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Graphic design inspiration: Cool and creative poster ideas

2018-01-03

By: Penny Hoelscher

Poster design has come a long way since the 1880s, changing in style for different eras and often strongly influenced by political or social events of the day. Posters have become a powerful and popular medium for advertising (sometimes referred to as street or guerilla marketing).

Let's take a look at some of the creative poster templates from our Lucidpress poster collection and how you can use them effectively to convey your unique message and reach your targeted customer base.

Choosing a design

We admit it's not always easy to choose a design, so to help you make up your mind, we've assigned two keywords to each poster. These keywords capture the mood of the poster and what it's ideally suited for. We've also identified "niche" posters, such as real estate or restaurants. Still, remember: Lucidpress templates are fully customizable. If you wish to use our restaurant poster to promote your software business, go right ahead. You can easily change the tone by using different color schemes or fonts.

The ins and outs of poster design

Poster design — like colors, shapes, lines and patterns — plays a central role in creating memorable content. All poster templates here were inspired by different combinations of these key elements.

99Designs succinctly illustrates the six core elements of great design. Some tips:

  • Lines — The Golden Ratio is a number calculated by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. (Phew.) It's a golden rule for pleasing design.

  • Color — Try to use your brand colors in all business collateral. Use a color picker to get the shades right. Color is an integral element for professional business designs.

  • Shapes — Shapes and images are central to any design, and Lucidpress makes working with them easy and intuitive. Custom shapes can be used to great effect in fun, trendy and modern designs.

  • Textures — Use the Lucidpress image editor to texturize your images and poster background. Texture is a core element of whimsical and innovative designs.

  • Framing — Frames and borders help to focus a viewer's attention. Use them to structure your layout and content, and to layer design elements. Layering adds depth to posters and is a key element of sophisticated, cosmopolitan and luxury designs.

  • Type — Don't forget: Fonts used for educational and research project designs should never be distracting to the reader. In Lucidpress, users can upload custom fonts.

Getting started only requires an internet connection — which you clearly already have. Imagine a blank wall. To decorate it, head over to our free online poster maker. Bring your ideas to life!

Blue and pink empowering poster template

Make someone's day sparkle — try adding more shapes and sparkles

template poster

Click on the image to see the template

From motivational quotes to inside jokes, the blue and pink empowering poster template is bound to uplift a special someone's day. The simple execution of this poster's creative design lends equal parts positivity and inspiration.

Delivery and curbside pickup poster template

Allowing only three customers in the store at a time? Customize based on your needs

curbside pickup

Click on the image to see the template

An ideal poster design for storefronts and buildings whose occupancy limit has been impacted by the pandemic, changes in fire regulations or construction, this poster empowers you to communicate clearly and easily.

Campaign poster template

Keep copy simple to avoid distracting the reader

campaign patriotic

Click on the image to see this template

Make your campaign's purpose loud and clear with this patriotic campaign poster template. Change up the layout design by swapping out the flag for an illustration, or insert different colors instead of using blue.

University poster template

Pick a background image that reflects the event

university poster

Click on the image to see this template

An excellent choice for schools and alternative education platforms, this poster design assures your org's message will stand out. Bold colors make your advertisement feel loud and clear — swap out your organization's logo for the provided one.

Nature quote poster template

Too moody for your vibes? Brighten things up by overlaying shapes and color

nature quote

Click on the image to see this template

Whether you're looking to meditate, motivate or inspire, the nature quote poster is here to do it all. Customize the graphic design with your own photo or use a stock image to change things up.

Coming home movie poster template

Make the text pop with a border or shape

coming home poster

Click on the image to see this template

Quick, somebody grab the popcorn! And don't forget the sour gummies! Shhhh!!! It's time to cozy up and get ready for the character arc, story development and more with the Coming home movie poster template.

Duo campaign poster template

Keep your tagline simple

duo campaign poster

Click on the image to see this template

Give them a reason to try and name a more dynamic duo with the Duo campaign poster template. Showcase your running mate, as well as upcoming town hall events or speaking sessions. Don't forget to include your campaign's motto!

Orange & blue passion quote poster template

Don't stop at one version — make a few till you get it just right

passion quote poster

Click on the image to see this template

Equal parts jazzy and simple, the orange and blue passion quote poster template keeps the eye centered on your quote of choice. Be sure to include or note who originally said the quote. Everyone appreciates credit where credit is due.

Blue soccer game day poster template

Be sure to include important details — like event times and such

blue soccer

Click on the image to see the template

Get your fans ready to rumble with the Blue soccer game day poster template. Use the colored overlay to highlight your school or team's colors — plus you can swap out the image to feature one of your very own athletes!

Student council campaign poster template

Limit CTA usage to one — get folks out and votin'

student council poster

Click on the image to see this template

Make an impact on your school experience with the Student council campaign poster template. Swap out the stock image for a candid, congenial photo — and be sure to include a little bit about yourself and your campaign initiatives.

One day movie poster

Use the image and icons to tell a story

one day movie poster

Click on the image to see this template

Lean into your zany, mad scientist side and use an abstract image to tell a story about your movie. The font is completely customizable, as well as the copy and text box placement. Wherever this template inspiration takes you, may it be nothing short of magical.

Blue and green track schedule poster template

Create a visual timeline aid to help keep folks informed

track poster

Click on the image to see this template

Keep your school and sports teams on track to win (ayyy, see what we did there?) with the blue and green track schedule poster template. Customize the colors however you see fit, and swap out dates for any upcoming events, like the homecoming match or what have you.

Forests research poster template

Let your content do the talking

Forests research poster templateClick on the image to see this template

Created with research and educational projects in mind, this poster provides ample space and graphic design opportunities for images and content in a structured, brochure-like design. The slideshow is both modern and practical, and you can easily add or duplicate pages. The beauty of a one-page template is that your design remains consistent.

Western wanted poster template

Get what you want while paying homage to the original poster

wanted-robbery

Click on the image to see this template.

Our designers created this poster design tongue-in-cheek. It's eye-catching and memorable with an instantly recognizable theme. Have excessive quantities of stationery gone missing at work? This is a fun and subtle way to draw attention to outlaw behavior in the office or at home.

Standard advertising poster template

Swap out the red placeholder with your brand's color palette

Standard advertising poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

This 3-page poster design is perfect for marketing your business at trade shows and exhibitions, or it can be used for an online catalog to advertise special offers. The format is deliberately simple so as not to distract from the content and to make it easy to update if you have regular campaigns.

Motivational quote poster template

Use an action verb for maximum inspiration

Motivational quote poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Motivational quotes and typography are powerful tools to inspire innovative thinking and promote a sense of well-being. Psychologist and motivation expert Jonathan Fader, PhD, says well-structured messages that use strong imagery and appeal to our aspirational nature can be powerful in changing our thought patterns and behavior.

Heartland business poster template

Don't have quite the right photo for the event? That's okay — try Unsplash!

Heartland business poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

This business poster design template provides a surprising and unusual variety of content placeholders so you can sneak in a wealth of information. The placeholder and graphic design space demand your customers' attention, and the longer they're looking at your poster, the more likely they'll absorb your message.

Homegrown event poster template

Keep your colors simple — avoid using discordant color combinations like purple and green

Homegrown event poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

We call it Homegrown because this poster design has multiple layers, just like a home-baked pie. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, putting a bit of effort into creating a layered poster will help you to demonstrate the depth and originality of your company's vision.

Ecosystem scientific poster template

Avoid large walls of text — use illustrations or graphic design to break up walls of copy

Ecosystem scientific poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Blue is the new green — and this eco-theme disrupts the traditional color mold quite innovatively. This huge 36" x 48" poster gives you the physical space to cover even the most complex research projects without having to resort to smaller fonts or cropped images.

Weekend away photo poster template

Start simple with an easy-to-read font and play around from there

Weekend Away photo poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

This trendy poster design showcases your professional photographs, however, your message still takes center stage. It's ideal for travel and tourism businesses, for exhibitions, and for luxury brands to announce corporate events and exhibit their products. The Weekend Away is a great example of design layering.

Swiss Alps travel poster template

Want to make a bold statement? Use a vivid, contrasting color for your font

Swiss alps travel poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Contemporary and bold, this poster paints a strong message. It's a single-focus design, and you should customize it with your own bold background photograph and daringly creative fonts. The unusual text layout makes it a unique and original choice for technology startups and entrepreneurs.

Nature retreat poster template

Don't love the included typography? That's ok, customize with your brand's font

Nature Retreat poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Inspired by the layout of quality print magazine covers, Nature Retreat is eminently versatile. Our customers have used it in projects as diverse as publishing upcoming event information and showcasing their portfolios, and for school projects. The style is informal and slightly whimsical.

Origami banner event poster template

Concise and clear, make the most of this simple layout design

Origami Banner event poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, dating back to the 1880s. This template combines traditional origami with a fresh, modern look to create a perfectly structured design ideal for formal and professional corporate posters.

Block party poster template

Use colors, be it bright or soft, to communicate the vibe of the party

Block Party poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Everyone likes a party. Its vibrant graphic design and no-nonsense block layout works well for invitations and holiday events. It's a one-pager, easy to modify and with placeholders for the "who-what-when-where-why" information. The blocks and frame design are reminiscent of the calling cards of yesteryear.

Night life poster template

Juice up the tone with an abstract illustration for your background

Night Life poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Evocative of torn classic denim and multi-layered dresses, this poster design and typography ushers in a new trend of visually captivating posters that challenge design rules — you could even say that we wouldn't be surprised to see it in the MOMA one day. Light and dark are juxtaposed to evoke excitement and anticipation.

Real estate poster template

Highlight the diversity and variety of your selling history through various images

Real Estate poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Arguably the most versatile and stylish template in the Lucidpress collection, this block design is ultra-bold and is anything but lacking in the design inspiration department Rather than simply invite, the poster compels customers to attend a home viewing. We've incorporated vintage and trendy elements both formal and informal... and the result rocks.

Cobalt café poster template

Avoid using stock photos if you're looking to highlight a unique restaurant

Cobalt Cafe poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

When it comes to real estate, location is everything. And when it comes to food, presentation is everything. The design for this creative poster mimics those used for magazine food pages, arousing your taste, visual and smell senses. The Cobalt is warm, welcoming and very practical.

Cut glass marketing poster template

Use this template to communicate official corporate events

Cut Glass marketing poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Cut Glass presents a sharp graphic design look and feel, perfect for technology startups and real estate innovators. Diagonal lines are more striking than horizontal or vertical ones. As explained by Vanseo Design: "Their kinetic energy and apparent movement create tension and excitement." Use this template boldly and aggressively.

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Swap out the included stock photo for a snap of your city or HQ

Cosmopolitan business poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

Cosmopolitan means cultured, suave, polished and refined... an image you may want to cultivate, particularly if you have an international, sophisticated client base. The hallmarks of cosmopolitan design include the avoidance of "fluff," subtlety, attention to detail, intricacy and cohesiveness. Would these graphic design and marketing tactics serve your brand, too?

Reflections company poster template

Have official health comms that need relaying to employees? Look no further

Reflections company poster templateClick on the image to see this template.

The creative inspiration for this design was the subtle reflection of images in water, clouds and shadows, conveying the impression of depth and intelligence. This poster would work particularly well for a beauty technologist, health spa or clinic, or even a luxury brand.

Poster design with Lucidpress is simple thanks to our user-friendly, intuitive interface. It gives you all the functionality of traditional desktop publishing software—but without the learning curve needed when using professional packages. Now it's time for you to grab one of our free poster templates and get creative.

Feeling inspired? You can design and order your brand new poster right here in Lucidpress.

Free poster templates

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Penny Hoelscher

Penny Hoelscher has a degree in journalism. She worked as a programmer on legacy projects for a number of years before combining her passion for writing and IT to become a technical writer.

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