Posters are a tried-and-tested, high-impact format for advertising films or events.

Here we take a look at poster designs which combine photography and typography for dramatic effect, and highlight techniques you can easily imitate using InDesign.

Be inspired by these stunning posters from the worlds of Opera, Theatre, Art and Hollywood (showcasing inspiring examples from leading design agency BLT)…


1. La Monnaie, The Belgian Royal Opera House


International creative agency Base was tasked with creating a new visual identity for La Monnaie/De Munt, the Belgian Royal Opera House. Incorporating dramatic, sensual images by Belgian photographer Pierre Debusschere, the Base-designed posters for the 2014/15 season are mesmerisingly emotive and challenging.

The layout is, however, disarmingly simple – strong typography set in white allows the image to take centre-stage, and a simple colour palette, executed with simple paint stroke effects, gives each poster its own unique identity.

Design: Base

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2. American Hustle


A confident, retro-inspired series of poster designs from seasoned communications agency, BLT, for Hollywood release American Hustle.

Curvy typography (try ITC Bauhaus for a similar look) plays second fiddle to the strong character photography. The simple layout is pulled together by a thin-weight frame with rounded corners for an authentic Seventies feel.

Read our InDesign tutorial for creating a simple 3D effect with cut-away frames, to give a similar look to your own poster designs.

Design: BLT Communications

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3. Secret Garden


Canadian graphic designer Darbi Nicole gives an elegant, ethereal look to her poster designs for a performance of musical Secret Garden. Creative typography is laid out on a loose grid, making each letter a part of a dynamic artwork, and giving the design a sense of ordered chaos.

Mixing up text weights, sizes and rotations is a simple but high-impact way of adding typographic drama to your poster designs.

Design: Darbi Nicole

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4. Nightcrawler


Another series of poster designs which are right on the money from communications agency BLT, this time for the Open Road Films title Nightcrawler.

Slanted typography on an angled type-path evokes both the neon signs of a night-time Los Angeles and the unhinged personality of the film’s lead character. Text set in jarring yellow against moody, nostalgic images makes these poster designs achingly cool.

Design: BLT

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5. Portrait de l’Artiste en Motocycliste


Swiss design studio onlab put together this graphic and eye-catching poster for the Museum of Fine Arts in La Chaux de-Fonds, Switzerland. Slab serif typography not only makes text ultra-readable, it also creates a frame for gradient-infused photography.

Learn how to place images inside text with InDesign, or check out how to create a gradient effect in InDesign.

Design: onlab

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6. Jane Eyre


A final hit from BLT Communications to get your creative juices flowing – this beautifully pared-back series of posters for movie Jane Eyre showcases poster design at its simplest and loveliest.

Super light, spaced-out typography is laid over dreamy, gauzy imagery, creating a perfect balance between text and image.

Check out our movie poster InDesign tutorial to learn about using spaced-out typography.

Design: BLT

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We hope these stunning poster design examples have inspired you for your next InDesign project!