A poster is a written or printed notice of fairly large paper which are mostly displayed on notice boards or walls in order to communicate to general public. A Frenchman who is most commonly known by name Toulouse Lautrec is known as the father of poster designing.

Types of Posters

There are two main types of posters.

  • words or text posters
  • Pictorial poster.

A words or text poster usually contains the text only while pictorial poster contains illustrations sometimes with few texts and sometimes without text.

Poster plays a vibrant role as a communication tool. Some of these are:

  • To inform general public about societal issues such as political, health issues, civic responsibilities etc.
  • To educate or warn against the social vices and other negative tendencies such as alcohol, smoking, drugs etc.
  • To advertise products & services in the society.
  • To announce ceremonies, events, programs to be organized in the society.
  • To invite members of general public to organized occasions and events.
  • To persuade people to take a certain course of action or do something.
  • To praise or popularize some good behavioural patterns or people etc.
Features of posters

There are different features of posters effective in playing of their roles. These qualities make designed poster a powerful educative tool.

  • Colors used for posters must be bright and attractive so that the poster can be seen easily from far and receive the attention of passers-by.
  • Another important thing is the typeface. Typeface selected for designing of posters must be legible. It should be bold and clear so that it can be read and seen from a far distance.
  • The poster should carry brief message or information. The information on it should not be too much and neither should it be confusing and ambiguous.
  • The design for the production of posters must be simple. The design should not be distractive. It should have description that must be easily digested by almost all categories of people, despite the difference in their age occupation etc.
  • Good illustrations must be used for the posters.
  • The information written on the poster must be clear and self-explanatory.
  • The information written on the poster must be in plain and straightforward language.
  • The poster must have an effective layout.
  • The arrangement of text and illustrations must be attractive to the viewers.

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Designing a poster

These steps outline how a good posters can be designed by graphic artists.

  • The first stage is making of thumbnail sketches. This includes putting down ideas in the mind on to the paper.
  • Next comes the making of the rough sketches.
  • After that comes the third stage which is comprehensive sketches. This involves making of accurate layout showing type and illustration suitable as finished design.
  • The last stage is camera-ready stage. The layout is painted in its respective colour schemes and is ready as a presentable design.


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