Decide on Poster Size
- Most posters are either 11 by 17, 12 by 18, 18 by 24, or 24 by 36 inches. Anything larger than that and you are going into billboard territory. So create a new document at one of these sizes.
If you want your poster to "bleed" around the edges, meaning that the pictures and images run all the way to the edge with no white space, you will need to add an additional 1/4 inch (sometimes 1/8 inch) of space around all four sides of the poster. This is something that the printer will ask you to set up. So if you chose a poster sized at 18 by 24 inches, the total canvas size would be 18 1/2 by 24 1/2 inches.
- Choose the color for your poster background. To be safe, go with a neutral color like white, tan or blue. Avoid black if possible because the dark color sometimes detracts from the message. If your company has a specific color for its branding that it uses often, like grass green or lavender, use that as the background. Create a new layer ("Layer" on the top menu) and choose your color on the "Tools" window that sits on your workspace to the left or right of your canvas. Select "Edit" then "Fill" to set your background color. Make sure that this layer stays at the bottom on your "Layers" toolbar, which also hangs to the left or right of your canvas.
- You can add text and photos in whatever order you'd like, but it is usually easier to get a grasp on what text will work best when you already have your photos chosen and placed. Open the photo you chose for the poster in Adobe Photoshop. Then copy the photo and paste it into your poster file. Move the photo around on screen until you find the ideal placement for your needs (you can always change it later).
Use the magic wand or eraser tool (both on the Tools window) to get rid of extra space around the image. Adjust the size or orientation of the photo by going to "Edit" then "Transform." Right click the image on your "Layers" toolbar and select "Blending Options" (or similar depending on your version) to add a glow, shadow or bevel.
- Finally, add your text to the Photoshop file. Type in the words for your poster--go with a short headline and a few sentences for a description if one is needed. Place your headline text in large, bold text that contrasts against the background (dark to light). It's advisable to center or justify the text on a poster. You can also create a glow or other effect on text as you did with the photo, but you first have to right click the layer and select "Rasterize."
Adjust your photo as you see fit so that the photo supports the text---be sure that it does not overtake, cover or disturb the written text because the words are the crux of your poster. Remember that the photo grabs attention while the text converts the sale or continues interest.