How To: Choose Compelling Images
You want your poster to do more than just grab their attention. You want to challenge their minds!

Design Master

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Just think of any famous poster and you will notice it features easily recognizable and thoroughly captivating photos. Images used in posters are often strong and thought-provoking. As long as the poster leaves an impression on people, it’s considered successful.

Check out these ideas for a truly compelling poster.

Start by creating a powerful and original concept. Without a clear idea to use as the backbone for your project, even the most beautiful visuals will look plain.

Combining concepts with images doesn’t come easy to everybody, but taking the time to refine the project’s concept one step at a time will make the task effortless.

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High-quality images are important to guarantee the success of the poster. While mediocre pictures work all right in small print or digital publications, they will make your large-format print look like a sad, amateur poster. No one’s going to want to look at that.

If you don’t have the means to create graphics or take pictures yourself, hire someone capable of providing high-quality images or try stock agencies.

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Color — or the absence of it — is one of the basic principles of design that can capture the viewer’s imagination right away. Color is capable of speaking both on a conscious and subconscious level.

Use color to reinforce what you want to communicate. Don’t just pick images because they are vibrant and loud because the result will be flat and uninteresting.

Choosing colors according to your vision will direct the viewer’s attention exactly where you want it. Monochrome can work to your advantage too, but it must be used cleverly to be fresh and engaging.


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Advertisement is totally overcrowded with images. Generic pictures may work in other publications, but they will probably be less effective when applied to a poster. Since a poster is more about suggestion than direct information, visuals need to be prominent.

Graphics not only illustrate something, but they also reach out to viewers on a subtle level. So graphics must be sharp and have that “wow” factor.

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A lot of people that are new to advertisement forget to get acquainted with their audience. All of the above will make more sense if you invest time to analyze your ideal targets, at least until you know who they are and how they will react to your campaign.

Since the poster is as much about you as it is about your audience, you need to know how you can involve people. Even if you plan to make a poster that will speak to the millions, you will have to know how to appeal to them all.

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Using just the right images will give the poster more appeal than you might expect. Compelling images always generate interest, almost without the need for any extra details. With a strong concept and a great selection of visuals, you will be able to create a stunning poster that will attract people and will be remembered for a long time.

About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
Kristi and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


  1. great tips, thanks!

  2. Wow, i love the wimbledon poster! Eat those strawberries!