How To: Make a Poster with Good Composition
Without a good composition, your audience will get lost.

Design Master

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Great images and captivating headlines may not be enough to take your poster to that awesomeness level. For a poster to work, you need good composition.

What’s “good composition,” and how do you achieve it? If you want to know more, read on because the following tips will definitely help you.

Before working on the final version of your project, you should make a preliminary draft. You can make sketches on paper or directly on the computer.

Starting with a sketch will make it easier to work faster at a later stage because it will allow you to know the placement of each object from the start. Even a very rough sketch will do.

How to Make a Poster with Good Composition 1

Source: Ian Jepson

The important elements of the poster shouldn’t compete for attention with the rest. You need to make them prominent.

You can do this through size and color. Larger sizes mean the elements are easier to spot. Big lines of text or graphics will capture the eye.

Likewise, use eye-catching colors for emphasis on specific elements. Remember warm and bright colors give the viewer an impression of proximity, while cold and dark colors have the opposite effect.

How to Make a Poster with Good Composition 2


The graphics and text don’t have to be in the center of the poster. Distribute your poster’s elements so they create a pleasing balance.

Creating good balance may be tough at first. Use the rule of thirds or golden ratio grids as guides.

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The idea that the more you can fit into the poster, the better it will get is wrong.

For instance, if you include text, edit it until only the relevant details are left. If you have pictures, make sure you only use the engaging details by cropping out what’s not relevant to your content.

If you’re not sure if something belongs on the poster, it means it’s not necessary.

After the poster is ready, don’t rush off to print six thousand copies of it. Take the time to consider it objectively.

One of the techniques that designers and artists use is to stand back and look at their work from a distance. Some even flip it or look at it upside down.

You can simply look at a smaller version of the poster on the computer screen. This way you will be less focused on the details and will notice the general composition.

If the poster has glaring flaws, you will notice them right away.

How to Make a Poster with Good Composition 5

Source: Studio Airport

These tips can be applied to any type of poster and for any kind of event, promotion or occasion. These tips can also be broken up to create original poster layouts for interesting effects.

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 advice here!

  2. yikes that step 5 poster iz crazy