The Importance of Type Hierarchy in Poster Design

While the visual design of a poster may seem paramount, knowing the basics of type hierarchy is a key component to
compelling design. Your poster must get its message across quickly and accurately, and your type choices are essential
for this. And since you only have a few seconds to catch their attention, knowing these valuable type tips are a quick way
to ensure success.

What is Type Hierarchy?

Type hierarchy is a tried-and-true way of organizing text from the most important to the least. It creates a contrast between
elements, using typefaces, font sizes and weights, capital and lowercase letters, orientation, bolding and italicizing,
placement, and colors. Proper hierarchy adds structure, creates visual organization, reinforces messaging, and makes
it easier for people to read your content. Most importantly, make sure the most crucial text, the heading, is first. The title
is what attracts the viewer’s eye. You don’t want the main message on your poster to get lost in a sea of text. An eye-catching
design will create a logical progression from point A (heading) to point B (subheading), and finally, to point C (the
final message, or body copy).

Following are the three critical levels of typographic hierarchy (heading, subheading, and body copy) that will make your
poster something to remember!

The Heading

The heading should be the most prominent and commanding part of all the text in your design. Make the heading visually
stimulating with a large type and a font that matches your poster messaging and personality. The rest of the copy doesn’t
stand a chance if the heading doesn’t grab and inspire your viewer. This is your chance to catch their eye and draw them
in, so make it count!

The Subheading

The subheading is located below the heading, often in a smaller font. It’s essentially an expansion of the title. It should
further engage the audience, but without telling too much. The subheading should be visible and stand out from the body
text without overpowering the heading. You may use a different font but be sure that it complements the font used in the

The Body Copy

The body copy should have the smallest type size in your design, and it should expand on what you communicated in the
heading and subheading. Using a simple typeface consistent with the overall design would be your best option. Make sure
the spacing and point size are large enough for easy readability and avoid using all capital letters, which can make the
copy harder to read.

Now let’s take a look at some samples of poster designs that implement the three levels of text hierarchy.

Poster Hierarchy Examples




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Poster Example

As you can see, each poster successfully uses the three levels of type hierarchy. You know where the heading,
subheading, and body copy are. Each header grabs the viewer’s eye with a carefully selected font type, size, thickness,
and color. Directly below the headings are the subheadings. They are still on the larger side, but don’t distract from the
title or get lost amongst the body copy. And finally, the body copy is set in a smaller, yet easy to read, font that encourages
the viewer to continue.

As you can see, this reliable method of type hierarchy is a relatively simple way to create a truly eye-catching poster. So,
what do you think? Want to give it a try? Start with a dynamic visual to draw them in, amp up the color, fill the space, focus
on complementary typography, and have fun!

Need poster design inspiration? Check out our 2022 Design Trends post and see if one of these current trends would
work for your poster!

Fall Color Palette Inspirations For 2021

Ah, fall has arrived! The air is crisper, the leaves are turning, and fall harvest is underway. When we think of fall, we think about our favorite flannel, pumpkin carving, pumpkin spice lattes, hot apple cider, homemade soup, caramel apples, football, backyard campfires with friends and family, and fall colors.

And what an array of color we get – yellows, creams, oranges, reds, browns, teals, and … greige. Greige? Yep. It’s a thing. While it isn’t gray or beige, greige has a warm tone that can create a cozy look when paired with other autumnal colors in a creative design. And who doesn’t like cozy?

Another fall color we’re loving this year is teal. Teals have a lot of versatility and are perfect for pairing with complementary autumnal tones like burgundy, oranges, browns, and neutral shades like ivory and cream. This cool pop of color on a warm background can be a real eye-catcher for print collateral – especially for direct mail. These complementary hues are sure to make a well-designed piece stand out in a sea of mail.

And never underestimate the nostalgic appeal of yellow, orange, red, and brown this time of year. Commonly known as fall’s color palette, these warm tones can be a powerful design tool – evoking fond memories of times spent around a campfire on a crisp fall evening, hikes through the woods with colorful leaves underfoot, and pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice hot chocolate, pumpkin spice cookies … you get the idea.

The emotional appeal of color is something we all recognize – whether we realize it or not. The key to good creative design is recognizing this connection and using it to create a response from your audience. Fall is a fun time for color in design, so we threw together some of our favorite seasonal palettes below. Hopefully, something there will inspire you with your next design project. Happy fall!

Fall Color palettes we’re obsessed with!

Four Inspiring Color Palettes For The Fall


Remember The Bleed

One of the most common problems our creative design teams see’s when receiving files for printing is the lack of bleed. Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document which has images or design elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge leaving no white margin. When a document has bleed, it must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down. Printing and trimming is pretty precise with minimal amount of paper movement, but if no bleed is applied to the document a hairline of unprinted paper will show up on the edges. This is why we like to see the bleed extended .125 inches (1/8″) on each side of your document.

The business card example below shows how a document should be set up with bleed.


Business card example that shows crop marks and a bleed

You probably already know how to create a print-ready PDF, but creating a PDF that bleeds requires a few more steps. Follow the instructions below to create bleeds in Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word.

Adobe InDesign
1. In Document Setup set your document size to the final trim size. Set your bleed settings like the sample shown (1). All bleeds should be set to .125″.
2. When you are ready to make a PDF, select your desired export setting (we recommend Press Quality).
3. Under Export Adobe PDF options select Marks and Bleeds on the side menu. Make sure “Use Document Bleed Settings” is selected under Bleed and Slug. Compare your Marks and Bleeds Page to the preview shown (2).
4. Select Export. After your PDF is created, please review your PDF file. The dimensions should be your trim width with an additional .25″ and your height is your requested size with an additional .25″.


InDesign Doucument and Export PDF Set-Up 

Microsoft Word
1. Microsoft Word does not have bleed settings. To allow for the bleeds, you will need to add .25″ to your width and to your height. This will allow for .125″ bleed area on all sides. (Example, if you would like a 5.5 x 8.5 postcard, you will need to make your document 5.75 x 8.75).
2. When you change your page size to include the bleed area your margins will not change. This means if you have your margins set to .375″ on 5.5 x 8.5, after the bleed area is trimmed o you will only have .125″ margins. We recommend increasing your margins to prevent important content from getting too close to the bleed area that will be cut off.
3. If you are ready to create a PDF, click File, then Save As, and select PDF in the drop-down menu.
4. After converting your Word document to a PDF, review the PDF to ensure no unwanted changes occurred during the conversion and that your document is the correct size.

Whew! That is it. The next time you send your PDF to us we know you’ll have mastered the bleed.


Why You Need a Vector Logo

“Say what!?, What is a vector?, Huh?” are common responses that designers get when we ask a client for a vector logo. Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of why you need a vector logo, let’s talk about the definition of a vector graphic.

A vector graphic is created from points, lines, shapes, and curves that are based on mathematical formulas that represent the image on a computer. These elements can be filled with color, blends, tints, or gradients, and have lines with a stroke attribute such as a solid or dashed line with different thicknesses and colors. A vector graphic can be scaled and resized to double or triple its size (or more) while maintaining its smooth, crisp edges. Since your logo will be used in various applications and at different sizes, it is essential that your logo be created as a vector graphic.

Vector vs. Raster logoAn example of this would be to take your vector logo and scale it onto a billboard or sign at 12 feet. The logo will look just as eye pleasing at that size as it did on your business card. However, if your logo is in a raster format (pixel based), JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, RAW, or PSD, and you increased the dimensions, it would lose its luster and be a pixelated, blurred mess (see sample). You don’t want the face of your brand being displayed in an unprofessional manner. For this reason, it is never recommended that you create your logo or other illustrative graphics in a raster format.

Vector logos should be created in vector-based graphic software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw and saved out with the extension, EPS, AI, CDR, or SVG. Unless you have the software you won’t be able to open this file. Don’t worry. This is the file of choice for professional designers and print vendors to ensure your logo is displayed cleanly and neatly.

Now the next time a vendor or designer asks for your vector logo, you’ll have the confident response of, “No problem, we have one of those.” Make sure your logo always looks good, with a vector file.