Guide to designing Indian Political Posters

Are some misinformed people telling you that IT, Retail and Property are the new explosive growth industries? Do not pay any attention to them. In fact, if the industry I am going to be talking about has its way, you will not be able to pay attention to anything else.

Indian Political Posters.

There are more DMK, AIADMK, BJP and Congress posters than trees in Chennai. Further, it is estimated that in the next 5 years, political posters will cover the entire surface of India with a kilometer thick layer of bamboo poles, plastic sheets, lies, bombast and questionable graphic design. So if you even have half a neuron dedicated to the pursuit of common sense, you will stop wasting your time reading blogs and gain what is arguably the most in-demand skill in India today – Political Poster Design using Adobe Photoshop CS3. And look no further. As a consultant, I normally do not offer tutorial services for free, but I offer this course free in the hope that many of you, my astute readers, will learn, apply, become famous and consider giving me some guru dakshina in the form of numbered swiss accounts.

I had, a long while ago, touched briefly upon the creative design process that is required to produce masterpieces in this emerging field. This post, however, is the full guide.

Step 1: The Context

Most political posters are designed to welcome The Man. The Man is the Big Boss who arrives in town to address a rally and choke traffic for many hours.

Step 2: The Canvas

Depending on which political party one is designing for, an appropriate canvas must be chosen.

For the Dravidian Moronocracy,


a subtle gradient of black, yellow and red will be suitable.

For the Shifty Seculocracy and the Hindutva Holycrapocracy,


Nothing other than a reaffirming tricolour background will do.

Step 3: The Organizers

Every political poster has minuscule sized photos of local party functionaries who are in charge of welcoming The Man. Keep them in the bottom half of the canvas, and use fonts with contrasting colors and shadow effects for their names. Do not forget to mention their designations.


Step 4: The Man

The most important part of the poster is The Man. The Big Boss. The raison d’etre of the poster. It is critical to capture the essence of his greatness through the use of various poses. Here are some ideas that are considered safe bets

  • Great Communicator – holding cellphone
  • Great Visionary – showing directions, pointing fingers. This should be the largest component of the entire poster.
  • Always a winner – showing “V” with fingers
  • Thought Leader and Literary genius- pondering with pen. This works especially well when used in conjunction with a slight transparency/low opacity effect.
  • Man of power – Oh. Yes. The Tiger.

So, here is what the poster will look like once we use the “Great Visionary” pose.


Ah. But something is missing, isn’t it? The Man is simply not standing out. So we apply…


The Glow.

Let’s now use the rest of The Man’s poses to bring our poster closer to completion.


Are we done yet? Of course not. No political poster is complete without the addition of images of

  • Unrelated famous people
  • Unrelated dead people

In our case, we will use the following two.


Ok. The dead guy (on the left of The Man) is not exactly Dravidian, but he is Branch Dravidian.

Which finally brings us to the final component of political poster design,

Step 5: The Text

Use random grandients with gay (or straight) abandon and use powerful language that conveys the true greatness of The Man. Do not forget to welcome him and most importantly, do not forget his educational qualifications.

The final Dravidian Moronocracy version


The final Shifty Seculocracy version. Note the addition of the dismembered tricolour gradiented hand and the image of Vatsyayana on the left of The Man. Why him, you wonder? He was an ancient expert on various kinds of Congress.


And the final Hindutva Holycrapocracy version,


Note the addition of the Vaali-killer on the left and the Indus Valley dude. This party’s revisionist History textbooks would like us to believe that he was Hindu as well.

And that will bring us to the end of the poster design process. Now go cut down an entire banana plantation and place them along the entire route from the airport to Marina Beach and welcome your leader.

ps: Thanks to younger brother for taking the photos and my wife for creative design inputs on the look and feel of the posters.

And to those who are bound to ask – “How do I find the time to do this?”, the answer is here