The Process of Designing Posters

So far in my career as a freelance artist, I've come across a plethora of different projects from album covers to t-shirt designs to backdrops. However, one of my favorite outputs to design for has become posters. Posters are typically 11" x 17" works of art used to attract the attention of outside crowds towards an event or release of a project. It's safe to say they are pretty important towards what the outcome of what an event might be based on how they catch the attention of possible attendees. This means, to me at least, that they can be pretty intimidating. At the same time, it is exhilarating to be given the opportunity to design such an important factor of a function.

One of the more common asked posters of me has been tour posters for musicians and bands. A more recent project I've done was a poster combining the content of an album cover I designed and a tour poster from another designer.


In the very short time I've been designing posters and flyers for events, I've developed a sort of process that I stick to for most of my projects. I usually started off with an outline of the illustration, being conscious of where and how the typography will be dealt with in the end. My sketches are laying out the basic idea of what the concept could be for the flyer. It could be anything, based on what it's being used for, starting either with a client's idea or coming up with my own. In the case of this flyer, I was asked to combine the astronaut of the album cover with the bunny of the tour poster. A member of City Mouth suggested having the astronaut be riding the bunny or the bunny carrying the astronaut in its mouth. A lot of the time, clients come to me with brilliant ideas and I'll use their suggestions as well as maybe include some ideas of my own if the project calls for it.


After the basic outline of the illustration is sketched out, usually in a light blue or red, I dull down the opacity of the layer and start a new inking layer on top of it.


One of my favorite parts of creating flyers, especially digital, is the open-ended ability to use bright and eye-stabbing colors. I like to start on the color possibilities sooner rather than later to really get a feel for the direction the poster could be going in. In this case, I thought that the warm tones of the bunny tour poster would be a good start so it could easily be associated with the tour when seen on social media.


I started with the red background, picked directly from the bunny poster, and then proceeded to creating a layer underneath my inking layer to start coloring the full illustration.


I made sure that I kept the bottom half of the poster open for text while also keeping the illustration balanced in the composition. This part can be tricky depending on how much of the page the client asks to be filled with illustrated components and the amount of text and information needed. The last step I usually take is the typography itself. Usually, if the poster has a more intricate illustration on it the text is better left simple. I chose the sans serif Bebas Neue in this case for it's clear and geometric qualities. It sticks out against the detail of the bunny and astronaut.

The final poster.

The final poster.