Creative Project 04 – Final Project Poster (50 pts.)

11.25″ x 17.25″ (11″ x 17″ trimmed) printed on 12″ x 18″ card stock ($2 in Design Lab)

The poster can be vertical or horizontal. Templates are provided, and the details of our final project are here. You will also find here some cool links and inspiration.

Please watch the videos (they total about one hour) on How Posters Work, by Ellen Lupton.

Note: Final Projects are due during our meeting times below. We DO NOT meet during Final Exam Week.



We don’t have a final exam, just turning in our projects.

  • GCOM 330 Wednesday 3 pm section: May 10 – 3 pm
  • GCOM 330 Wednesday 5:30 pm section: May 10 – 5:30 pm
  • GCOM 330 Thursday 10 am section: May 11 – 10 am

Yes, I am providing you with Final Project Templates.

Final Project Templates (All) (21 MB zip file download)

You have some choices for your final project. There are several sizes of poster templates (for either a horizontal or vertical poster). The details are below. These are PSD templates, with proper guides, template information, industry-standard resolution (300 pixels per inch), and set to RGB, which is the preferred color space for color inkjet and color laser printing.

Some of you want to do a poster larger than 11 x 17 inches. In the download above are 2 additional templates,  a vertical or horizontal 18 x 24. You WILL incur additional printing costs with these. ($20 each)


Design for Good: Designing for Social Change

Your Final Poster Topic: Design a Poster on a Social Issue or Cause
(creative briefs due two weeks before final class)

Designers hold the key to influencing successful socially conscious initiatives. Read the stories and see the work of design projects featured in the Designing Change column from HOW magazine. Get inspired by the stories behind Award-Winning work and find more examples of designers using their skill for the greater good. You’ll also find tips, theories and insights to how designers today are making an impact in the world.











7 Poster Designs That Raise Awareness

HOW Design Live 2016 will be better than ever. Register by November 19 for your best price! When we think poster design, we normally think about awesome movie posters or posters of our favorite musical artist. But when you stop and look around, you’ll notice that posters are more than advertising for entertainment purposes….




Surrendering to the Journey

Neil and Jen Baker Brown set out on a journey to draw insight from creatives across the U.S. to develop a forward-looking philosophy of design work.











Yahoo’s Maurice Woods on Service Leadership

If you haven’t heard of Yahoo’s Maurice Woods, you should definitely get to know this in-house designer—a great leader who has designed a good life around service. Here, Ed Roberts interviews him about his work and the Inneract Project.


Some words from real poster designers…click on their names to learn more…

Andrew Lewis

Cultural or social posters in my mind must communicate its message to anyone in any country in almost any language. I recall judging a poster competition with Ahn Sang-Soo in Beijing and he made a comment that has since been one “rules” to follow. He said that many people would not be able to read nor understand many of the submissions due to the language/typography barrier. This seemed simple enough but what a revelation! A poster must be able to universally communicate, connect and deliver its message to anyone in any country. Indeed, some posters are meant for a regional distribution but graphically, I believe if well executed, the graphic message should break through with the idea or message.

How does poster design impact the world we are living? That is a very difficult question. Some posters (very few) have attained notoriety via mass media outlets such as television, viral/social networks or news feeds. By having that specific poster introduced to a much larger and possible international audience it can take on a life of its own. Sadly, a bad example of that would be the 2008 Shepard Fairey “HOPE” poster supporting the Obama campaign. Indeed, it did draw attention and galvanized support for that cause and latterly caused a copyright stink for the artist. But it did have impact on those two levels and drew attention to this older medium. The poster in the past 5 years seems to have drawn a new breath for younger designers as a form of expression through exhibitions, competitions and even gig posters. This is good, but I feel we must tread softly with respect so that we don’t diminish the value of the poster through over exposure just for the sake of creating yet another poster exhibition or event.

Give us 3 principles of good poster design. Simplicity, timeless design/graphic representation and universality of message while at the same time creating a dynamic, vibrant, new solution. And that is why in my humble opinion, the poster is the most difficult to master as a designer, if ever be truly mastered at all.

Antonio Castro

A social poster needs to alert and engage the viewer in a compelling and provocative fashion. It needs to challenge and call an audience into action. In order to achieve this impact; the social poster ought to be swift and in your face. The Cultural poster utilizes the same tools but it delivers a different message. This is to promote a cultural event, etc.

How does poster design impact the world we are living? I believe that the only thing that a poster can do is calling people into action and it is a way for an artist/designer to channel his/her frustrations towards a particular social problem. If we truly want to impact the world in a positive way, we have to get involved in organizations that do this. Just designing a poster is not enough.

Tell us 3 principles of good poster design. A good poster has to tell a story or comment on an issue. The story or comment needs to be communicated to the audience in a bold, simple and beautiful way. It needs to be smart and beautiful. And last, a good poster needs to come from the heart, it needs to be honest.

Chaz Maviyane-Davies

Power – the ability to manipulate images and words into a form that gives them the power to communicate and evoke a response. Never underestimate the alluring power of the visual. Artistic license, coupled with values and intelligence, is good design. Images transport ideas, but design drives them. The act of design is an act of independence.

Design needs to mean something, it needs to be experienced. It can sing, dance, perform, converse, explain, laugh, cry, decry, question or fight. When you can trust it to respond effectively to these challenges, those solutions are invested with power.

Visual language is innovation and therefore tied to our ethical and social responsibility for the quality of the cultures we inhabit. We need to respect design as an integral part of our daily cultural activity and think of design as more than just doing, as we allow our work to be the intermediary for being.

Design gives us the opportunity to project our imagination through the lens of our entity. This is liberating internally and externally. It is sharing and unless you own the message spiritually, unless it arises from your beliefs and human commitments, it can never do what you need it to do. Self-determination and freedom of expression lie at the core of the politics of design. It begins with thinking which is then embedded into a concept through craft and skill. Design is expression of thought, and the design process gives form and meaning to thought. Offer dialogue, not only spectacle. Create and articulate from a striving for meetings, so that the audience may be in communion with your images and words, making you not only a problem solver but a cultural stimulant. When the intent of your being is felt through your design then a powerful force has been wielded. It’s form has transcended the sum of it’s parts as it’s concept finds meaning where there was none.

Michael Thompson

Humans should always evolve to be better global citizens. Artist and designers are uniquely positioned to advocate through Cultural or Social Design, and Creative Activism. With this powerful gift of creativity, conscious artist can become a catalyst for social awareness and protest. However, to be an effective poster designer, understanding this medium is also a lesson in how the human mind see things.

Design professionals can play a positive role because we have the tools to influence. However, we have to be enlightened to the realities around us to do this. Many designers use their creativity to sell corporate products and push their commercial interest, because it is necessary, it is how designers make a living. However, it is also necessary to give back some time, energy and creativity to make a difference in our world. With nothing except our minds and a computer, today we can create sophisticated visual campaigns to build movements to tackle big issues like injustice, poverty and world hunger, or to stimulate the process for changing society. Why not just do it!

In the past the only avenue for social poster expression were the wall of the streets, while that still remains to some extent, the Internet has become a much more dynamic annex. Through social media platforms like Flickr, twitter and Facebook, it is now possible to spread ideas and awareness around the world quickly with immediate feedback. The good news is, I see more artist taking this route, the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street protest for example are fertile ground for creative activist and poster designers to make a global impact. I am optimistic that a conscious renaissance of activism will emerge. Social artist and designers are not immune to the voice of our conscience and are speaking out visually.

Beautifully designed posters are effective in getting attention. You see it and it it is clear that this design works. A good iconic poster design in my opinion should have balance and beauty. One should get the message quickly even in a foreign language, a piece of art you would like to hang on your own wall. Whatever the message the composition and idea should be harmonious, and the message should never be compromised. Keep the message clear and simple with out-of-the-box creative thinking.

Pekka Loiri

The purpose of a Social / Cultural poster is to awaken, alert, warn and remind. It’s mission is to tell a story effectively and send strong message. It can tell about injustice or disaster, but just as well be attractive to the theater or to report that the circus has arrived to town. It’s purpose is to tell stories and stimulate humans interest. It wants to impact on the viewer’s way of thinking and behavior. That’s how I see the meaning and purpose of social / cultural posters.

We cannot change the world with posters, but we certainly can influence people’s minds and thoughts by/with Posters. This has been always known by both opponents of the war than the war mongers. Posters have always been one of the most effective and used method when making propaganda.

There’s so many of brilliant exemples, but I only want to mention here one: Erich Henningsen’s Tuborg Beer Poster from the year 1900. A real sweet and blessed thirst. A superior feeling when you finally get an opportunity to quenches the thirst. The mood of the poster does not need any explanation. There’s no picture of beer. No bottle, no “schooner”, a pint! Just the feeling, sense and plenty more! This is the way to do it.



Poster Design Inspiration Link-o-rama!

How to design a poster: 10 pro tips | Print design | Creative Bloq

Google Image Search Poster Design

Excellent Posters From The Design World – 59 Examples

25 Beautiful and modern poster designs for your inspiration – The Next Web

Modern Gigposter Design: 100 Stunning Examples | GoMediaZine

40+ Cool & Inspiring Poster Designs | GoMediaZine

Pinterest: Poster Design

Nigel French Website

…some Nigel French Short Talks (videos)

Nigel French on Poster Design: Part 1 (1 min. 30 sec.)

Nigel French on Poster Design: Part 2 (1 min. 20 sec.)


The 11″ x 17″ Poster (1 piece)

A Poster based on a cause or some other subject matter worthy of a poster.

(finished size 11” x 17”)

POSTER FILE DOCUMENT SPECIFICS (note: Poster -not- flyer!)

I am providing you with Final Project Templates

Your template is an RGB file, at 300 pixels per inch, with a document size of 11.25” by 17.25” – this equates to an 1/8” extra area, called “the bleed,” and all colors or imagery should go to this edge, so a clean trim edge can be achieved on the finished size. What is a “cause?” What else can you do, a movie poster, a poster announcing a new game or product, or…?

If you choose the poster, you must submit both the flattened PDF here, and print the poster and bring to class during the Final Exam Period for your section.



Digital File Preparation for Final Project:

All required techniques are to be completed in Photoshop software with some use of Illustrator allowed also if you know how too.

Final projects are not accepted late – no exceptions.

Your templates will be RGB files, at 300 pixels per inch, with a document size that will include the finished trimmed book dimensions, plus an 1/8” extra area, on all four sides, “the bleed,” and all colors or imagery should go to this edge, so a clean trim edge can be achieved on the finished size.

All required techniques are to be completed in Photoshop software with some use of Illustrator allowed also if you know how too. Final projects are not accepted late – no exceptions.

The flattened PDF you are submitting is a copy of your layered PSD file.
(Note: Make sure YOU always keep a layered PSD file of all your important work, for editing purposes.)

How do you do this?

1. Create your design or designs with the templates provided.

2. Save a copy of your layered PSD file by going to the top menu bar of Photoshop.

3. Choose File > Save As… Name it “yourname-final.”

4. Select “Photoshop PDF” as your file format, and below that, check “As a Copy” -AND- uncheck “Layers”. Click “Save”.

If a little window pops up, click “Okay” and continue…

5. Another “Save Adobe PDF” window opens. Choose the Adobe PDF Preset [Press Quality].

6. In the Options area below, uncheck “Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities” leave everything else as is, click “Save PDF.”

7. That’s it! Your PSD file will stay open, and your flattened PDF will be somewhere you saved it on your computer.

8. Submit the digital file or files to me via Dropbox, Google Drive, or usb drive in class.

9. Get it printed in the lab, full color, photo-quality paper stock.

10. Bring to Class.