Posters have been around for a long time, and they have been proven to be effective marketing tools for advertising films, events, promotions, sales, businesses, and much more. This article will tell you everything you need to know on how to create a poster, creating one on Word, and how you can make the most out of your poster to truly benefit your business.

We will explore the following:

  1. What is a poster?
  2. Types of posters
  3. What are the dimensions of a poster?
  4. Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Poster
  5. Identify the purpose of your poster
  6. Choose a poster template
  7. Add text content!
  8. Adding visuals
  9. Customise poster with colours and fonts
  10. Add a Call-to-Action
  11. Download and share poster
  12. Fonts to display information
  13. How to make a poster in Word
  14. Advantages of using Word to make a poster
  15. Disadvantages of using Word to make a poster
  16. Make your own poster today
  17. FAQs
  18. Sources

What is a poster?

First of all, you need to know what a poster is, and what its purpose is. It can be a small, medium, or large section of paper that can be displayed online, or around your company building. Its purpose is to display a certain level of information without bombarding your audience with information, as you do not want them to know too much.

For example, there are hundreds of film posters advertising its movie that either work incredibly well and subtlety, or simply give away too much information. The Jaws poster from 1975 only has an image of a shark beneath an unaware swimmer; we do not know the name of the shark, or what it looks like, and all the poster needs to give off is a sense of impending doom.

Most contemporary blockbusters, however, tend to cram too many characters into a poster that the average viewer may be unaware of and therefore can be distracting and off putting.

Designing a poster requires a certain level of artwork, and sometimes being simple with it is the right way to go for its effectiveness.

This was particularly important during posters promoting war efforts, and political movements, where most of the time it would use big, bold words aimed at the reader, with either an authoritative man or woman on the front, giving the effect that they are speaking directly to the reader.


Types of posters

Before you begin designing your poster, you need to decide what type of posters you wish to create. After all, there are hundreds of possibilities, but here are some of the most popular forms of posters:


  • Event posters
  • Advertisement posters
  • Political posters
  • Movie posters
  • Motivational posters
  • Travel posters
  • Educational and informative posters
  • Infographics


What are the dimensions of a poster?

There are no set rules for designing a poster, even down to its size and dimensions. You can choose whether you want your poster to be landscape or portrait, depending on how you wish to display it to your audience. Most people opt for portrait, since they are easier to design, and more straightforward to look at. However, if you wish to be more experimental, then you can use landscape too.

Being consistent with your posters also means being consistent with your audience as well. Follow this guide below on how to create a poster with the right size for your business:

  • A4 Paper: 8.5’’ x 11’’ (21 x 29.7cm). You can design and print these posters at home or at printing shops to be displayed in windows and for other personal use.
  • Small Poster: 11’’ x 17’’ (28 x 43cm): Small posters are often used for flyers on public grounds, such as on streetlights, lampposts, public bulletin boards, and other areas that can be easily seen by the public. If you are more creative in your free time, you can use small posters to decorate around your room too.
  • Medium poster: 18’’ x 24’’ (46 x 61cm): These are A3 poster-sized, and because they are bigger, are used in public buildings including clinics, offices, windows, and universities. These are more effective than small posters since they can hold more information. However, you should still keep the text minimal to avoid cramming too much information in.
  • Large poster: 24 x 36’’ (61 x 91cm): Do you want to advertise your business, films, events, or fundraisers on a bigger scale? Large posters are the best option to choose for this, and should be as colourful yet simplistic as possible to help draw your viewers in.


Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Poster


1.     Identify the purpose of your poster.


Now you can begin making the foundations for creating your poster. But first, have you identified the purpose of your poster. Here is some guidance on what you need to check over when designing your poster.

  • Identify your audience: You need to know whom you are creating your poster for, because this will give you more of an idea of what information to include, as well as the images. Furthermore, will your audience be on a large or small scale? For small audiences, you can use small posters, whereas if your audience is larger, then you will need bigger posters. Alternatively, you could print off smaller posters, and distribute them individually amongst a bigger audience, but this can vary depending on printing costs.


  • Goal of the poster: what are you trying to achieve with your poster? Will you be provoking your audience to take action, are you informing them of an event, to buy tickets, or a lost pet? No matter what the goal is of your poster, you should ensure it is straight to the point, and doesn’t delve away from the details, although the details should be short and precise.


  • Where will the poster be shared?: Sharing your poster will help it to reach a larger audience. For instance, if you are promoting an event at a university or college, you could use smaller posters to be handed out individually so that people can store them in their pockets or bags without having to lose them. However, if you want your poster to be shared online, you have to make sure it is designed to be copied and shared amongst your audience on several social media sites. Another smart method here is to use QR codes, too, since people can easily scan them and navigate them online, and will save you more effort with having to format your poster on several sites.


2.     Choose a poster template

Now that you have highlighted the audience and purpose of your poster, you can begin creating your poster template. There are several templates and designs that you can follow in order to design your poster, and we offer cheap and fast promo posters for those who are looking to start out properly for your business.

You want your poster to suit your brand. Even if you are a market stall, you want a big sign to be close by that people can walk past, and it will display the services that you are providing. Check out our swinger poster signs available in A2 for more details.

Each type of business will follow a different template for their posters. For gym posters, you want to include your brand name at the top, along with images (preferably from your gym to advertise the gym equipment too) and people working out.

Another example is that if your business is a restaurant, then you want the poster to look authentic and expensive looking, which can be done easily with the right colours and fonts; don’t forget to show some food unique to your restaurant and the deals that you offer.


3.     Add text content to your poster

Next, you need to think about the overall ‘message’ of your poster. Using clear, concise, and easy-to-read text is a must, although you can use short paragraphs or bullet points too if it can give off the right effect. Having your brand name and slogan should be located at either the top or middle of your poster so that your audience can easily see it, so that their eyes will be drawn to the title and then the content that surrounds it.

If editing your poster online, you can edit and move your content around the poster in any direction that you deem fit; why not be creative and different and have the information spread out diagonally across all four corners?

Even highlighting or making certain words bold will make them stand out more too, and will help engage your audience with those particular topics that you are selling to them. Think of discounts, and unique selling points (USPs) to do this. This is important when it comes to your wild poster advertising as well.


4.     Adding visuals

Visuals can be a bit harder to create if you are designing your poster from scratch. If you are designing it online, then it would be wiser to use free stock photos for this that are copyright free. They will still give off the right message, without you getting into trouble for copyright infringement.

Your visuals should also be meaningful too because the human eye will be immediately drawn to pictures or videos rather than words. After all, a picture can tell a thousand words. Illustrations and colourful icons can set the mood and balance out the rest of the information in your poster.


5.     Customise poster with colours and fonts

You are now in the final stages of designing your poster. Now it is time for you to pick and adjust the colours and fonts that will fit your poster to fit the guidelines of your brand. If you have just begun designing your brand from scratch, then you can choose a colour and font that is unique to your brand, and will help it to stand out more.

If, however, you are part of a company and are designing a poster for them, then there should be guidelines on using the appropriate colour and fonts that suit your brand. If your company logo uses Times New Roman as the font, and bold dark green for the colour, for example, then use these in your colours and fonts for the poster.

You should also ensure that the colours and fonts that you choose stay consistent throughout because a different font can easily look out of place alongside the main one.


6.     Add a Call-to-Action

For most businesses, a call-to-action is an absolute must in your marketing campaigns; it is your final push to provoke your customers to buy or use your products. However, how you include a CTA in your poster also depends on the values, goals, and purpose that you set out at the beginning of your poster design.

Again, your CTA inclination depends on the purpose of your poster, and whether it is being used for selling and promoting an event, whether you want your audience to sign up, or anything else.


7.     Download and share poster

Now your poster is all ready to go. And download. Or share. Whichever option you choose to do, you need to show off your poster masterpiece to as many people as possible, and maybe get some recognition in the office. More often than not, digital posters will be more opted for than printed ones, and will also be a lot cheaper to distribute, but credit is due for printing posters out, so long as they render well onto the pages.

To make your digital poster a lot more interactive, too, you should include the following to engage your audience a lot more:

  • Audio clips
  • Video clips
  • Animated backgrounds
  • Illustrations
  • Animated icons
  • Special effects

Once you have implemented these, make sure that your poster is available to download using HTML5 file, as well as being compatible to be shared via a live URL and an embedded code. To help reach a bigger audience, you could even share your poster on your company’s social media, whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other platforms. If you are opting to share it on social media, here are the dimensions that your poster should be:

  • Facebook: use 1200 x 628, or 1200 x 1200 for square posters.
  • Twitter: 1024 x 512 in diameter.
  • Instagram: You can use either 1080 x 1080, or 1080 x 1350 for portrait posters to add on Instagram.
  • Pinterest: You have more wiggle room here to add length, but our preference is to use a ratio of 2:3 to 1:3.5. 

pile of posters

Fonts to display information

If you want your audience to engage with your poster as well as your brand, you need your key contact information to stand out. You can add these anywhere in your poster, although it is better to add them at the bottom of your poster, as by the time your audience reaches this point, they hopefully will have read the rest of the content on the poster. Make sure to also include the main focus of your poster (e.g., the event), the date and time that it might take place, describe the event, its location, and fit in a simple CTA that won’t be too distracting for the viewer, as well as contact information.


How to make a poster in Word

One of the easiest ways in which you can create a poster is by using Microsoft Word, which is available on most computer systems, and are relatively quick and easy to navigate. You can start it straightaway by using the blank template on the opening page.

By clicking on the ‘inset’ tab in Word, you will be offered a wide variety of options to include on your poster. From clips, art, and graphic options, there are plenty of categories that you can add to your poster using Word.

Word’s designs can be quite basic when you add them to the page, so feel free to customise them in any way you deem fit, down to their colour, shape, and tone, so that they fit on the page appropriately.

Do not forget to include one or two images, which can be selected by going onto Google Images, selecting the Creative Commons license under Tools, and downloading the images in the correct format to fit onto your Word poster. If you struggle to adjust them, then you can crop the images using Paint.

how to create a poster

Advantages of using Word to make a poster

  • It allows you to import high quality images without them detracting from the poster.
  • Different fonts can be used to customise your poster if you wished.
  • When you export a file from Word, they can often be accessible on multiple machines and platforms.


Disadvantages of using Word to make a poster

  • The software is not mainly designed to handle the creation of poster and other graphics.
  • Word does not necessarily offer the best templates for a poster.
  • Microsoft Word will continuously have updated versions installed, so unless you have the latest version downloaded, you may experience formatting issues. You can install the latest version of Word here.


Make your own poster today

Posters are very fun and creative to make, so therefore, you should be as creative and fun as possible in your thought processing in order to make your poster very engaging with your audience, without it feeling too forced or over the top. People like posters to be simplistic and eye-catching, and if you can do both of these whilst also adding in your brand values, you will find yourself with a great poster to promote your business.




  • What software should I use to create a poster?

There are multiple software platforms from which you can create a poster on, including Photoshop, Canva, Microsoft Word, InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator. Each software has its strengths and weaknesses, so try out each one to find which one works best for you.

  • What size should my poster be?

It depends on what your poster will be used for, and how big of an audience you are aiming it at. Posters for conferences of events can be A3 or A5, but standard poster sizes can range from 24x36 inches, 18x24, and 11x17 inches.

  • How do I make my poster visually appealing and effective?

Use bright but simplistic colours, high-quality images, and easily readable text. Constructing a hierarchy of information will make it easier for the reader’s eye to navigate it, as well as a good balance of colour and contrast.



Colour Graphics. (n.d.). Cheap Poster Printing. Retrieved from:

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