Monday, May 7, 2018

What font to use…

Recently I was asked this question; What are the fonts to use in a poster of a drama named Downfall?

It is difficult to gain understanding without study and practice. The graphic design and layout of a large format project such as a poster is no exception.

If you’re stuck and have problems in finding “the right” font remember the KISS rule; make your life easier and use a tried and true font. Pick one of these:
Avant Garde
Bell Gothic
Courier Std
Franklin Gothic
Gill Sans
Sabon LT Std
Trade Gothic

You could use these 22 fonts for the next 20 or 30 years and do just fine in solving visual communication issues and creating relevant graphic design art.


If new to poster design start out with using one typeface throughout the poster design.
Pick a typeface that has many font weights, that has good readability and legibility across both display and text sizes (see list above).

What Font to use…

The question itself indicates a project workflow problem; inexperience with design thinking and strategy. The answer to the question you’re asking needs to emerge from client collaboration and the poster project design process itself.

Like any graphic design project asking questions to gain a project understanding during discovery is important to your success. 

A common poster size in the United states for “The One-Sheet” movie poster is 27 inches wide by 40 inches tall. Poster size commonly used in movies and marketing generally starts at 11" x 17", then 18" x 24" as medium size. Large size poster can be 24" x 36" or 27" x 39" These are some of the size choices.

During the discovery part of the graphic design process one aspect is finding out the poster size. If the client is unsure you can make recommendation. Discovery is also asking the client the who, what, where, when, and how about the poster project.
Before a font can be selected and tested you need to ask all the project discovery questions. Knowing poster size is important, it matters, but so does the material you put in to the poster and grasping the poster project context. The font choice is going to happen later in the poster project after discovery, research and planning. It is going to start during strategy development and emerge fully in design development.

You are now ready for design development. You have discussed poster concept with the client and clearly know what the important idea is to communicate. You have obtained and organized all the poster content.You have gone over strategy, know target audience information, the medium the poster represents, event-time, date and so on. Once you know and have the approved copy, a photo or illustration (if image is used), any logo or other art for the poster, you have the poster copy hierarchy organized. Next start sketching different poster layout ideas and typeface choices. Through making rough, then tighter sketches the solutions will come.

Have fun designing your poster.

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