It’s not difficult to make a poster. You don’t need to be a genius artist and you don’t need a lot of equipment. Anyone can do it. All you need is:
- a pen, marker, paint, graphic computer program or other artistic material
- a bit of creativity, an idea and a message
- a copycenter/copymachine
Here are some basic tips that can help you create an effective lay-out for your poster:
- A big image somewhere in the middle of the page draws the attention of viewers
- You don’t need to use an image in your poster, only text can work fine.
- If you use text, write it clearly: use type fonts or hand-written capitals. You can use creative/funny/special fonts, but not too many different ones in the same poster.
- Usually it’s best to limit the amount of text on a poster, unless you want it to be more like a wall paper, which can be cool too.
- Play with black & white contrast, or other kinds of contrast.
- Be sure to keep your audience in mind: what style/images will attract them? will they notice your poster? will it speak to them in an understandable way?
- Humour and originality can help your poster get stuck in people’s minds
Block printing is a printing technique, using linoleum, a potato, wood or erasers. It works like stamp: you cut away the parts that you don’t want to print. You can use it to print multiple posters yourself if you make a large design.
A stencil is made by cutting out an image in cardboard or firm thin plastic with a knive or scissors. By painting or spray-painting over the stencil, the paint will only enter the cut-out spaces.
Silk screening is another printing technique, more complex, but with great results.
Posters can be designed on fabric too, like banners. You can use patchwork/quilt techniques, textile paint or embroidery.
Wheat Paste / Glue
You don’t need to buy wheat paste to stick your posters to walls, you can make it yourself.
- Loesje: info about making wheat paste and about pasting posters and the law (Dutch)
- Petite recette pour donner la parole aux murs (French)
- Billboard subvertising by SchNews
- Action Outline by the Lesbian Avengers
- Creative Direct Action Visuals by Ruckus
- Visueel Verzet (Dutch)
- Smith, Keri. Guerilla Art Kit. New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.
- Jansdotter, Lotta. Lotta Prints: How to print with anything, from potatoes to linoleum. San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2008.
- Crimethinc. Recipes For Disaster. An anarchist cookbook. Olympia, Crimethinc, 2005.
- Bristle magazine. Bristle: political street expressions in Bristol and the South West. Bristol, Bristle magazine, 2005.
- zines about DIY activism in the Zine Library