create a custom illustration or original photo which would reflect the mood of coming concert.



Directions of poster art

There is no accounting for tastes, the reason why a great diversity of the poster art directions appeared to hit any target audience right into the heart. Let’s define the most common directions of the poster art.

Typography posters

For non-designers, this direction may seem easy and fast but typography is a complex science which requires deep knowledge to make things work effectively.
All the goals of a poster are gained via typographic elements including fonts, alignment, and whitespace. It is vital to pay attention even to the smallest details since in typography posters each component has its value.


By Steve Wolf


By Jota STD

Photography posters

Photography is an art itself and if it’s combined with modern design technology, it can be turned into a unique poster. Nowadays people are obsessed with beautiful high-resolution photos, the reason why this direction is really popular, especially in digital variants.


By Studio Otwarte

Graphic posters

This is the direction which uncuffs designers hands and let their imagination go as far as it can.Graphic designers experiment a lot on poster creation following modern design directions such as flat design and applying various techniques. Digital artists make original posters which accurately bring people into the atmosphere of the films, cartoons, and other performances or events.


By Tubik

Blacklight posters

This direction appeared at the end of 1960’s and became a part of a modern pop culture. They are posters made phosphor inks which glow under a blacklight. Commonly used in nightclubs and pubs or as an outdoor decoration, they often apply abstract illustration creating an effect of hallucinations.

Creating posters designers are free to experiments with styles and directions. The essential thing which they need to keep in mind is the preferences of the target audience. If a poster is designed according to the tastes of the public, it has high chances to be on the top.

advertising, branding, design, design best practices, design for marketing, design process, digital art, digital illustrations, graphic design, illustration, inspiration, poster design,
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