Poster design critique

Hello everyone!
I am a game design student. As part of my studies and for this particular course I have to design posters for products/apps that can trigger a change in behavior within a specific target group. In this case it’s 14-18 social extrovert high schoolers.
Now, I have made two simple posters here. I would be happy to hear your critique over the “impact” of the posters on that target group as well as the design itself. It’s not a purely graphic design matter I guess but I believe good graphic designers have to take these things into consideration.
The product advertised is a social trading card game on mobile where you can interact with hypothetical installments available in public transport. The desired change of behavior is to get people on public transport to interact more. Do you think the posters communicate that well? What can be changed? And if you are of that target group please indicate it as that is very valuable feedback!!
Thank you!

are those face masks they are tossing in the air?
in my town, if a student survives covid19 by Mid-June, they automatically graduate.
some poor straight A student did not, so no pomp and circumstance for dear ol’ Percy!

I’m so outside this demographic it isn’t even funny any more.

These “posters” do nothing though. Generic imagery. No focus on the product might be, and no call to action.

Why all the pretty girls for a product based on increasing social interaction? There’s something bordering on creepy there.


No. :yum:

It’s about love. It’s a strong driving force. :slight_smile:

That’s odd. In one poster only caucasian faces are shown, and the other, oriental faces. Let’s darken some of the faces to show racial parity.

I would suggest you take another stab at this project. These look like you grabbed two incredibly generic stock photos and combined those images with some nebulous headlines. There is nothing authentic about these. Also, I’ll cut you a little slack since your a game design student, but you need to get together with a graphic design student who can help you with your typesetting. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I say back to the drawing board.

PD is in a really bad mood today.
Can we please not offer unethical advice, even in jest?

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I guess you’re referring to me. Yes, I was given to temptation far too easily. Sorry. I take back the last part.

You are not wrong, haha. It is not a graphic design course. It’s for a behaviorism course. I am sorry if I created confusion. Of course I will take in the advice for improvement but it’s about the “impact” of these posters and the general idea. I am also very interested in what high school students think of this as that’s my target group for my school assignment.
What typefaces can I utilize to convey the two ideas in these two posters?

Graphic design is about “impact.”

Another way to put it, graphic design is about changing behavior. If a graphic designer creates a banner ad and people don’t click on the ad, the ad failed. If a graphic designer redesigns packaging and in-store sales go down, the redesign failed. If a graphic designer designs a trade show booth and it doesn’t cause people to stop and visit the exhibitor, the booth failed.

You can couch it in any language you want, but the bottom line is that these posters are not the solution. You need to scrap these designs and come up with something else that is more authentic and will speak to your target market. Sorry to be so blunt, but my nearly 30 years experience creating marketing communications tells me that these will not make an impact or change / influence the behavior of high school students.

I see what you mean. I will start again. :wink:

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I hate saying this … but I’m putting on the Mod hat for a bit.

I just deleted the last reply. I love humor as well as the next.

But … and it’s a big BUT … this OP just joined and is posting in the student forum … So …

Let’s all tone it down several notches.

This section is for learning. So please be extra careful in your replies. There is NO need for sarcasm, jokes and false information as mentioned … even when in jest. I’ve seen snarky replies and attempts at humor on many posts lately.

We need assume the person asking is as green as can be. We are here to help. If you don’t want to help … stay out of the thread. It’s very simple.

Thanks for listening :heart:


Not that you’re trying to specifically do this, but directly soliciting opinions from a target group on whether or not an ad would influence them rarely produces accurate data. People are typically unaware of why or how they’re influenced.

For example, ask men if a particular men’s razor ad would influence them and you’ll never get the complete answer. No man would ever say, “The man in the ad is rugged and handsome. If I buy those razors I could be more like him, then I will be more attractive to women.” Even though, no one would admit (even to themselves) to being influenced by the ad for those reasons, those are exactly the psychological reasons why, in part, the ad is effective.

As for your ads/posters, they might look nice (despite the letter-spaced Brush Script), but looking nice is only one of the many ingredients in effective advertising. Ads typically need to make totally obvious what is being advertised — yours don’t.

In little words, you say it’s a “social trading card game.” Even if people are interested enough to read the small type (most won’t), what is a social trading card game and why is it relevant to the target audience? You’ve come up with a clever tag line for each, but people need to know what’s being advertised before tag lines can reinforce the products with meaningful and sticky messages. The smartphone in the first ad might be a clue to this being a downloadable app, but the second ad omits even that clue.

Given a member of the target demographic audience sitting on bus and staring at a poster across the aisle, one might argue that it’s not all that difficult to figure out what’s being advertised. Even so, most people don’t spend time figuring out ads. Ads are not typically approached as puzzles to be solved (although that could work if it were intentional). Even if, say, 80% of the target audience instantly understands what’s being advertised, that’s still an ad that is only 80% as effective as it might have been.

What I failed to communicate is that for my assignment I have to document a few responses from that target group only. The posters are for a small section in one of six parts of my assignment. Your post nonetheless is a fantastic piece of insight that will help me in this course and beyond. I have failed with these posters on many levels and I need to rethink them for sure.

I figured there might be more to it, but you provided a good opportunity for a slight tangent into the psychology behind advertising that many graphic designers don’t consider.

It’s about the Hook model by Nir Eyal. The posters were a prototype to test the connection between the internal triggers (needs, desires) and the external ones (the game, poster…etc). The next step is the action which should be as simple as possible, and then investment and rewards follow. In the case of the first poster, it’s about whether I succeed in making a social extrovert high school students think of connecting with others through the game when they feel the need to share success/winning. And that’s what I was testing with this post mostly.

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