AIDA - Helpful Rules for Designing Your Own Posters

Posters are an excellent way of advertising special offers, promotions and events for all businesses, but getting them designed professionally can prove expensive. By following a few simple rules and with the help of AIDA you can easily do a professional looking job yourself!

AIDA: Attention-Interest-Design-Action

As the world of advertising becomes more competitive, the methods employed become more and more sophisticated. That said, the basic principles behind any poster advert remain - that it must attract attention and persuade someone to take action. Although, there is no doubt that as consumers we are becoming increasingly discerning, underlying human nature doesn't really change, and you still need to grab your audience's attention, interest them in how you can help them and persuade them to take the action you want them to take, such as buying your product, attending an event or visiting your website.

If you are running an event, designing a point of sale advertisement or even making a lost pet poster the same simple ideas will help you get your message across. The acronym AIDA represents four steps you need to take your audience through if you want your posters to be effective.


Your poster is likely to be displayed where it is in competition with a whole host of other information and you need to be able to draw in peoples ATTENTION. In an effective poster you should use a range of type sizes and bear in mind that you are trying to catch the eye of people who are likely to be busily passing by. By careful choice of words that are in the biggest, boldest type the page dimensions will allow, you are in fact selecting your audience. Use of a brief bold statement: ("FOR SALE", "JUMBLE SALE", "LOST") will encourage passers by to quickly make judgements as to whether your announcement is their thing - YOU WILL HAVE GRABBED THEIR FLEETING ATTENTION!


OK, so you have people's attention, the challenge now is can you engage with them enough so that they will want to spend their precious time understanding your message in more detail? Gaining the reader's interest is a deeper process than grabbing their attention. They will give you a little more time to do it, though not much and you must remain focussed on their needs. - Make it easy to pick out the relevant information - use bullet points and break up any text to make the message stand out - The biggest mistake of "home-designed" posters is to go for text overkill and the inclusion of too much information.  It is important now that you present your captured audience with a short relevant message and a promise of reward or satisfaction, even perhaps a sense of mystery! Your audience will make a judgement call as to whether to seek out more detail on your poster, if they do, you have the opportunity to develop their DESIRE.


The desire section of AIDA really goes hand in hand with the Interest. As you are building your readers interest, you also need to help them understand how what you are offering can help them in a real way. The most obvious way to do this is by appealing to their needs and wants and remember to present the BENEFITS rather than just the FEATURES of your offering. So rather than your poster saying: "Our seminar will teach you feedback skills", ask yourself "So what?". Work out what is in it for your audience and present these BENEFITS instead: "Save time and frustration by learning how to give your staff effective feedback". Don't just tell people about the seminar.... make them actually WANT to attend. We used to call this "Selling the sizzle not the sausage"!


Finally, be VERY clear about what action you want the readers of your poster to take, For example: "Visit now for more information" rather than just leaving people to work out what to do for them selves.

......and finally

Most homes have a computer and in today's modern age it is possible to use basic desk top publishing and packages like Power Point or Keynote do do great job on designing your poster.  Save your design directly from these packages as a PDF and you are ready to have it professionally printed by us here at Poster Pigeon. 

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