Welcome to In the Cloud
Design a poster like
In this workshop you will learn
more about the following
Learn the underlying design principles,
printing and general jargon related to
Understand the differences between a
good and bad design
Finding quality content to add to your
Learn how to use software to design
What is a poster?
A poster is any piece of printed or
digital paper, designed to convey a
message, advertise an idea or
product, or to be thought-provoking.
It all depends on the purpose of the
poster, since it can be used for various
Three approaches ….
Download from web, edit
Use ideas from the web
Design from scratch
What is the purpose of a
In general, you want your poster to be
memorable. If memorable, your
message or idea is displayed in a
Two big things you need to keep in
mind is what you are trying to
advertise, and who your audience is.
Technicalities when printing
There’s a universal size for paper sizes
i.e. poster sizes.
There’s no required size to make your
poster, but there are a few standard
options that you can choose from.
What you need to know
There are different sizes in papers
The thickness of the paper can vary
There are different textures and styles in
Color usage – CMYK and RGB
CMYK stands for Cyan,
Magenta, Yellow and Black
and is the color profile used
RGB stands for red, green,
and blue. Red, green and
blue are the primary colors
from which all other colors
and shades come. RGB is
used in digital design (e-
CMYK printing is the standard in the
RGB is used across electronic devices,
emitting red, green and blue light to
create other colors.
Most designers use CMYK as a
standard design for printing.
In the end it is better to design a poster
in CMYK if you intend to print it, or RGB
if it is digital.
Poster and Image size and
Files destined for print should be set to
300dpi (dots per inch)
If you intend to use the poster only
digitally, you can use 70dpi
If your resolution is too low, you're going
to end up with a blurred and pixelated
poster. In Photoshop you set the dots
per inch when you create a new
document. Here is the example of how
it looks when you start creating a new
document in Photoshop.
Remember, digital files do not need to
be as big as printing files
Supply your print files in the PDF format
(print resolution at 300 dpi).
There are also online sites that can
convert images or designs for you. Use
the following to convert PDF to JPEG,
or to PNG: https://pdf2jpg.net/
Most designing software do not have
spellcheck! So you can copy and
paste your text to Word, and then do a
spell check there. Correct the spelling
in the designer programme if needed.
Ask someone else to read it carefully
through, or spend some time away
from the computer and then have a
look at your poster again after a while.
What goes into a poster?
Stock photos are often used in designs,
and are very popular. Some Stock
photos are free, others you have to
pay for. These photos are bought from
photographers, so you know the
photos are high quality and
appropriate for poster adverts.
Never use a stock photo with a logo on it.
It looks unprofessional, and it can be seen
as theft. So rather use another image, or
pay for the original image.
Is it a good quality image?
When you download the photo, first see what file
To play it safe, try searching images that are PNG.
These files do not blur as easily as a JPEG image,
and they are easier to use in posters if you need
to make it smaller or larger.
Also check the size of the file when downloading
it. If it is very small, leave it.
There is nothing worse than a bad photo on a
poster - it conveys a message of sloppy work, or
On Google, go to the original image site and
download it from there. Very often when searching
for the right image e.g. “Free Doodle Image PNG”,
you will get better results than just “Doodle Image”.
A poster conveys a message not just
through its words, but the imagery and
designs as well. When using fonts it is
important to think of it as a type of
‘image’ as well. Different fonts
communicate a different genre or
feeling through a poster. So even if you
think a font looks pretty on its own, it
needs to blend in with your poster.
Before even reading what the words
say on a poster, the font style and
colors should be able to tell you if it’s
something that will interest you, or not.
Fonts and colors depend on the genre
and purpose your poster has.
Strong fonts vs Soft fonts
It is always fun to use different fonts - it
gets exciting and it all looks so pretty.
But try to stick to using only 2 or 3
different fonts on a poster. 1 font type
makes it quite boring, and 4 or more
fonts makes the poster very confusing.
Try to use a creative font and combine
it with a more average reading font.
Avoid combining hard fonts with soft
Golden Rules for Designs
Don’t try and add EVERYTHING into the
LESS IS MORE.
The best way to keep yourself in line, is
to ask if you can sell your
message/idea/product in less than ten
Golden Rules for Designing
Don’t try to make EVERYTHING the
focus. Have one thing that stands out,
and the rest just supports your main
Golden Rules for Designing
Never just use one font throughout your
whole poster. You need to use certain
fonts/designs and sizes to attract the
eye to more important information,
and after they saw the important
information, they can read the smaller,
more normal print.
Golden Rules for Designing
Try to spread out the layout of the
poster. We often use the rule of thirds,
although it is not necessary to work
strictly on that rule.
Don’t be afraid to leave space in your
poster. It’s called negative space, and
if used correctly it can actually make
you poster more striking.
Design your poster in such a way that it
is easy to read from close by as well as
Just like fonts, colors also have different
emotional context to it.
Certain colors work well together. You
don’t want colors to blend in too much
with each other, but also not be too
Complementary (also known
or contrasting) colors are
colors that sit opposite
of each other on the Itten
The triad — a combination
of three colors
Combination of 3 colors that
are equidistant from each
other on the color circle.
It produces a high contrast
effect while preserving
An analogous combination
This is a combination of 2 to 5
(ideally 2 to 3) colors that are
ajacent to each other on the
color circle. It creates
a calming, likeable
The split complementary
A variation on the
combination. In this case,
you take one primary color
and two complementary
ones (the colors that lie
on both sides of the primary
color’s antipode on the color
This is a scheme that includes
one primary and two
complementary colors, plus
an additional color that
highlights the accents.
Genre, purpose and audience
CMYK vs RGB
Size and Resolution
Spellcheck and Proofreading
What does a poster consist of?