The art of poster design

If the sketch fits onto the back of a business card, it will be a good poster – that was the old rule.

Reduction is vital to the effectiveness of a poster. Reduction requires order and prioritization of ideas, as well as a strong creative central theme.

1Generally, 50% of the effectiveness of a poster campaign is down to the creative work. There is no other medium where creative has a bigger influence than in out-of-home advertising.


1 Source: Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) – Anthony Jones and Millward Brown, Nov. 2012

Checklist for poster design

1) Message and headline: must get across in 1–2 seconds, be catchy and easy to grasp

2) Few words: maximum of seven

3) Font size should make text readable up to 20 metres

4) High contrast dark on light and complementary colours are easiest to take in

5) Logo must be clearly recognizable

The art of poster design
Ruedi Külling, 1964 for BIC ball pen – design quality through reduction to the bare essentials (© Ruedi Külling).
The art of poster design
SFLB, 2011: “Broken vase” from Fleurop won many advertising prizes, nationally and internationally (© Fleurop).
The art of poster design
Wirz, 2012: “Let it out” from Caran d’Ache, shortlisted in Cannes and a Bronze Pencil in the Billboard Design category at the ONE SHOW awards in New York (© Wirz).
The art of poster design
SFLB, 2013: “Life Turns” sentences for SwissLife won many national and international awards, including Effie Gold and both Gold and Silver at Cannes 2013 (© SwissLife).
The art of poster design
SFLB 2012: © FLORALP / BO Butter GmbH, Bern