How To Make a Poster In Photoshop

By Subodh / August 16, 2014

Making a poster can be necessary for many businesses or event organizers. To advertise about an upcoming event, show or sale and grab attention of target audience, a poster is a very effective weapon. Despite the advent of digital marketing means, the sheer visual appeal of an aesthetically designed poster is undeniable. Comprising of both text and graphics, posters also contain information about the event or program. Creating eye catching and effective poster becomes easy when you resort to cutting edge graphics design apps like Photoshop. Adobe’s powerhouse design tool has a plethora of features and required toolset to create creative and compelling posters.

Poster In Photoshop

Below listed are the steps involved to make an attractive poster in Photoshop:

Setting Up The Document

At first, you will have to launch the application. Create a new file and then specify the dimension. Posters can be made in various sizes. It can be a 8.5” x 11” document or a huge 24” x 36” one. It is also important that you set the color mode of the document to CMYK because this is what printers can understand. Ideally, you can go for a resolution of 300 pixels /inch. If the image will not have any white space at the edges, you need to take additional 1/4 inch on all sides.

Setting Up Margins

In Photoshop, you can edit and create images with absolute precision. Enable the Rulers from View menu. You should select inches for the unit. Then set the vertical and horizontal rulers to the points that will be the threshold for design.
Working With The Background

There are no rules for selecting the background of a poster, but it depends to an extent on the subject. The backdrop for a sales oriented poster will not comprise of the elements used in vintage or artistic poster. The subject is also important in this context.

  • Option1 –Solid Colors

There are certain colors that carry specific connotations. For example, green is used to signify aspects related to nature and earth. Orange and yellow stand for vibrant, youthful subjects. You can use more than one color, but using too many colors leads to distraction.

  • Option 2- Gradients

Creative possibilities are literally limitless when you work with the gradient tool in Photoshop to create a stunning background for a poster. The angles, mix of hues and applications of various filters can produce some interesting effects on the background made with gradients.

  • Option 3- Background Image

You can also work with a specific image to develop the backdrop of a poster. This should be kept on a separate layer. Ensure the size of the image matches that of the document.

Using The Graphics

Once you are done with the background of a poster, focus on the graphic elements. This should be kept on a separate layer. In fact, there can be more than one element and you can experiment with layer blending modes and masking techniques for creating some snazzy effects. Again, there is no fixed formula to make the graphics stand out against the backdrop. Adding some depth to the graphics helps it to stand out against the background. You can resort to numerous effects and filters offered by Photoshop. Usually, designers resort to effects like Bevel, Drop shadow and glow.

Working With The Text

After you are satisfied with the visuals and backdrop in the poster it is time you turn attention to the text. The amount of text used in poster can vary. It may so happen, some texts would be in large fonts while some lines will be in regular sized fonts.
You can experiment with font type, style or tinker with warp styles. However, ensure the effects applied on text do not affect legibility or create visual clutter. The text should complement the visuals. There are some styles that you can try on the text as well.

Wrapping It Up

After you are happy with the overall poster design, it is necessary to save the file. For printout, you should use the TIFF format, but ensure you save a master copy in the native PSD format for further tweaking. For a final check, you should zoom out the poster to full size and check for any anomaly.