This activity will give you an opportunity to influence and inspire others, perhaps to change the way they think! Consider very carefully: what do you feel passionate about wanting to change, or improve, in the world? Is there something you would like to persuade people to think about differently? What impact do you want to have on people’s lives?
Below are two techniques that you can use to create your poster. Choose one, depending on what resources you have available.
Create a stencilled poster: this can be produced as a multiple (many copies)
Create a mixed media poster collage: this will be a unique, one-off poster
What makes a good poster?
- The poster should be simple and easy to understand.
- The image should be striking.
- The lettering should be carefully considered, and should be clear and bold.
- The message should be clear and forceful. It helps to stand back regularly while designing your poster, to see whether it works well from a distance.
- Consider both positive and negative shapes.
- The text and image should work well together; the text is part of the artwork.
You will need:
A3 sheets of white or brown paper – several per learner
Sketching paper for designing
A3 test paper (newspaper is perfect)
Stronger A3 paper or card from which to cut a stencil
Felt-tipped pens (markers) for drawing the design
Cutting knives (to share)
Paint (mixed powder paint is perfect) – one or two
Draw your design, preferably on a sheet of paper as large as the final poster. At this stage you are working out what the image will look like. Create your design in simplified forms – remember that you will cut out out all the shapes with a cutting knife. The lettering should also be simple and clear.
You might want to use two contrasting colours. If so, decide which colours to use, and where the contrast will have the most impact. Check the visual impact of your design and the clarity of the message. When you are happy with it, draw it onto the paper.
With your cutting knife, carefully cut out the shapes of the first colour to be stencilled. (Paper stencils don’t last long. If you cut two or three sheets of paper simultaneously, you will have extra stencils.) You can do this very simply by placing this card with cut-out areas over a test page (such as a sheet of newspaper), dip a sponge in paint and dab it gently and evenly through the cut-out shapes so that the paint imprints these shapes onto the paper beneath.
Or you can create a silkscreen, by following the guide provided in these photographs.
If the test page is satisfactory, create a second image outlining the shapes for the second colour. Repeat the process with the test page to make sure you have aligned the shapes correctly. Now you can stencil in the same way onto the final A3 paper.
Once you have completed your posters, put them up for all to see, and talk about them. Look back at the criteria for a successful poster. Did you apply these well in your poster designs? Do you think these posters will influence your friends and others in the school? Are the issues relevant to them? Put them up around the school buildings and see how people respond. Write down any comments that you hear, and report back on them – after all, posters are a form of communication with other people. How they react is an important part of the process, and perhaps a measure of your success!