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Learning outcomes

  • Develop a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator & duo-orientation techniques
  • Apply lessons of color and visual metaphor
  • Create a interesting promotional poster advertising a non-profit event



Create a one-page poster or advertisement with type and image (photo or illustration) to attract people to a specific event or attraction of a non-profit organization. The non-profit should be something with which you have strong feelings about. Try going to, click “Organizations” and put in key words for the type of non-profit that interests you.

Begin by identifying the event you’ve chosen. This should be part of your written rationale, and should influence your approach to solving the design problems. In your rationale, explain how you addressed the needs of the client. Determine what aspects of this event would attract someone to attend.

You determine the information included in the design (location, dates, hours, fees, etc.); your decisions will be based on your own personal experience. I’d advise you to narrow your focus to one main aspect or a category of aspects.

You must include a primary visual element either illustration or photo illustration. Photo illustrations must be at least 144ppi. In general, stronger designs will be built on visuals that have a more original concept. You can not just take something off the internet and be done, your final image must be original. Source your visual(s) inspiration in your rationale!



  • 11” by 17” poster (vertical & horizontal accordingly), or magazine spread ad (vertical & horizontal )
  • You must use some kind of visual, and it should be the design’s dominant image. Don’t be afraid to make it large!
  • Must use the same content on both versions, however minor edits are OK
  • Your image must an original, self made graphic.
  • Limit your design to two typeface families. Much of your information will be in display type (16 point +), so consider what type works large.
  • You must use the alternate layout option in InDesign to create your vertical and horizontal pages.
  • Final Turn-in must have a packaged InDesign folder


  • Drafts due on server: 02.19
  • Project DUE: 02.28

Grade Percentage

  • 20% of your final grade

What You’ll Be Graded On

  • Main graphic
  • Alternate layout
  • Alignment
  • Typography
  • Choice of contrast
  • Complete information
  • Grouping
  • Accuracy
  • Turned in properly

Turning In Your Project

  • Package your project: File > Package; must be in InDesign using Alternate Layout
  • GRA217 Project Guidelines
  • If an all Illustrator project just be sure to include all linked objects and fonts
  • Be sure to rename any linked images semantically (i.e.: ronnie-james-dio.tif or
  • Follow the class naming convention on the final folder you’re turning in
  • lastName-firstName-projectName
  • lastName-firstName-projectName–redo
  • Rational
  • Self Evaluation.
  • No printed materials are required



Your audience

  • Determine who your audience is and why your poster or ad addresses this demographic; include this in your rationale.
  • Don’t fill the space from corner to corner, top to bottom. White space can work powerfully for you! Think about the content. Edit the copy. Consider readability. Think about using strong alignment rather than centering copy. Remember that strong alignment creates a strong layout—as does repetition of type, visuals and style.
  • As research for this project, study other posters or advertisements. What attracts you to them? What are the main problems with ones you reject visually? Remember that posters are designed to be a quick read. The best design solution is often simple.

Poster Readability

  • After you’ve outlined the specifics of your project, consider finding your image(s) early. Because you need one dominant visual, this will be the bedrock on which you build your design.
  • Carefully consider your visual and the way it will interact with the type. Consider where the visual will be placed in the design and how it plays off of the display type.


  • Consider using a versatile typeface family (for a concordant type relationship that still allows contrast) or two contrasting families (that still work together well).
  • Consider visual hierarchy in the size and placement of type. Consider grouping text to keep it simple.