Any free programs that are good for creating posters?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by faintember, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #1
    Hi all, the title says it all. I am just looking for a free program (or something in the MS office suite) that will do a good job of making a poster for an upcoming event. Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  2. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #2
    what sort of poster is it? ie what kind of design will it have on it? mostly images? mostly text? etc.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    Are you going to get it printed by a printing firm or are you running it out yourself on an inkjet?
     
  4. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    Jun 6, 2005
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    #4
    It is a poster for our Student Composers Concert. I am horrible at anything but music composition/computer music, but the past few posters have sucked so badly that I could not do much worse. :p I also have to design a poster for my own masters recital coming up in March, so i would like to do this poster as a "trial run".

    It will be a mix of text and images (text overlaying the images in places).

    Printed by me, then off to the Uni's photocopier.

    thanks for the replies
     
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #5
    is there anything like a GVGMP? (gnu vector graphics manipulation program) to compliment GIMP?
    i'd try the gimp (keeping in mind i'm not a designer, just a student) which is somewhat like photoshop, but free/open-source. a poster size document will be huge though because it's just one big image.

    wait for an actual designer like blue velvet to reply again though, before taking my advice :eek:
     
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #6
    your school doesn't have photoshop/do u know how to use photoshop? I know on the few macs we have at our school, we have an older version of photoshop i want to say 9.... their old imac's G4 with OS 9 i think :eek:
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    Well, if you're printing it out yourself and photocopying it then Word would be OK. Seriously.

    But...

    Golden rules in this case would be:

    • Impact and communication is the idea here
    • One good image is worth more than two or more indifferent images
    • Simplicity is key, but be bold with as few elements as possible
    • Keep text to a minimum, 1-6 words large 48-72pt or more, then 50 words max for info, aim for legibility first, keep type effects to a minimum

    A quick look at these vintage posters shows the same principles, which apply regardless of the era they were created in.
    http://www.postergroup.com/browse.asp

    Some of my favourite posters are the London Transport ones. You can see some examples here.
    http://www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/category.asp?cat_id=1&style=1

    And in the case of photocopying, try and keep the tonal values contrasty rather than too subtle otherwise you'll lose detail.

    Good luck! :)
    (and don't be shy about posting your work)

    Edit: But to answer your original question, if you're feeling ambitious then download one of Adobe's trials here
    http://www.adobe.com/products/tryadobe/main.jsp

    Photoshop may be your best bet if you keep pixel-resolution high or Illustrator. But if I was in your postion then I would use Word, putting type in boxes for ease of layout and playing with the letter spacing to get the type to look nice. Keep it simple.
     
  8. skimaxpower Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #8
    Photoshop, Pagemaker, or InDesign are your best options, but...

    As odd as it sounds, Powerpoint is actually a decent program for creating a basic poster. It's actually quite intuitive.

    Just create one slide and set the dimensions to what you want. If I remember correctly, Powerpoint tops out at something like 42 inches, but that should be ample for a poster, even on a big ol' plotter printer.

    When it's time to print, "Save as PDF."
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    Excellent idea... ;)
     
  10. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

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    #10
    There's the open source Scribus or a 30day trial of some pro apps.

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  11. Epicurus macrumors 6502

    Epicurus

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    Minneapolis, MN
    #11
    OmniGraffle

    I've used OmniGraffle Pro for a few posters with no complaints. Its a really great app for multilayered designs (if you need that feature). Its not free, but there are educational discounts.:D Plus OmniGraffle is already a Universal app!
     
  12. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #12
    Wow, thanks for all of the replies from everyone. Not only did i get info about appropriate programs, but info regarding poster designs! Greatly appreciated! I will give it a go (with Word/PPT), and then post back my results. If not i will give some of the other methods a try. Unfortunately, the computers at my uni that run the photoshop suite are for majors in the art/design program only. :(

    Anyway, thanks again to everyone and i will post back with the results!
     
  13. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #13
    Thanks again to all those who have posted. Here is the final product for the first poster. I created it using Powerpoint, which surprisingly worked well! The attached .pdf is below. BTW, the "shake things up" comment is somewhat of a inside joke to our composition studio. We have about 4 people (including me) that are always pushing the limits, and everyone else doesnt. Anyways..here ya go!

    [​IMG]
     

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