Murals. Collages. Massive collections of images meant to divert the eye quickly from one image to the next. Great when you’re putting pictures on your living room wall, not so good when you’re printing posters for your latest marketing campaign.
The Difference Between “Visually” Stimulating and “Overly” Stimulating
Parenting experts can go on for hours about the dangers of an overstimulated toddler. They get anxious, then they get cranky, then you’re headed straight for a meltdown. What nobody ever tells you is that while most overstimulated adults won’t “melt-down”, per say, their attention span will slam into a brick wall until all they see are the flashing lights.
They won’t have a clue what you’re trying to say.
When designing and printing posters, less is more. A single image is usually your best chance of catching their eye; however, if you have to use multiples your best bet is a montage of no more than four. And each image should be interesting enough to catch the eye of your audience on its own, holding their attention no matter where they happen to look first.
**Quick note: When talking about “images” we’re talking about primary pictures, not logos, background effects or other finishing elements.**
So, Just One?
Your posters are your messengers. They need to carry your message, and they need to do it quick. The biggest mistake a poster designer can make is to forget that they’re not having a conversation with their customers. A poster has less than 3 seconds to catch their interest. You don’t have time to babble on forever before you get to the point.
So while the “One Image Per Poster” rule isn’t carved in stone, less is more. They’re not going to stick around for a three hour lecture. Imagine printing posters as creating visual Tweets, get straight to the point, and you’ll be good to go.