Effective Print Design in Invitation Posters

Make your next print promotion successful and accountable

Do It with Posters  Invitation posters and magazine ads use what Warren Camp calls "visual grammar." It shows rather than tells.

Posters and ads are designed to quickly present an easy-to-read visual message inviting people to take action; key elements should be legible from 4 feet away.

There are three essential elements to designing and producing effective invitation posters and magazine ads.

  • The poster or ad must present a single message.
  • The poster or ad must use photos and graphics to tell the story quickly.
  • The poster or ad must produce a logical sequence of information.

The most effective posters provide viewers with an easily digested summary — the essence of the project or event — as shown in each of the following WCD examples.

Invitation Posters and Magazine Ads

Click the thumbnail images to see entire posters.

New NFL Super Bowl #50 poster

Click to enlarge poster.

NFL Super Bowl #53 Poster

For an upcoming Super Bowl championship game, Warren created a poster inviting readers to (1) watch the football game on TV, (2) read and appreciate a Scripture passage about athletes "winning their crown," and (3) be sure to visit God's house before the big game.

Warren posed team logo images facing toward each other with an official Super Bowl #53 logo separating them. Below the game's date he put a football graphic image that he designed, which became one of twelve pages of his "God Is Talking — Are You Listening?" calendar for this year, which is free to download and print.

You can find Warren's custom Scripture Picture of this poster on this page and on his Pinterest page.


Click to see entire poster.

Blood Drive Poster

After editing three photos of a blood drive's designated recipient — a young boy battling leukemia — Warren created this inviting custom poster in two sizes (8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17 inches). It successfully announced and promoted one of his church's community service events.

On a separate web page for this drive, Warren gave several photos a comic-book look as featured on this photo-editing page. The double-page invitation poster included humorous comic captions designed to encourage people to donate blood again and again.

Warren further invited congregants from his church to donate their blood to this life-saving cause by presenting for them this stylish bulletin insert (in the two-up format) that highlights his photo-editing techniques.

Click to see entire poster.

Christmas Bell-Ringing Performance

People in California's Mother Lode were invited to attend "Christmas Bells," a holiday presentation performed by 18 acclaimed bell-ringing musicians.

Warren chose a stock image (shown right) of a table of bell instruments. His other steps in creating an attractive poster are described in the caption that accompanies the image.

One of the poster's highlights is the photo reflection Warren applied to a red background. On top of the reflection, he put the event's title, to which he added a distinctive shadow.

Click to see entire poster.

Family-Friendly Summer Festivals

To reach out to local community members of his church, Warren designed a colorful invitation poster to highlight several enjoyable, young-family events the church offered.

Warren chose holiday fonts, colors, and images to promote the four consecutive weekend events.

Click to see entire poster.

Christmas Brunch Poster

To announce a Christmas brunch for an adult Sunday school class, Warren created a poster with clean design elements: color, typography, and balance.

He chose appropriate holiday colors and gave the eye-catching red portion of the poster a shadow for added dimension.

The announcement in the bottom green portion is easy to understand and visually attractive; the typography makes for easy reading of the event's details and featured attractions.

Click to see entire poster.

Invitational Poster for "National Day of Prayer,"

To promote the observance of the National Day of Prayer at Warren's church, he chose an image of Uncle Sam, on his knees, praying up to the crucified Christ. To it, he added Scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14, which he created using the Harrington font family.

Warren styled the text with Adobe Photoshop's editing tools: bevel and emboss; stroke; outer glow; drop shadow. His high-resolution PDF file was printed on large glossy paper and displayed on walls and doors throughout his church's campus.

Click to see entire poster.

Home Inspection Checklist Poster

While a San Francisco home inspector, Warren created a poster that he distributed at home shows and Realtor conventions. Targeted toward Realtors and home buyers, the poster described the benefits of a thorough inspection report for both client types.

To emphasize the advantages of his in-depth, narrative inspection reports, Warren included a checklist highlighting what they include.

See an actual Warren Camp prepurchase, home inspection report that can be found in Appendix B of Home Buying For Dummies (Eric Tyson and Ray Brown, 6th ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Publishing, 2016).

Click to see entire poster.

Door of Hope Promotes Its Walk for Life

Pregnancy resource center Door of Hope of Calaveras County asked Warren to design a poster promoting its third-annual "Walk for Life."

Warren used three colors for balloon images he created that surround the event title, which he highlighted with a bold serif font family in two complementary colors. The event's key details and contact data were added in list form, followed by invitations to join the walk or pledge a donation to a volunteer walker.

The poster was printed on three sizes of glossy paper suitable for a variety of locations.

Click to see entire poster.

Bible-Study Poster: "The Life of Joseph"

At the request of a San Francisco church's pastor, Warren designed this church poster to highlight an upcoming seven-week sermon series and an all-church Bible study. This poster was printed in two sizes to meet the needs of a variety of church campus facilities.

Warren chose an illustration featuring the patriarch Jacob adoring his youngest son, Joseph, wearing a long, colorful garment while Joseph's jealous brothers sneered at him.

Font families include Victorian LET and Book Antigua.

here Warren Camp has extensive experience creating many types of high-quality business cards, posters, door hangers, postcards, bookmarks, newsletters, brochures, and so on. He enjoys designing and executing print advertising and marketing pieces. See many more of Warren's recent print design productions in the left column. Or see a number of his digital design creations.