Despite the surge in digital advertising and media, print designs are still an essential aspect of any brand's marketing presence. If a business wants to stand out from their competition, they’ll often have to do what their rivals won’t -- and in 2018 that can usually mean investing in high-quality print materials.
Print design is a powerful tool not just for marketing purposes, but for overall branding. Because design can make an impact and can make or break a brand as a whole. And print designs are a fun and exciting way to get your brand visible outside of the digital world -- taking people by surprise in the process. Art prints, in particular, are a great tool for creative brands of all shapes and sizes.
Having a portable and tangible asset like print designs can give your marketing campaign the edge it needs, and ultimately, help you engage with your target audience on a level that you otherwise might have missed.
Of course, having a robust digital presence is necessary for success, but it's also important to be everywhere, at all times. And with people so used to the ads they're bombarded with on their phones, it's surprising how taken aback consumers can be by a dazzling and eye-catching poster or a billboard -- mainly because they're just not expecting it.
In fact, 85 percent of consumers say they are more likely to give their business to brands who invest in print marketing materials and collateral.
And that element of surprise can give your brand the leg up it needs to speed past the competition, leaving them in the dust.
In the creative field, in particular, design is your friend. Playing with elements like shape, color and orientation in print designs is an intriguing and attention-grabbing way to promote an event, a brand or a performance. And it gives viewers an idea of what they can accept if they decide to follow through.
With all of that in mind, we decided to take a look at some of the best performance, design agency and art festival print designs that have been used to promote the arts. The differentiation across each of the following campaigns and designs is apparent, but each serves their purpose efficiently based on the objectives of the campaign.
Don't be afraid of print campaigns -- you'd be surprised by the number of impactful print posters, signs and pamphlets that have helped shape a brand's identity, especially in the past few years.
Use these examples as your guide and you'll nail your next print campaign.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra is based in Helsinki, Finland. Consisting of over 102 musicians, the orchestra produces breathtaking sound and emotionally moving symphonies that are sure to bring goosebumps to any concertgoer. The orchestra wanted to forge their brand image and visual identity, and what resulted was a genius print design that conveys the sheer power and energy of the music.
The logo features the font Grotesk Condensed, with each of the 102 musician names vertically mirroring one another like a soundwave of musical notes. The business cards feature indented vertical lines on top and vertical lines on the bottom, which pop out to give them a beautiful textured experience.
Graphéine was commissioned to work on the new identity of the Saint-Étienne Opera House. With more than 150 curtain lifts for around 60 performances throughout an average year, the Saint-Étienne Opera House is a landmark of great cultural importance. Naturally, they want to print designs to reflect that.
The typography used in the logo -- and throughout the printed material -- represents the intimate link between music and dance. For that reason, even the tiniest of details were taken into deep consideration. For example, the space in the center of the “O” is stressed to create an emotive sense of surprise and joy.
For the colors used on the print materials, a broad spectrum was used, stretching from dense yellow to purple. Each of the colors is slightly faded to add some age to the shades, but it doesn’t detract from their brightness too much. The designs blend elements of class and creativity, a combination often associated with the opera.
Natural Highs Festival 2017 is an electronic music festival that takes place in Antwerp, Belgium. Serafim Mendes was chosen to design the posters and brand identity, and he achieved breathtaking results.
The use of geometric shapes and tubes form a synergistic melody of intellectual awakening, with green and red plants built from metallic dystopian circular rings of silver.
Overall, the print design is visually magnetic and alluring. It bursts with colors and symbolism that vacuum attention like a black hole vacuums up collapsed stars.
The Rocky Picture Horror Show was a 1975 film that developed a cult-like following. As such, a modern play was created where "Shadow Casts" of fans act out the entire movie, and Shanti Sparrow created the print designs for promotional posters.
A red font that shivers in style is seen with the capital words "I see you shiver in antici..." (...pation. We know.) Black bar-shaped strips contain white font with the words "The Clinton Street Theater Presents: The Rocky Picture Horror Show." The textured and blurry background shows a female character dressed in costume, only further highlighting the creativity and artistic style of The Rocky Picture Horror Show.
The designs combine relevance and repetition to create a fantastic print design. The use of popular movie phrases, appropriate horror-styled fonts, and expert color contrasting techniques results in an iconic set of print designs.
Mr. Marcel School is a graphic design and art school dedicated to teaching new techniques and methods for students to fulfill their digital artistic potential. Tata&Friends was chosen to tackle a new identity and branding challenge for Mr. Marcel School.
Light blue and green backgrounds feature hands in a black and white gradient filter -- which is of particular relevance due to the fact artists rely on their hands to create. The modular identity is displayed in four different backgrounds of green, brown, turquoise and purple. Each color shows a different hand position and learning concept.
Overall, the design is strongly representative of a ‘hands-on’ approach that the school wants their students to adapt, and the designs do an excellent job of promoting this.
The Korean Film Festival brochure, designed by Il-Ho Jung, is a colorful expression of print design. It has five cover options, with five primary colors and five design elements, including badminton shuttlecocks, kites and wands.
As users flip through the pages, each film is represented by a different color for the text and is paired with black and white photography, which pulls the pages together. Pertinent film information, including the credits, runs vertically on the outside of the page, which is also color coordinated based on the section.
The colors encompass everything from muted pastels to bright hues. They form an argyle-style background and fun type that resembles film. The font is a quaint sans serif typeface, completing what the well-rounded design.
A creative, jaw-dropping dance show deserves a promotional print design that matches the spirit of the show. Osborne Shiwan Design managed to capture the creativity and storytelling of Atamira Dance Company with this printed layout.
The dark pages help highlight the black and white action shots, with the red color used throughout the brochure to tie everything together. White pages with more information contrast these gripping, interesting dark pages. The typography on the white pages is bold, but not distracting. The red color maintains consistency and helps pull the viewer’s eye around the page to the different elements and sections.
The photography is inspiring, and importantly, the print designer allows the dancers of the show to be the star of this booklet. They used the creative canvas of the dancers’ bodies and built their design around that.
Parc Olympique is a unique Montreal site that caters to both tourists and citizens from the area who use it as a community space. To cement their status, they needed an advertising platform to rebrand. Not only do these ads showcase the park's activities, but they also display the various shows and games that take place within it. By using actual cut-out shapes instead of an entirely digital approach, the design achieves a beautiful 3D effect.
The final design achieves a surprising result that stands out, not only for the simple, bright color palette but also for the labor-intensive technique used to create this 3D effect.
Geometry is the base of design and the underlying structure of everything humans have created since prehistoric times. These Norme Tributi Mese covers show a series of beautiful elemental transpositions, and are complemented by bold colors, shadows and forms that build a noteworthy intention in viewers' mind.
There is also a slight color connection with the 'Mese' title, which helps sell the product. Overall, this is a beautiful design and a perfect example of geometry in design.
Marta Veludo was tasked with creating the visual identity for Art Walk Mexico — an event that takes users through a city to discover art galleries and exhibition spaces.
The designs implement a creative and colorful geometric map with crossing paths and colored shapes, and the symbolism is perfect for the target audience of curiosity seeking creative admirers of original art. A vivid red contrasts with a deep blue background, and a pastel pink pops out from a Bahamian sea green.
The Hong Kong Ballet is a world-renowned dance company that puts on performances across the world. And to promote a new performance with a new theme — “Never Stand Still” — the company went with a print poster campaign to raise awareness and show audiences about the dancers’ remarkable capabilities.
The resulting print design was a stunning visual display of talent and expertise. Dancers stand in eye-catching positions against bold backgrounds that draw your eyes all over the design. And there’s a dynamic element that comes from the intricate posing and powerful use of color that reels you in, making you want to learn more and experience this adventure.
These designs fit in wonderfully with the new performances, displaying dancers in acrobatic settings and in real-world settings. It gives the brand a sophistication and authenticity, but still aligns the dance company as an approachable and friendly persona that anyone can interact with. Even if you don’t normally watch ballet, you’ll enjoy this performance — and that’s a guarantee.
There is minimal text on these designs, the imagery taking center stage and promoting a positive, lively and enthusiastic performance bursting with a dynamic energy and a bold spirit. This design relies heavily on photographs, and that almost adds to this design — the tangible, real-life qualities really help these posters stand out against the mundane walls and backgrounds they’re set against.
This artistic performance is enriched thanks to this print campaign.
This stunning and serene lookbook captures your attention almost immediately — and you’re almost surprised by it.
Created to dazzle attendees of a charity dinner, this book adds a playfulness and a modern and fun tone to the event in a creative way — and it fits right in with the theme of the night, with attendees coming together to bring the theatre experience to underprivileged children.
Embedded with creative fold-outs, enticing designs and contrasting colors, this lookbook is full of artistic mastery that pulls you in and keeps you flipping from page to page. The unique nature of the design puts an emphasis on the content inside, leading readers from section to section and taking them on an artistic journey. Black and white photographs overlaid with modern and futuristic imagery further elevates the design and makes it one that modern audiences can truly appreciate.
Abstract shapes, colors and imagery add a modern and fresh persona to the book and to the event itself. This lookbook helps the event transcend the traditional charity dinner, making it something so much more — a celebration of the arts.
The tangible nature of this designs makes it stick with the viewer in a lasting way, promoting the creativity and the power of art and the cause itself. And not just that — attendees can actually take this piece home to cherish and remember — further perpetuating that creativity and the importance of art in general.
This design is wearing a lot of hats, but that only makes it even better to interact with.
VR Fest is the first-ever immersive festival in Mexico, and in 2016 it was a stunning success. It brought together the industry’s best and brightest minds to talk about virtual reality, augmented reality and the technological world in general.
And to promote such a futuristic event, the team went with a very modern and innovative design infused with crazy colors, eye-catching shapes and holographic elements to stand out from the walls it was plastered against.
This overall design captured the identity of the festival itself, integrated with pleasing and psychedelic patterns, designs and three-dimensional effects.
A synthetic color palette of blues, violets, pinks and greens add depth and excitement to this poster designs, standing out and creating an atmosphere of creative ingenuity and innovation that perfectly matches with the technological feel of the event.
The event isn’t a normal festival — it’s one that pushes boundaries and tackles complex and futuristic concepts. So the design needs to match that look and feel — and it certainly does — with the fluid and flowing shapes that cascade across the print in a curvy way, bringing the design to life. The letters VR are embedded in an off-balance way that adds a sleekness. Match that with the bold, black blocking and simple text — this design is the perfect print to showcase an innovative art and technology festival.
The School Of Visual Arts is an innovative and robust program with a curriculum catered to all things art and forward-thinking technologies. And to craft an identity on paper that matched it’s powerful and unique spirit, the team turned to creative studio Hinterland to craft a printed booklet to give students and parents a look into the school’s initiatives.
The resulting booklet is overflowing with artistic excellence, creative talent and a clear passion for the arts and innovation.
And it starts with the reader.
This is a “Create Your Own Adventure” book with readers choosing where they want to go, what adventure they want to embark on and what they want to learn from the pages within. This isn’t your traditional, linear narrative. Instead, it’s all over the place, capturing the artistry of design and the life of a designer.
Right from the start, this book wants people to experience it. The textured, bright orange color makes you want to reach out and grab it. And once you do, you’re mesmerized by the images, colors and overall designs that cover the pages from top to bottom.
This design really does do a lot in an otherwise simple form, but it does so with beauty and with a clear intention — fostering a feeling of artistic transformation, which is exactly what students will experience as well.
The NYC Women’s Surf Festival is a festival dedicated to female artists and filmmakers — all with the same passion for surfing. It’s a niche event, with a smaller crowd than other film festivals — but one that still celebrates art and brings together a community of creative adventurers who all have a love for the same materials.
And to bring a vibrancy and an enthusiasm to this event, the team went with a poster design that really does put an emphasizes on its theme — surfing.
Female surfers take center stage, lying on surfboards and swimming along the ocean. They are set against serene and peaceful pinks and greys — capturing the essence of the ocean in a cool and modern way.
In some of these posters, this imagery takes up the entire design. In others, it just sits as the focal point to the entire poster. But it certainly grabs your attention and demands a closer look.
Flowing, bubbly and pink font add context to the imagery, giving details about the event in a fun and playful way that further adds to the creativity and uniqueness of the design.
Compared to some of the others on this list, this design can seem rather subdued and simple — but it still captures the heart of the event and puts it on full display, which exactly what great print designs are meant to do.
The best designs have an innate understanding of the consumers they target. Whether it's web design, app design, package design or print design. And these exciting print designs engage their targeted audience -- an audience that is creative, artistic and interested in the arts. These offline creations capture the fun and unknown excitement of discovering new information, but also offer a unique life experience.
These print designs are fun and sophisticated. They're engaging and cool. They capture the essence of the brand or event they are trying to promote and do so in a way that's easy to digest and absorb by the viewer.
In a world that's increasingly reliant on technology, print designs can come off as a breath of fresh air. And especially when they are promoting experiences, they can have a major impact.
Use these examples as a guide for your next print design campaign -- and don't be afraid to get a little creative. You never know if something will work until you try, and these print designs are evidence that the benefits have the potential to outweigh the costs tenfold.
If you need dedicated design help in the print design department, these graphic design agencies can help!