Shimon Schmueli, the founder of design consultancy Touch 360 said “Design is art optimized to meet objectives”. There’s a lot of wisdom in those words. Commercial design wants us to feel and act in specific ways while remaining aesthetically pleasing.

We’ve come up with a few tips on how to create an eye catching poster that really works.

1.       Understand your audience

All marketing campaigns should be based on what you know about your audience. Understanding the wants and needs of your potential customers is the best way to form a strategy of influencing them.

Appealing to their emotions is also a proven method. Don’t be afraid to stir up emotions even if it divides the masses.

2.       Less is more

Your first rule should be to keep the design and your message simple. Use the brainstorming process to get everything down and then cut away the fat. As with any creative process you have to learn to kill your darlings i.e. get rid of the unnecessary stuff even if you don’t like it.

A simple design ensures your message doesn’t become diluted by clutter.

3.       Surprise

The best way to grab attention is to show your audience something they’ve never seen before. If you can create surprise you can hold your audience’s attention for longer. A surprising juxtaposition is also more memorable. Think about how you can depict something ordinary in an unexpected way.

You can also surprise by breaking away from the usual image your company has. If you usually produce corporate messages showing suited offices workers and a serious tag line why not try a different style. In surprising you may also become more relatable.

4.       Images

Images say more and are easier to digest than words. You can tell a whole story with the right image. Don’t settle for stock images or if you do make sure they are absolutely on message and very high quality.

5.       Kerning

There are always great examples of kerning mistakes making their rounds on the internet. Bad kerning can ruin your message and quickly make your brand the object of ridicule. Don’t let your poster be eye-catching for the wrong reasons.

As well as the space between your letters and words you need to be careful about the spacing of your lines and give plenty of room around your text. This reiterate the less is more rule. Make sure your heading isn’t crammed up against your border but also that there isn’t too much white around your text. It’s a good idea to print the poster and look at it as a hard copy.