Why Your Poster Printing Looks Amateurish: Things to Avoid

Lynne Saarte asked:

With easy and simple poster printing software available on the market, almost anyone can be their own poster designer. This has lead to an explosion of custom poster printing for all sorts of businesses big and small. However, since almost anyone can create a poster, the quality of posters has also steadily declined, especially the ones for businesses. Even with the special effects and filters that some powerful image editing applications offer, it is easy to spot a few unprofessional designs that look like someone just had a field day playing with Photoshop or Draw. You should prevent this from happening, since potential clients, marketing professionals and other administration personnel will not appreciate any kind of unprofessional design for custom poster printing that might be detrimental for an advertising or marketing campaign.

If you are just starting out in the poster printing world, or maybe you are just new to the current software available then here are a few things that you should avoid when you start designing for poster printing. Hopefully this will make you look more professional and competent as a graphic designer. Someone that does not fall for the usual mistakes of amateurs.

Too many effects The worst thing a poster printing design can have are too many special effects. Posters that sport every kind of effect and filter like shadows, vectored images, crazy paintbrush strokes, neon effects and others will always look cluttered and loud. Amateurs usually fall trap to this since they are overwhelmed and impressed with the features of graphics editing software. They do not understand that each special effect must be done with targeted precision and purpose. You do not use these special effects just for the sake of adding a special effect. Your color poster design should actually dictate if it is used or not.

Wrong colors or too many colors The next amateurish thing people do in their poster printing designs is the use of too many colors, or the wrong colors altogether. Some designers just get too carried away and try to make a poster as colorful and vibrant a possible. Though this can be done if the concept agrees with the different colors, most design concepts really need just one or two main color motifs. This keeps a certain consistent emotion or feeling to the poster design. To many colors or using the wrong colors will offer a mixed feeling to the design, diluting the message that you want the poster to give.

Badly resized images Another major mistake that most amateurs commit, is the use of badly resized or low resolution images. These amateurs do not realize that the image that they downloaded over the Internet would not translate that well to printing. This is because most of the pictures that you download are optimized for the Internet which needs lower resolution images for them to load faster. When amateurs translate the image to print or resize it for the design, pixels will eventually appear which may ruin the overall design. So avoid this by acquiring only high resolution images for your poster prints.

Lack of detail/texture On the flipside, other amateur designers only focus on the foreground and the text of a color poster. Some completely miss the background in making their design. This leaves unimpressive blank spaces which could have been put to good use. Adding textures and other small details and images is a good way to fill out these blank spaces. Of course you may need to adjust some opacity settings so that the textures and details will not overpower the main object of the color poster.

Substandard poster printing Lastly, the worst sign of an amateur poster designer is the use of substandard or low quality poster paper. Posters are a prime investment and you should always keep the quality of its paper up to industry standards. You cannot rely on the concept design alone. Paper quality and quality poster printing defines the look and professionalism of a poster. Anything less and it might look like some sort of school project.

There you have it. Try to avoid these major pitfalls in amateur poster designs. Once you shed these habits, your poster designs should look more professional and respectable.

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