Graphic Design 2A

Public Awareness Campaign - Poster Design

Campaign Poster Preparation

What'chu Wanna B Doin' - The Overall Goal
A. Hook - First and foremost, you've got to grab the viewer's attention.

B. Inform - Inform your target market about the issue. What is the problem? Why does the problem need a solution? What is the solution?

C. Action Item - What exactly do you want the public to do about your issue? It needs to be something specific and measurable.

Your mean art teacher is going to ban the following action items because they aren't creative and they are a cop out: donate money, like us on social media, #, sign a petition, raise awareness, simply copying action items from the project examples

How U B Startin' It?
Think! Think hard! Think until it hurts...and then keep thinking. Think on paper...with a pencil...using the design process.

We just did an in-class activity in which you identified how professionally designed advertisements caught your attention. What hook or tone will you use? Figure out what is predictable and then think of the opposite. Think outside the box. Analogies or metaphors? Play on words? Shock, irony, humor, emotion, guilt, comparison, etc.

Things U B Keepin' in Mind
Remember that this is primarily an Illustrator class. This is also a significant DESIGN project. So, let's please avoid relying on a pretty picture and slapping some text onto it. Your design should be exactly that...WELL DESIGNED!


Poster - Cover Sheet 1

Download the project coversheet & print it.


The Hook

How are you going to CREATIVELY present your case? What tone / hook / method are you going to use to get the target audience to engage with the poster? Think of the obvious solution...and then DON'T DO IT! I'm asking you to document your thought process. Use a pencil. Think on paper. I'm not giving you an amount, but it will be clear if you put time and effort into this. This is worth a significant percentage of the unit's grade points. This is the most difficult part! This requires thinking, creativity, and pain. This isn't easy. Work through the pain and come up with a winning concept. Ask your parents for help.

skateboard helmet poster hook example


Visual Inspiration

Look for examples of design styles, techniques, text treatments, layouts, etc. that inspire you. Present at least 5 examples that:

• are "doable" - you know your skill level
• fit with the tone/message/audience of your campaign
• you can borrow, but not rip off

Don't tempt yourself to rip off a similar campaign concept from an existing campaign. You are looking for visual inspiration (colors, fonts, layouts, techniques, styles) no matter what their message is.

skateboard helmet poster visual inspiration example



Look over what you've generated so far with brainstorming, research, and visual inspiration. Generate 5-6 different thumbnail sketches. You'll want to focus on 1 or 2 overall concepts and try both vertical and horizontal formats.Thumbnail sketches should be quick & small. They are meant to get a wide variety of ideas onto paper...quickly. Be very clear and deliberate with the Level 1 (headline) text. It needs to relate to the imagery. Text can and should be used as a design element! It doesn't have to be simply a large font placed at the top of the poster...boring! Extra credit will be awarded for creative use of the Level 1 headline! Show the frame. Horizontal or vertical. Indicate location of logo and additional text. These don't need to be detailed, they simply need to be accounted for. This is going to require some serious thought, effort, & creativity. This won't be easy. If it were, the client wouldn't need to hire you.

skateboard helmet poster thumbnails example


Mock Up

After narrowing down the thumnails to the best overall concept you'll work up a mock-up. This is a larger, tighter, and more refined pencil sketch of the poster design and layout. Drawing ability isn't important. You can use simple geometric shapes to convey imagery. What's important here is layout, placement, size, & proportion. Where will imagery go and how big will it be? How much space will your level 1 text occupy? This is where you will you will demonstrate the techniques that you've studied! Create the blueprint that you will use to go digital. This MUST account for:

• alignment
• breathing room
CLEAR informational hierarchy
• Dude, I'm serious here. Design 3 distinct levels of hierarchy! The level 1 text MUST directly relate and support the poster's visual message
• 11x17 proportion
• safety zone
• layout & placement - What goes where? What proportional sizes will elements be?
• images/notations to help clarify the mock up concept
• very brief explanation of the hook

skateboard helmet poster mock up example


Poster - Cover Sheet 2

Download the project coversheet & print it. It's 2 pages long.


Campaign Poster Design

The Overall Goal Go digital young man! It's time to use your mock-up and make it happen in the digital environment. Here are some things to keep in mind:

• Follow your mock-up (blueprint). Dude...that's why you did it. Obviously there will be some changes along the way, but you spent time creating your mock up so that you can use it during this stage.
• This is primarily an Illustrator project. This means that the text, predominant imagery, and final layout must be done using Illustrator.
• You may use raster imagery (Photoshop) as a supplement. However, if you choose to use Photoshop, then you need to make sure that you properly place flattened TIFF files into Illustrator to compile the final print files.

Poster Specs

• 11" x 17" ( tabloid) vertical or horizontal
• .25" safety zone on all 4 edges (workable area = 10.5" x 16.5")
• 200ppi for raster (Photoshop) resolution


Hierarchy / Specific Text

What exactly will the actual text be? What is L1, L2 and L3? The text must briefly inform the viewer of the overall issue.

Level 1 - Keep it short. It must directly relate to the imagery. This is where you'll likely use a novelty font because it can help convey your message.

Level 2 - This could be the action item...but not necessarily. It could also be a sub-headline which could further help explain the level 1 headline. It could be info about the overall issue. Either way, the level 2 text should provide a connection between level 1 and level 3. Novelty fonts are OK, but make sure that it is readable.

Level 3 - This is the least important info on the poster so it will draw the least attention. Novelty fonts are NOT appropriate here. Readability is paramount.

skateboard helmet hierarchy example (may need to redo this example)

Note: This is the only actual page that you'll turn in with your folder. All other parts of this unit will be graded using your digital poster file.


Action Item

What is the specific & measurable action item? What should the demographic actually do once they've been hooked in by your awesome poster design? It should be creative. These by themselves will result in a low grade because they don't demonstrate college level creativity:

• follow us on social media (webpage, fb, instagram, etc.)
• join a #hashtag conversation
• donate money

Note: Your action item embedded within specific text from the previous step.



Remember that before we started the campaign poster we studied design techniques that professionals commonly use. Use the techniques that you studied! • Should your poster be symmetric or asymmetric?
• All text needs to be readable. High contrast helps accomplish this.
• Visually align elements/items whenever possible or appropriate.
• For all things good and true in this world, please make good use of breathing room!
• Text hierarchy should be be distinct. Beat the viewer over the head with this. Show me that you completely understand how to make 3 distinct levels of importance.
• Would limiting your color palette help the overall impact of your poster?

skateboard helmet final poster techniques example Note: This is not an actual page in your folder. This will be graded using your digital poster file.


Concept / Design

You've put in a lot of hard work to get to this point. This is the culminating project for the course. Here is how your final poster concept and design will be graded: • creative & unique solution
• imagery & level 1 text complement and support each other
• extra credit will be awarded if your L1 text is treated as a design element
• appeals to target market
• demonstration of high level Illustrator & layout skills
• logo is included but isn't the focus of the design
• design consistency

skateboard helmet final poster example


Saving & Submitting

• Save as PDF - here's how (check this it the correct one? Does it address naming conventions?)
• Upload your poster PDF electronically to GoogleDocs using this portal.