These days, anyone with access to a computer and printer can create eye-catching posters. Graphic design software can be downloaded for free, or you can do a free trial of expensive software like Adobe Illustrator or PageMaker if you do not have any on your computer already.
Photos or illustrations will help add interest to your poster, and you can get these for free through several different websites specialising in clip art and images. Doing a search for "ice cream" on these sites will bring up dozens, if not hundreds of choices. You will also need a couple of fonts to make the words on your poster look stylish and appropriate. There are several websites offering free font downloads.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Determine the ultimate goal of your poster, whether it is intended to be decorative or to promote a particular flavour of ice cream, a brand, or a shop. The intended outcome should guide your design process. If you are marketing a particular product or shop, consider the audience you're targeting and what would appeal to them. If you want to appeal to young children, cute, colourful images work well. If you're targeting adults with high-end tastes, go for a more sophisticated approach.
Look through the programs on your computer to see if you have any graphic design software currently installed, such as the Adobe Creative Suite, or the Microsoft Office Suite including Microsoft Publisher. If so, you can try one of these programs. If not, visit cnet.com and do a search for "Illustration Software."
There are dozens of free programs you can download, and almost 200 programs that you can try for free on a trial basis, such as Poster 7.9w, which you can download for free and create 10 posters before paying £11.70 to purchase it outright.
Search for clip art or photos that suit your poster, or take your own high quality photos to use in the poster. If you use other people's images found online, make sure you have permission to do so. The images should be public domain or licensed for commercial use. Websites such as pdclipart.com and publicdomainpictures.net are a good place to start. Keep in mind whether you are going for a fun, playful image or a more sophisticated, classy image when choosing a photo or piece of clip art.
Search for a suitable font to use, if you are not satisfied with the fonts that are included with your design software. Dafont.com and 1001freefonts.com both have a broad selection of fonts you can download for free. A good design rule of thumb is to select one unique font to use for your headline, making it stand out and get attention, and then use a simpler font for the rest of the text on the poster. However, keep in mind that your poster should not be too text-heavy.
Play with the design software, and try arranging the images you've downloaded with the text you want on the poster. Experiment with different arrangements, different images and different fonts.
If you're not an experienced designer, keep it simple and consider using one large image, and one big headline with a small amount of supporting text. Using too many images and too much text often makes a poster look cluttered, which is visually unappealing and doesn't get people's attention because there is nothing to focus on.
Print the poster on your home printer if you can, at least to see what it looks like. You may wish to play with the design a bit more after seeing it on paper before taking it to a print shop to have it professionally printed. You can save a lot of money if you choose to simply print the posters on your home printer with black ink. You can purchase coloured paper to print them on, to get more attention.
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