What are Posters- banner

What are Posters: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Last Updated Jul 11, 2024

While walking across the street, I have always noticed beautiful posters but only cared to probe a little about them. Of course, we see them all the time, but there are plenty of questions when you want to print one. So, let’s find out all about ‘what are posters” and why you should use them. 

What are Posters

Posters are large printed sheets with pictures and text used publicly to promote or inform or privately to decorate.

  • Purpose of a poster: To advertise a product, inform, communicate, celebrate, or promote an event.
  • Benefits of poster: High visibility, cost-effectiveness, versatility, visual impact, targeted reach, long-lasting, and creative freedom. 
  • Poster layout elements: Headline, body copy, imagery, color combination, typography, brand elements, call to action or highlights, and contact information.
  • Characteristics of a good poster: Concise message, remote readability, organized layout, eye-catching design, and brand-focused elements.

We can’t deny the impact of posters in outdoor spaces. They often keep us informed about local deals and events. Even though it’s an old-school method, we should always pay attention to it.

In this blog, I’ve covered all the bases regarding posters—from design to printing. I’ve explained the differences between flyers, brochures, and posters to keep things clear. Plus, with eye-catching template examples, you’ll get all the info on posters, including key elements, benefits, layout tips, and pros and cons.

What are Posters

Posters are large printed sheets with pictures and text. People often use them publicly to promote or inform or privately to decorate. Their primary purpose is to convey a clear message through eye-catching graphics and textual elements. Most importantly, a poster delivers the message 3 to 6 feet away from the viewer.

To illustrate, here is a striking example of a poster from the Poster Templates library of DocHipo.

Poster Template

Get This Template and More

What is a Digital Poster

With everything going digital, posters have also evolved over the years. A digital poster is an on-screen layout with the flexibility to include video, animation, multimedia, and 3D effects. You must have seen the shiny digital screens with graphic displays about advertisements, offers, or promoting events. 

Digital posters, also known as digital signage, come in three types: static, dynamic, and interactive. However, their design and purpose remain the same as the printed posters. In the upcoming section, we will learn more about the different purposes of posters.

What is the Purpose of a Poster

In simple words, the purpose of any poster is to grab the moving audience’s attention. Half your job is done if you can hook the passerby on the street with the poster on the wall. However, the other half of the story unfolds when the viewer is intrigued by the poster’s message. So, here are the different purposes for creating a poster.

Advertising and Marketing

There are many ways to advertise today, and we have used posters for the last 200 years. Now, the question arises, ‘What does the poster promote?’ Whether launching a new product or opening a new store, make an advertisement poster to inform people about your business. 

While advertising through posters, remember to highlight the most enticing aspects of your offers. Also, you should ensure the ideal location and optimum size of the poster so that it makes the maximum impact.

For inspiration, look at this design from Advertising Poster Templates and notice how offers and graphics grab the attention at once.

Advertisment Poster template

Get This Template and More

Public Awareness  

One of the most apparent benefits of posters is their ability to raise awareness. While it’s easy to miss things on our small screens, a large poster in a public space instantly grabs attention. This impact is due to our innate practice of situational awareness in public places. 

Awareness-raising posters typically feature arresting graphics, compelling text, and an appeal to action. Moreover, posters effectively address specific issues relevant to the local community. Regardless of the cause, posters convey important messages to the target audience.

Information and Communication

One of the most effective ways to inform people is through posters. Whether it’s a public space or workplace, posters can help you to make important announcements. Besides, the heightened visual appeal and concise messaging require little effort from the viewer to understand the message. 

It’s easy to understand how posters help to spread information, but what is their importance in communication? For example, use this missing poster design to communicate essential details about the missing pet. Use similar designs from Missing Poster Templates from DocHipo.

Missing Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Posters also help to communicate your intentions, beliefs, and motives in a setting. Suppose you want to set the ambiance for your salon; posters will help you to express a lot more to your customers. 

For example, this bold poster is the perfect companion for any salon with a persuasive message for styling. Further, find more design ideas with Beauty Poster Templates from DocHipo.

Beauty Poster Template

Get This Template and More


If someone asks, ‘What is a poster in education?’, my memories jog down the school corridors with various posters. Like the good old days, educational institutions still heavily rely on posters to inform their students about upcoming quiz competitions, new semesters, or book fairs. These posters ensure that the information reaches the right audience on time.

For example, here is a poster design from School Poster Templates from DocHipo.

School Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Event Promotion

Do you want to create buzz around your upcoming event? Posters can help generate hype about a concert, carnival, or fashion show. We agree that social media helps to reach a broad audience, but there are better options than leaving posters out for promotional purposes. Especially when you want people to attend your event, you should target the local audience, as they are more likely to visit your event. 

Some of the details that you should always include in an event poster are:

  • Event name
  • Date, time, and location
  • Age or dress-related details
  • Cost

To illustrate, here is a poster design for a Music festival poster design from Music Poster Templates. Note that the graphics of the poster reflect the theme of the event. As a thumb rule, when you design a music poster, you should prefer dark backgrounds to set the mood.

Music Festival Template

Get This Template and More

Or, create a sports poster using this radiant design from Sports Poster Templates.

Sports Poster Template

Get This Template and More


A beautiful poster design about celebrations is all we need to get excited about festivals, birthdays, and anniversaries. Celebration posters include jovial graphics and icons to spread the cheerful vibe. 

You can create a birthday poster design with a personal touch, wishing them warm wishes or throwing a party for them. For instance, take inspiration from this birthday poster design and personalize it within minutes.

Birthday Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Also, send your best wishes on behalf of your business during the holiday season to your audience. With minimum effort, create a Christmas poster using this stunning template design from Christmas Poster Templates.

Christmas Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Commemoration and Tribute

Posters have the power to appeal emotionally. Like celebration posters that evoke joy, you can pay tribute and commemorate the brave soldiers to evoke feelings of pride and gratitude. For instance, you can create a Fourth of July poster to hit the patriotic sentiments of your audience. Use this design from the Fourth of July Poster Templates to honor the forefathers’ sacrifices.

Fourth of July Poster

Get This Template and More

Poster vs. Flyer vs. Brochure

Unlike posters, flyers and brochures are handed down to potential customers personally. While flyers similarly convey posters’ message to an individual, brochures provide detailed information. 

One of the most remarkable differences between flyers and posters is size. Flyers’ dimensions are around 8” X 11”, whereas a poster starts at 11” X 17” and can go up to 27” X 39”. Moreover, a poster targets a group of people at a place, while the flyer allows an individual to carry the document with them. To illustrate, here are examples of flyers and poster designs.

Unlike flyers and posters, brochures are highly effective for providing detailed information due to their foldable sheets or multiple pages. Brochures typically contain longer body text organized under various subheadings, allowing for more elaborate content. In contrast, flyers and posters feature concise text with a single, clear message. 

For example, the DocHipo Brochure Templates illustrate this well.

What are the Benefits of Using Posters

Posters can be a game changer if you use them correctly. Let’s explore some of the benefits of using a poster.

1. High-Visibility

A poster’s large size and attractive layout make it difficult to ignore. Besides, marketers always place posters strategically in public places that will undoubtedly engage a larger audience. Therefore, the proper poster will find the potential customer base when placed in a suitable place. Look at this striking sale poster design, which is impossible to ignore, even in a crowded space.

Sale Poster template

Get This Template and More

2. Cost Effective

Posters are one of the most affordable options compared to other advertisement mediums. Plus, a poster remains in place for a very long time, saving you from the hassle of repeated payments. It’s a one-time investment where your brand reaches new audiences for a long time.

3. Versatility

Posters offer multiple options to promote, inform, and advertise. Whether it’s your seasonal sale or a new product, through posters, you can use posters for various purposes. Also, it’s up to you where you want to use them, indoors or outdoors, whatever suits your purpose. 

You can announce the grand opening of your new store to inform people around your store.

Business Poster template

Get This Template and More

Or, you can make your loved one feel special with a poster. For example, using this template, you can create a Mother’s Day poster as a sweet gesture.

Mother's Day Poster

Get This Template and More

4. Visual Impact

When discussing visual impact, we are interested in “What makes people look at posters?” Bright colors, eye-catching graphics, and compelling typography make the perfect combination to grab attention. Since posters have been a part of the public sphere for a long time, the audience’s engagement is effortless and unintended. 

Stand out with this poster template and make a lasting impression on your audience. Create a stunning Food poster with this template design.

Food Poster Template

Get This Template and More

5. Targeted Reach

We know that the location of the poster is of utmost importance. You can place posters where the target audience will likely see them, ensuring the message reaches the intended audience. 

6. Long Lasting

Despite technological advancements, posters have remained relevant. This is because posters stay for a long time, ensuring higher engagement. Posters expose us to the same message every time we look at them, increasing the chances of retention. In the era of decreasing attention spans, posters make a lasting impact.

  1. Creative Freedom

Your out-of-the-box thinking can make the poster stand out. You can channel your creative zeal into the poster design because there are no rules. If your poster is unusual, it can grab the audience’s attention. 

To illustrate, here is a template design to create a stunning New Year Poster to stand out.

New Year Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Additionally, you can explore 25 Creative Poster Making Ideas with Templates and Design Tips to revamp your poster designs.

What is the Poster Layout

When creating a poster, you must know its elements and how you organize them in the design. A poster layout helps you understand the look and feel of a poster design with all the elements in proper placement. To illustrate, here is a simple poster layout example with essential components.

Poster layout

To better understand the poster format, let’s explore each design element.


The headline is the most significant text with bold typography that instantly grabs the viewer’s attention. It informs the reader what the poster is about with a glance.

Body Copy

In the typography hierarchy, the body copy is a comparatively smaller but simple typeface that the reader pays attention to while standing closer to the poster. It can be a brief description of the product, offer or service. 


High-quality images are essential for any poster to draw your audience’s attention. Besides, always use relevant images to help the viewer associate with the message. For this purpose, you can use professional product photographs or high-quality stock images from DocHipo.

Color Combination

Colors play a crucial role in any poster layout. Choose color combinations that are complimentary, relevant, and appealing to your customer base. In the poster layout example, the black and red colors represent the cultural roots of sushi.


As a rule of thumb, use a maximum of three fonts in your poster layout while maintaining the hierarchy. Also, avoid using overly sophisticated fonts that would compromise the readability of the text. Lastly, remember to use font pairings that complement each other and the meaning of the text.

Brand Elements

Using brand assets in your design helps the viewer to recall your brand even when you don’t mention the brand name. You can use brand elements like logos, slogans, colors, images, etc, to make your posters iconic.

Call-to-Action or Highlights

Apart from the headline that captivates at once, you should prefer call-to-action like order now or other highlights like discount offers. You can use text effects, borders, and elegant text frames to draw attention to these aspects of your poster.

Contact Information

This is the most crucial aspect you should always pay attention to on the poster. You should always mention the contact information, address, website, and social media pages on the poster, giving potential customers options to reach out to you.

After learning about all the elements, you may ask, ‘What is the most important part of a poster?’ Since you cannot make a poster with any one element, you must arrange them in a meaningful fashion. 

Undoubtedly, the primary critical features of any poster should be roughly 20% text, 40% figures, and 40% space. Remember, the poster’s charm lies in how you assemble the elements. Therefore, applying design principles to all its elements will have the desired effect on the audience. 

What are the Characteristics of a Good Poster?

So far, we know “what are posters,” their purpose, elements, and benefits. Now, let’s address another significant question: “What is the quality of a good poster?” Here are some essential characteristics a good poster should have, along with template examples for your poster design ideas.

Simple and Concise Message

Your headline text is the first thing a viewer notices at a glance. Therefore, you should include a concise message that explains the poster’s agenda. It’s best to avoid lengthy and complicated sentences in your poster.

For inspiration, here is a design with a clear and concise copy that you can use to create an advertisement poster.

Advertising Poster template

Get This Template and More

Remote Readability

As mentioned, a poster is visible from 3 to 6 feet away, so the text should be easy to read. Using appropriate font size and typography helps make your copy remotely readable. Besides, ample spacing of the fonts against a contrasting background also helps enhance the poster’s readability.

To illustrate, here is a clean and legible poster design from DocHipo.

Advertising Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Well-structured and Organized Layout

When we look at a poster, we see the entire design and then notice different elements. A clean and organized layout gives a professional look and helps you make a lasting impression. 

Designing a poster is about assembling different elements and creating harmony and balance in the graphic design through alignment, scaling, and ample white space. Take inspiration from this stunning Business Poster Templates collection design to better understand organized designs.

Business Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Eye-catching Poster Design

Your poster will grab the audience’s attention only when it stands out in a setting. Captivating imagery, bold colors, and exquisite typography together to help your poster entice the viewer with visual storytelling. That’s what makes a poster worth looking at.

For instance, take this creative poster design to make a Thanksgiving poster.

Thanksgiving Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Focus on Branding

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of branding when designing marketing collaterals. When creating designs for a brand, ensure that you retain its identity through colors, logos, imagery, and slogans. Further, remember to maintain consistency throughout your poster layout’s content. Here is a fine example of a consistent on-brand poster you can use to make a Conference poster

Conference Poster Template

Get This Template and More

Creating on-brand designs can be challenging, but with DocHipo’s brand kit, it’s a cakewalk. 

You can save all your brand assets in one place for quick designing.

Watch this video to learn more about the brand kit in DocHipo.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Poster

Like any medium of advertising and promotion, posters also have some benefits and setbacks. Take a look at this concise comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of posters for a better understanding of their utilization.

Relatively less expensive than other advertising mediums.Measuring the direct impact and effectiveness of poster advertising can be challenging.
Suitable for simple and concise messages.Limited space for information causes constraints while designing.
One can use it for advertisement, promotion, information, etc.Viewers need to take more action than digital advertising.
Ensures high visibility from a distance for a group of audience.The chances of getting lost when in cluttered surroundings are high.
Posters are flexible and more versatile in scale and content.Once printed, it’s challenging to modify or edit a poster design.
Easy to design, print, and deploy in less time.Posters are more susceptible to environmental damage.
Helps to promote with targetted reach locally.Location restrictions are likely to happen for commercial posting sites.

Despite the many disadvantages of printed posters, you can easily overcome them with digital posters. Some of the advantages of digital posters include the following:

  • Flexibility to include multiple poster designs on a single screen.
  • It can be modified easily.
  • No environmental damage and wastage.
  • Allows potential customers to interact with the signage.

What is the Best Poster Format

Even after designing a stunning poster, it can become pixelated or disoriented if you ignore the proper format. Thus, formatting a poster is an essential requirement before you get it printed. You should consider the appropriate image format, poster size, and optimization of various design elements when considering the poster format.

  • Image format: Use vector images to retain the design elements while resizing your poster.
  • Standard poster sizes: 11” x 17” (small), 18” x 24” (medium), and  27” x 39” (large)
  • Popular ratio: 2:3 and 4:3
  • Distance for legibility: The poster should be legible to someone 6 feet apart.

Switching between different poster sizes is a breeze with DocHipo’s smart resize feature. For this purpose,  select any template and choose the page resize option. Now, choose standard sizes and resize the documents with a click.

Smart resize in DocHipo for poster sizes

Watch this video to learn more about the smart resize feature.

Moreover, you can custom-resize your poster by switching between units such as px, in, cm, and mm.

Custom poster size

Learn how to change between the units while customizing your page size.

How are Posters Printed

We have discussed the poster design process at length, but that’s half the story if you want to hold your poster in your hand. What about printing the poster? You can’t think about printing posters at home (of course you can, but most of us don’t have huge printers). You can quickly pay a professional to print posters. So, how does all of it work? Let’s explore the process together.

CMYK Designs Works the Best for Prints

The problem with printing posters without CMYK formatting is there might be a disparity between the shades of color. Consequently, your efforts to create stunning posters would have failed. Therefore, the first step is to create a poster design or convert it into a CMYK color model.

Set the size and format at 300 DPI

DPI stands for dots per inch, so the higher the number of dots in the print, the better the resolution. Thus, the DPI is set at 300 for large prints like posters to avoid blurred and pixelation. Also, select the poster size depending on your available installation area.

Paper Matters

It depends on you and how large you want your poster to be. Your choice of paper depends on the placement of your poster. Here are a few materials available for printing posters:

  • 170 gsm poster paper: Suitable for indoors.
  • Photo satin paper: For sharper image quality.
  • Water/Tear resistant paper: Suitable for outdoors.
  • Self-adhesive vinyl paper: For adhesive posters.

Choose PDF Format to Export Files

When you have provided all the details to the professional printing service, they will ask for the file. To avoid alterations in the design, send your files in PDF format and specify the number of copies.

How to Create Posters 

Are you ready to create a stunning poster? DocHipo’s Poster Templates make it super easy. Sign up and create your poster in three simple steps.

1. Choose Your Template

After signing up, search for the poster templates on the homepage and select the one that best suits your purpose.

Poster templates in DocHipo

Explore more about the poster templates in DocHipo.

2. Customize Your Template

Now, customize the template design in the editor using design assets such as pictures, shapes, icons, stickers, illustrations, animations, etc.

Design widgets for customizing posters

Learn to find design widgets within DocHipo.

3. Download Your Poster

After making all the changes, download the design in the format of your choice.

Download poster design in DocHipo

Learn How to Make a Poster: Step-by-Step Guide with Templates, or watch this tutorial.

Summing it Up

Finally, you have reached the end of this comprehensive guide. We have explored all the essential aspects of poster design, purposes, benefits, and format. You can use posters for a variety of reasons and in different types of settings. Besides, it is one of the most affordable options when you don’t wish to burn a hole in your pocket.

Want your poster to stand out to your audience? There is no need to stress—design with DocHipo templates. With a wide range of poster templates for various industries and occasions, there’s a design ready for your customization. Sign up for DocHipo for free and create your poster within minutes!


What is the definition of the poster?

Posters are large printed sheets with pictures and text used publicly to promote or inform or privately to decorate.

What is poster and it’s example?

A poster is a printed sheet of paper with text and graphics. However, a poster example can also comprise an image without text or a picture with only text. Either way, the poster should be visible from 3 to 5 feet with a clear and concise message.

Is a poster a print ad?

Yes, the posters are giant print advertisements.

What is the aim of a poster?

Any poster aims to grab the attention of the moving audience and generate interest.

What are 4 benefits of a poster?

The benefits of the poster are:

  • High visibility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Visual impact
  • Hyperlocal targetted reach

What are the advantages of posters?

Here are some advantages of posters:

  • Relatively less expensive than other advertising mediums.
  • Suitable for simple and concise messages.
  • One can use it for various purposes like advertisement, promotion, information, etc.
  • It ensures high visibility from a distance for a group of audience.
  • Posters are flexible and more versatile in scale and content.
  • Easy to design, print, and deploy in less time.
  • Helps to promote with targetted reach locally.

What is an e-poster?

An electronic poster or e-poster is a poster in PowerPoint format, allowing the inclusion of videos and multimedia.

What is a 3D poster?

Unlike 2D posters, 3D posters give an illusion of depth with realistic and interactive graphics.