Posters can be used for innumerable types of projects, from school reports to protests to home decorations to advertising. Whatever their purpose, most posters communicate some type of message -- and this means the text is crucial. Making the letters stand out, immediately and effectively communicating your message, is the poster-maker's greatest challenge. Applying a little creativity to the letter-making process will help your poster attract attention and communicate effectively. In addition, creative lettering adds an artistic flair to any poster.
- Skill level:
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Draft your text. This step will guide you in sizing your letters, crucial to achieving balance and neatness on your poster. For texts longer than just a few words, create a small-scale replica of your sign, to test word placement, the number of lines you will need and how much room your text will take up.
Choose capital or lower case letters. For a bold look or very intense statements -- like on posters used for a protest or rally or for school election campaigns -- consider using all capitals. For a more decorative, artsy look, write letters all lower case. For general text such as quotes or messages, following normal capitalisation rules is usually effective.
Choose a font. This will be affected by the purpose of the poster. For artistic, decorative posters, Arial is simple and minimalist, while curvy scripts are romantic. For kids' birthday posters or signs for casual events like yard sales, "bubble" letters or blocky, all-caps lettering is bold and fun.
Prepare your poster, using "cheats" if necessary. Consider lightly pencilling straight guide lines on the poster, using a ruler or straightedge, to make sure your text remains straight and balanced. For the most perfect sizing and spacing, consider using stencils to trace each letter of your text. You may decide to create your poster digitally on your computer, using the many fancy and creative fonts available in word processing programs, and have it printed at your local print shop or office supply store. If you choose to letter the poster by hand, begin using a pencil, then fill in the text using a more permanent medium once you're done.
Decorate your creative letters using a variety of mediums. Markers and paint are readily available, easy to use and instantly make text more colourful and flamboyant. Glue on embellishments like pom-poms, glitter, sequins, or even natural material like small stones or seashells. Consider decorating with items relating to your topic; for example, nuts, leaves, and twigs for a nature poster.
Tips and warnings
- Be careful not to choose a font too complicated for your text or abilities; for example, while writing "Welcome Home!" in bubble letters may be simple, your hand will quickly tire if you attempt to copy a lengthy block of text in this style.
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