Monday, 2 February 2009

Special Effects Guide To Print Posters

Common print posters nowadays are taking advantage of the digital image phenomena. With digital images easily manipulated, a poster print can sport a variety of special effects that make them eye-catching, provocative and well “cool.” If you are still unaware of these special effects strategies in poster print or you're a professional just trying to scope out the trends then you are in the right place. Listed below are a few of the popular “special effects” people use in their poster printing designs. Who knows you might get some inspiration in making them.

Vectors and “Posterize”

“Vectored” posters or the ones using the “posterize” feature in image editing applications are one such popular special effect. This involves filtering a photographic image and turning it into straight block colors with hard lines. The effect of course is that the digital photograph becomes a drawing in some sense, but it maintains the reality of it shapes and lines. So basically it seems like an artistic and realistic drawing, but a drawing nonetheless and not a photograph. Most post-modern poster artists use this technique to provide the feeling of a chaotic or an alternative view of the photograph.

Blur Effects

Blur effects are a subtle but effective special effect for color posters. This is popular because it provides a softness to posters. For example, if your subject is a baby, or a puppy, or clouds, adding a subtle blur lends an effect of softness that compliments the features of your subject. Also, blur effects are used to represent a memory or things that happened in the past. If your color poster is about something like that, a blur special effect can convey a “blurry” memory or experience.

Sketch/Paint Effects

Next, we have sketch effects. These are the special effects filters in image editing software that turns images into hand drawn graphics. There can be many variations in this. There are the charcoal effects, paintbrush filters, pencil sketch effects and other “hand drawn” filters. Poster designers use these filters to convey a hands on quality to the poster, disguising it from being a digital image. For example, your poster might be a picture of your mother or friend. Add a paintbrush effect and your color poster becomes a color painting of them.


You can also add textures to your poster designs of a special effect. This popular special effect involves simulating a certain kind of material where your poster design will be “painted” on. For example your design can be “painted” on soft canvass, concrete, bricks and other kinds of surfaces. Artist use textures to add a certain kind of grittiness to their design make them “come out” of the poster in some may. Also, it is used in specific areas of a poster design to make a design element look like it was painted in something.

Those are just a few of the popular special effects people use for their color poster printing designs. Usually the best color posters use a combination of these factors to get the full effect of them. Try to mix and match these effects and see what you get!

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