7 Tips for Designing a Compelling Event Poster


If you’re planning a farmer’s market, screen on the green, job fair, or local theater production, there are dozens of ways to get warm bodies in seats. But no matter what your marketing strategy looks like, event posters and vinyl banner printing have a place. 

However, not just any event poster will do. You need an event poster that’s attractive, engaging, and persuasive. 

Here are several helpful tips and best practices:

  1. Define Your Goal

Always start with the goal of the poster. In other words, what are you trying to accomplish? The answer to this question will dictate the design, copy, and overall layout of your poster.

For example, if the goal is to get someone to buy tickets to a conference, then your poster will communicate the reasons they should attend.

If the goal is to get someone to visit a farmer’s market, then the poster will explain what sort of booths will be present, where it’s located, etc.

  1. Know Your Audience

Event poster design is highly dependent on the audience. In fact, if you have three different types of attendees, you may very well have three different event poster designs. And this is why we highly recommend beginning this process by clearly identifying your audience.

If you don’t already have audience profiles for your target attendees, set aside some time to create them. This will help you clarify each target’s wants, needs, and triggers. It’ll also help you strategically distribute event posters in the correct locations. 

  1. Consider Display & Visibility

With printed posters, you have to consider factors like display, visibility, and legibility. (This is why it’s so important to know where you’ll be displaying the posters.)

A poster that will be seen from three to five feet will be designed completely differently than a poster that will be seen from 10 to 15 feet. A short-range poster can include more text and smaller font. A long-range poster will be less text-heavy and feature more visuals. (You’ll also need more contrast for a poster that will be seen from far away.)

  1. Choose a Printing Service

There are plenty of different printing options. But if you’re searching for cheap poster printing, an online printing service is probably your best bet. They typically offer the best prices and most flexible ordering options. 

You can run small batch prints (100 prints) or even much larger quantities (10,000 or more). Plus, once you have a design uploaded, it’s permanently on file. This allows you to quickly order additional prints without having to go through a complicated order process.

  1. Plan Your Color Scheme

Color scheme is very important, both for visibility and engagement. For a poster to be highly visible, there should be some contrast. This could be white lettering on a black background, red text on a green background, or even just contrasting images and graphical elements.

In addition to contrast, think about the way different colors make people feel. Color psychology is a very important element. Some colors communicate professionalism, while other colors are more creative and artsy. It’s up to you to choose a scheme that compliments your goals.

  1. Choose Typography Wisely

Typography is one of those finer details that’s usually overlooked. However, if you’re able to master this aspect, you’ll find it easier to get people to engage with your posters and take action. 

As a general rule of thumb, you want serif fonts. (A serif is the small extension/accent that protrudes from each letter in a font. Serif fonts include Bookman, Times New Roman, etc.) Fonts that don’t have a serif are called “sans serif” fonts. (This includes Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana.)

  1. Nail the CTA

It’s easy to get so caught up in the look and feel of an event poster that you forget about the most important part: The call-to-action (CTA). But for your event poster to be a powerful tool for selling tickets and/or getting people to show up, it has to move people to action.

Your CTA should be clear, succinct, and visible. It also needs to be vibrant and compelling. In other words, your CTA shouldn’t read “Buy Tickets!” Instead, it should say something like, “Experience the hottest performance of the season!”

Iterate to Great!

Your first event poster won’t be a world-class promotion. It takes practice to improve your design and marketing skills. The important thing is that you stop studying and start doing. You’ll learn more from designing posters than you will from listening to other graphic designers and marketers talk about designing posters. 

From what works to what doesn’t work, you’ll get a feel for all of it.