Posters are a great way to advertise your event. They're inexpensive to print, inexpensive to expose to large crowds through distribution and can be a great way to identify your band's sound through visual art. But you're still spending money and most local artists have a very limited budget for marketing around their event. Here's some tips to help get the most out of your campaign.
1. Consider the size of the paper and how your design will look from a distance.
Are you designing a large A0 poster? if so, will it be pasted up for car or foot traffic? Is the headline big enough to see from that distance? Are you designing an A3 poster to be seen indoor at cafes amongst 20 other posters? Its well worth considering using large blocks of bright colours or only a couple of high contrast colours to stand out. Think about where your poster will be seen while you're designing it or briefing your designer.
2. How soon and how big is your event?
We often get anic requests for posters to be distributed for an event that isn't selling as well as the client would like. We're always happy to rush out 100 posters in a few days... but you're going to want your design to be pretty high impact. If you have an event at a 1000 capacity venue and you've only sold 100 tickets 3 days out, its time to re-jig the design to catch the most attention that you possibly can.
BIG headlines with each element in this priority from big to small: 1 : event or artist title 2: Date of Event 3: Venue Name 4. Ticket information. The poster may not be an object of high art but its important to get your priorities straight.
If you're event is at a 200 capacity room and its 4 weeks out - congrats for getting it together! Your poster doesn't always NEED to be an obnoxious billboard. Its cool to spend some time on a provocative design and pace it out. If you're confident that your show will sell well - try a subtle design for a couple of weeks and see how your ticket sales go. If you think you need to change designs closer to the event, no problems - re-jig and try again.
3. What paper stock should I use?
Your standard street poster in Australia for colour A3 and A2 is a 150gsm Gloss stock and it works for 99% of campaigns out there. If you have a little more budget, try some other options - an enviro or uncoated paper can look really nice at a merch stand and if you use a really heavy stock, punters would be happy to pay $10 for a great design. Most people wont be able to tell the difference when its stuck to a pole or in a frame at a restaurant.
4. What print process should I use? / Digital vs Offset printing.
Hand screening posters in Australia will be an option for a long time to come but unfortunately - there's very few people still producing these posters and it can be a costly exercise. Unlike in the US or UK, most of our event posters in Australia are printed with an offset or digital print process. In recent years, commercial, digital print technology has become so advanced, many can barely tell the difference between them and an offset print (especially when plastered on a wall). Offset printing is used for large runs of say 2000+ units, and digital printing is used for shorter runs requiring more designs / pages. Digital printing is a great way of keeping pricing down for short runs. Distro Print also offers a cool print process called RISO printing - think of it as a 'digital screenprint' learn more here: Riso Printing
5. Where should my posters be distributed?
Although advertising to locals is very important, sometimes its beneficial to think about the kind of people who want to come to your event rather than the location of your event. Lets say your show is in a small outer suburb of Melbourne and your target audience is aged between 18 and 24. You have 100 A3 posters for your campaign. We find it far more effective to target university bollards in high foot traffic areas or around clubs and other venues rather than saturate an area with very little target demographic.