Learning Poster Design
Our first big project in Introduction to Graphic Design at the Art Center was designing a poster for a cause. We were to pick an organization or a cause, such as the WWF or ocean protection, and design a poster tailored to that cause. We were shown an example from a student who made a poster for the Garment Worker Center, which advocates for worker’s rights in the LA garment industry.
The process for designing a poster is as follows:1. Do research on your desired topic.2. Find posters that you think are well designed and are inspirational.3. Choose 3-5 keywords that capture the most important aspects of your topic and do a mind mapping. Mind mapping involves first looking at the definitions and connotations of a word, and then sketching anything and everything that comes to mind when you think of those meanings. For example, if you have the word “mother,” one of the connotations might be “caregiver.” Then, you might sketch a blanket, a stove, a pan, an oven, anything.4. Start making thumbnail sketches (2.5” x 3”) while drawing ideas from your mind-mapping. You can combine symbols that you drew in your mindmapping – for example, if you had a heart and a stove coil, you might make the coil in a shape of a heart. Make at least 100 sketches. Continue doing more research during this time.5. Pick your 6 best thumbnail sketches, and make them bigger (8.5” x 11”) and refine them.6. Pick your 3 best from those enlarged sketches and start mocking them up on the computer, further refining them. This includes looking at fonts, logo position, etc.7. Choose your final poster out of those 3, refine it, and print it out! Below are examples of processes from previous students:
Our class made the below posters! My topic was digital detox, and it’s the rightmost poster in blue below. Since it was my first time using Adobe Illustrator and also my first time making a poster, it was a bit of a struggle (mainly in figuring out how to use Illustrator), but it was incredibly rewarding at the end. Since we worked on this project for several weeks, we did peer reviews every week and got feedback constantly, which really helped us refine our posters to be the best they could be!