January 9, 2019

Hot Poster Tips!

Rating: PG-13

As the Collections Manager for Poster House, I care for and catalog the posters in our collection. One of my biggest tasks to date is organizing the posters from the 2017 Boston Women’s March. We were gifted, by an anonymous donor, over 4,000 handmade signs collected at the March.

Going through the posters, measuring, and transcribing them, has given me a unique perspective about the nature of these signs, and in the hope of encouraging creative expression and ease of use I have come up with some top tips for creating 2019 Women’s March posters.

Physical Design

Go with a lightweight material with a way to hold it comfortably throughout the march. Some people fashioned homemade crocheted ropes to hang the posters around their necks, while others used an old yard stick as an improvised handle. Avoid bulky materials like reinforced boxes or repurposed cardboard tubes – the cardboard can get heavier as the march progresses and the tube most likely will be bent at the end of the day!

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Color Palette

Most folks buy a nice piece of poster board in a bright neon pink color – a great idea. But, if you would like to stand out you might consider using some contrasting or complementary colors. A nice teal, bright yellow, deep purple, or even simple black and white could draw more eyes to your sign.


Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

You have approximately 22 x 28 inches to make your joke work: use it wisely. Below are some posters that at a quick glance make a point and are funny – remember if you have to explain it, it most likely isn’t funny!


Use Your Native Language

If you speak another language besides English, show it off. We are a nation of immigrants: let our signs prove it! (Use and translate your message on the flip side of the poster.)


Double Check

Make sure who you think said it actually said it, and spell everything correctly! It’s We Hold not Behold! And I’ll give them the “R Da” but at least add an “e” at the end of future!


No Talent?

If you can’t draw a straight line or think of something that encompasses how you feel, download ready-made posters from organizations like Amplifier, the Women’s March website, or other organizations that you would like to represent.


This year’s Women’s March will be held on January 19 in Washington D.C. Poster House will be displaying our collection of 2017 Boston Women’s March posters in an upcoming exhibition. Sign up for our email list if you would like to receive announcements of our upcoming shows!

All images in this blog post are Mixed Media posters by Unknown Designers (2017) and are a Gift from an Anonymous Donor as part of The Boston Women’s March Collection at Poster House.