I recently found a website that I know will be visited often from here on out. Power to the Poster is a website that defines itself as a project to bring people together around a ready supply of well-designed, wild postings that comment on the issues of our time. 11x17 posters in PDF format are for anyone, anywhere to download, print and post. The hope is that Power to the Poster gets people talking about where humanity has been and where we're going in these historic times.
There are many different aesthetics in the collection that serve as good inspiration, but the content can be equally shocking. Who knew there was a giant garbage patch the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean? While some messages are presented straight-forward with type, others use minimal wording and focus conceptually through graphics. A great quality about conceptually portraying a message rather than just typesetting it is that your poster can have a more universal impact as well as room for interpretation. Have you ever been in a critique where people where reading more into your designs then you consciously planned? Along with a collection of stunning posters, there is a street gallery that displays the downloaded posters hung in public places. Power to the Poster supports 'graphic activism' and has a submit section where you can submit your own design.
I really enjoy poster design because it presents a message to the masses, the format easily lends itself to illustration, photography and/or expressive typography. However, large scale formats have drawbacks too. The number one rule of thumb that applies especially to large prints is to use the zoom tool. Minor blemishes are much more noticeable when printed large, so zoom in as you may not see these details easily on your computer screen. Pay close attention to resolution quality when handling bitmap images too—compromises in quality might arrive when trying to make images fill the format. If there is a bitmap image you want to use that is too small, digitally manipulate the image in Photoshop or rethink your composition and approach.