How to make a digital poster

This image is of a digital poster with a black background at a bus stop in London.

A digital poster is a digital image or motion graphic that displays relevant information to an audience. It is simply what the name implies. Information displayed by a digital poster can include start times and ticket availability for an upcoming event, public service announcements, or advertisements for new product lineups. These are just a few examples of the many use cases for digital posters.

Digital posters are part of today’s frontier in business communication tools. Compared to traditional static signs, digital posters are cheaper, better at engaging customers, and easier to manage. Many businesses each year make the switch to digital posters and never look back. In this article, we show you how to make a digital poster for your business or organization. If your team is considering a digital poster deployment, you’re in the right spot!

What you need for a digital poster

To make a digital poster for your business, you will need three vital components. First, you need to choose a display screen. This screen can be a simple TV display that you pick up from your local electronics store. It doesn’t have to be anything that breaks the bank. Just make sure that the display screen accepts HDMI input. We’ll have more on why this feature is important later in this section.

Keep in mind that your business may need a more heavy-duty, commercial-grade solution for your display screen. This type of screen may be necessary if your digital poster needs to be displayed outside or needs to be on reliably for 24 hours a day. For commercial-grade displays, be sure to check out screens from NEC, such as those in the NEC P-series an NEC V-series lineups.

Next, you need to get a media player. This device is a physical piece of hardware that renders your digital poster to your display screen. Your media player must be affordable both in terms of upfront costs and ongoing electricity costs. One great option for businesses is a Raspberry Pi media player. The Raspberry Pi is a mini computer that costs about US $30 alone and around US $100 with the required cords. Importantly, the Raspberry Pi has very low ongoing electricity costs as it runs on only 3 watts of electricity. These media players display content via an HDMI output port, which is why it is important for your screens to accept HDMI input.

Finally, you need digital poster management software for your media players. The primary feature of this software is enabling your screens to display your posters. This feature includes displaying your posters in the proper size for your screen and ensuring smooth transitions among multiple posters. The secondary feature of this software is enabling users to manage their digital posters remotely. This secondary feature allows users to avoid traveling to each media player to change the screen’s content. Instead, users can change their poster content from anywhere via a web interface on their laptop computer. While remote management may seem like a simple feature, it will save you and your employees a ton of time, especially if your business has multiple digital posters.

Tools for creating your digital poster content

Once you set up the necessary hardware and software for your digital poster, you are halfway to the finish line. Next, you need to make the actual poster, and to make your poster stand out in today’s attention economy, your poster needs to be beautiful and engaging. Fortunately, there are a variety of online tools that allow almost anyone to start creating beautiful posters in minutes. Check out some of our favorite tools below.

Canva

Canva is a great online tool for jaw-dropping poster designs. To create posters with Canva, just visit their website and pick out a free poster template that best fits your needs. There are dozens of poster templates to choose from for a variety of different use cases, including fundraising posters, concert posters, and retail posters. If you can’t find a free poster template that fits your needs, Canva also has a selection of paid poster templates. Once you select your poster template, you can then drag and drop custom images and insert custom text. With Canva you can have a custom poster for your business in no time!

Piktochart

Another useful tool for drag and drop poster design is Piktochart. Like Canva, Piktochart has both free and paid poster templates. Piktochart has valuable features such as enabling users to change a poster’s entire color scheme (rather than just a single color) with a simple click. Piktochart also features dynamically scaling text, so your poster text looks great even as you add and remove media items on your poster. Users can also share custom posters to their social media accounts directly from the Piktochart interface.

One of the main advantages of digital posters over traditional static posters is that they can feature motion graphics and videos. This ability allows users to design posters with animation and movement in the frame. With movement, a digital poster is far more effective at grabbing the attention of your customers than a static digital poster. Below are a couple of great tools that make it easy to build an animated digital poster.

Crello

Crello has a variety of animated poster templates for users to choose. Crello also has a great inspiration page that will help you get your creativity flowing when you are brainstorming your first poster. Just as with Canva and Piktochart, users can customize text and a variety of visual components in each template. As Crello’s poster templates include motion, there are fewer components of the template that you can customize than with Canva and Piktochart. However, users are still able to customize these templates quite a bit. Once you have your custom animated poster just right, you can download the poster as a .mp4 file. This format is a standard video file format that is compatible with most media players.

Tyle

We also love using Tyle to make animated posters. Tyle organizes its poster templates by mood, and this ability allows users to capture their brand’s look and feel within their poster design. Once you select your poster design, Tyle has an excellent UI interface for users to edit their posters. Tyle also boasts over 1.5 million free media assets for users to chose from when they create their animated digital posters. Users can then share their Tyle posters to their social media channels from directly within the Tyle web interface.

Get started with your digital poster deployment

We hope this article was useful and informative, and we hope you are excited to deploy a digital poster in your business. To get your digital poster hardware and software, check out the Screenly Box 0 media player and Screenly digital poster software. Then, design your poster content with one of the tools described above, and you’re all set!