Matt Hopkins Design
poster design by matt hopkins

Poster Design by Matt Hopkins

Matt Hopkins is a freelance graphic designer based in Kent, UK and producer of eye-catching poster designs in wide range of graphic styles. To obtain a quote for a poster design project contact Matt Hopkins with details of your proposal.

Some secrets of good poster design

Generally, posters are a transient, temporary thing, they last the duration of a campaign or event.

However, sometimes posters can take on an iconic status, applauded for the quality of their art or loved for the products they promote so well. One excellent example is the minimalist "Keep Calm and Carry On" wartime poster which has become a classic and is arguably the greatest motivational poster ever.

Posters are often very much 'of the moment' in terms of style, but there are ways to make your poster stand out in any situation.

Here are a few ideas which both characterise Matt Hopkins' poster designs and may be useful to think about if you are designing your own posters.

1. Coherence of word and image

One of the most important ideas in graphic design is the union between text and image, their visual relationship.

The word 'cow', for instance, is far more powerful when it is placed underneath a picture of a cow. Not all designs need to be quite so obvious, but it is true that different colours, fonts, line-weights and images all add to the mood of the text and enable the viewer to understand more of the qualities you are trying to portray.

2. Standing out in a crowd

A poster's principle job is to convey a message to an audience. It isn't going to do that if it's in tiny font on a cluttered background. As a general rule, the more important the element, the bigger it should be.

So a title, perhaps just one word, is often the most attention attracting part of the poster and therefore will be the largest element, and the element to which all others are subservient.

People are bombarded with so many different messages, products and brand names that most people have some degree of immunity to advertising. Getting your message across clearly, inventively and in as few words as possible is key to making a casual glance into a desire for more information.

3. Exploiting the location

It might be the case that you don't have any control over where your poster ends up being displayed. If you do, whether that be a car park, bus stop, lamppost or waiting room, it is worth making your poster relevant to its location.

Design which recognises its environment and interacts with it, will stand out. For a classic example of this interaction, see Alan Fletcher's Pirelli slippers advertisement for a London bus.

4. Invention and imagination

There is no magic formula for success when it comes to poster design. Inventiveness and imagination have characterised the art of designing posters over decades and even centuries.

It is the original poster design which contrasts or complements its surroundings, communicates its message powerfully and clearly and appropriates images to words which will ulimately get noticed and get people interested.

© Matt Hopkins 2009