How to Design Posters For Web and Print [Infographic]
By Sara McGuire
As an HR professional, your job probably doesn’t typically involve graphic design. Odds are you’ve had to create the odd poster or informational sheet, but that’s probably the extent of it.
But more and more workplaces are requiring their team members to put on different hats. This is especially true for small businesses with limited resources.
Say you have an event coming up in your workplace and you want to create a poster to promote it to employees. The majority of employees in the US still aren’t engaged with their jobs, and many HR professionals are turning to visual modes of communication to boost engagement.
Creating an attention-grabbing poster will help engage employees and make your workplace events seem more exciting.
Many businesses don’t have an in-house graphic designer and while there is no shortage of freelancers out there, your team may not have the time or resources to hire one.
That’s why it’s worth it to be able to do some basic design.
There are a couple of key principles of design that you need to get down to create beautiful and effective poster. But once you have those principles down, you can intuitively apply them to any poster, banner, infographic, or any other graphic you might need to create in your role.
The thing you will first need to determine is whether your poster will be distributed through web or in print. This will guide the rest of your design process.
Designing for Print
There are certain limitations to print that you will need to take into consideration during the design process.
First, visualize where you are planning on pinning up your poster. This will help you determine what size to make it. If you’re planning on pinning it on a wall with lots of other posters, you will want to print it in a larger size so that it will stand out.
But if you’re planning on posting it on an empty wall, printing multiples and pinning them up in rows will create impact.
Next, colors. Certain colors do not translate well to print. Because printers use CMYK colors, you should design your poster using CMYK colors from the start.
“Bleed” is also one of the main things to consider. When you design a poster where the colors and elements are flush with the sides of the page, your printer will automatically leave a white border around the edge of the page. This means that you will have to design your poster to be smaller than the page you print it on, and use crop marks to indicate where the you will crop the page.
To save yourself time and money, it’s often easiest to design your poster for a standard A1-A5 paper.
Lastly, it’s important to ensure that the font you use will be legible and big enough to be read from a distance. Generally, you should size your fonts between 24-48 points. It’s best to avoid fonts that are too decorative or stylized because they will be hard to decipher from more than a couple of meters away.
Designing For Web
If you’re designing a poster for web, you have a lot less limitations than print. You don’t have to worry about color limitations and font size and style is also more flexible.
That being said, you will need to be aware of image dimensions. Receiving emails with giant images is annoying–the same goes for images that are so small that you need to zoom in to read them, rendering the images blurry.
For email distribution, a 1080 x 1080 dpi square is a safe bet. If you’re designing a banner with a landscape orientation, keep in mind that it won’t be as compatible for mobile viewing as a portrait landscape.
Because your poster is web hosted, you have the option of animating your poster to make is even more engaging. A simple way to do this is to create a series of images with different colored backgrounds and to use a free tool like Giphy to turn the image series into a GIF.
This infographic walks you through the design process for creating awesome posters.