I'm designing a poster (for the web) advertising a Friday the 13th vodka party.The party's theme is Friday the 13th / Test your luck on Friday the 13th. I've come up with the below so far, but I'm thinking it doesn't make clear the Friday the 13th theme.

Stack: Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC

Do you think the theme is clear enough ? If not, I welcome any suggestions on how to make it more clear.

enter image description here

  • "a poster (for the web)" = not sure I follow.
    – DA01
    Dec 1, 2014 at 18:56
  • It's for the Web not for print Dec 1, 2014 at 18:57
  • 1
    So, more of an ad? In what context will a person be looking at this? Via email?
    – DA01
    Dec 1, 2014 at 18:58
  • The organizer's website and on the ticket selling platform Dec 1, 2014 at 18:59
  • 1
    A couple of style recommendations: 1. remove the black border around the toothpicks; just make them a few shades whiter than the glasses. 2. Add a background or something to the "Friday Night March 13th" text as it's very difficult to see. 3. The red vodka in the bottom glass should follow the shape of the glasses' stem a bit better. It needs to be a 'V' Shape, right now it's more of an 'A' shape. Dec 1, 2014 at 22:35

7 Answers 7


First, look at what the basic functions an advertisement [poster] such as this needs to perform?

  1. What
  2. Where
  3. When
  4. Cost

These 4 items need to be clear and easily determined.

This ad fails where 2 and 3 are concerned.

Overall I like most of the color choices. However, grey on grey for some of the text is impossible to read.

As a sponsor, I'd be a tad upset that the line of text showing my company is impossible to discern from the background. I'd want my name much more prominent. What's the line under tasting read??? is everyone expected to squint and work very hard to read that? Same holds true for whatever that last line of text reads. I can't make it out.... so I won't bother trying. And the general public won't bother trying either.

The same holds true for the shadows "Friday Night March (13th?)" I only know it's the 13th because of your question. I can't tell if that's a 13 or 18 just by looking at it. This type fails miserably and performing its function.

Martini Glasses aren't for vodka. Few may realize this, but to be accurate Martini glasses may not be the best graphic to use.

I, personally am not a fan of the "ransom" lettering or the (let's not put any padding around the bullets) list items. But that's more my own aesthetic taste. Why there's extra right space after "Vodka bar" and "appetizers" but not after "DJ" leaves me wondering.

Overall, if contrast is addressed in the colors/type I think it's an okay image.

  • 3
    Side note: Am I "testing my luck" because some of the drinks may not be vodka, or because some of the vodka may cause physical harm?? What's the "test" for????
    – Scott
    Dec 1, 2014 at 20:37

No, I don't believe the message is very clear. It might however be you are lacking in your message to begin with.

Friday the 13th / Test your luck on Friday the 13th

Is this supposed to be the movie? Or about the general superstition related to the date?

The black text indicates the movie but is only a small indicator. There's nothing at all related to "testing your luck." I would think dice, coin flip, or something. But then the question is, why is the theme "Test your luck?" Will there be a poker game? A roulette table? Is it a blind vodka tasting and participants have to guess the brand?

The message isn't clear at all, but it might not be clear because it might have been poorly conceived.

  • Thanks for the feedback! The theme is around the superstition of Friday the 13th and not the film. Agreed, the theme of "test your luck" is very vague. The only test your luck aspect is a fortune teller. Dec 1, 2014 at 16:41
  • @AfterWorkGuinness If there's going to be a fortune teller than you should incorporate that into your design and copy.
    – Ryan
    Dec 1, 2014 at 16:49

I find it all rather confusing. What does luck have to do with a vodka tasting?

Also, the glasses with their tiny, irregular bases and liquid apparently flowing down their stems look more like funnels with a puddle of water below them. One can then interpret the olives on cocktail sticks as pipettes: the wrong sort of chemistry.

  • The theme of Friday the 13th was chosen because the event is being held on Friday the 13th Dec 1, 2014 at 19:55
  • @AfterWorkGuinness That part, I follow perfectly. But what does luck have to do with a vodka tasting? Dec 1, 2014 at 20:56
  • It was the client's idea :) I think it has do do with Friday the 13 being unlucky. Dec 1, 2014 at 21:01
  • @AfterWorkGuinness I see the connection between Friday the 13th and luck. But I don't see the connection between a vodka tasting and luck, even if that vodka tasting is on Friday the 13th. "Test your luck at [a] vodka tasting" just doesn't make sense. Dec 2, 2014 at 11:09

I would say:

Clean up the illustration / make variations, the glasses look very mutch 'copy' pasted. The fluids look weird and do not communicate your concept very well. (for example switch up the olive to another side, maybe some of the drinks could spill over, ... )

Typography: Use less font's , think about 'readability' of certain font's ( the 'friday night' date for example).

Think about the message of the poster, what is it you want to communicate? A poster must work in a way that the message is clear and simple (their can be layers though, of complexity, but at a glance, it must strike you).

The color scheme is nice to work with, the overal hierarchy is working, but their is lot's of work and tweaking!

What could also help: Look up famous examples / inspiration on different platforms , books for inspiration, learn from them ( but don't steal).

Good luck !

  • Thanks for you suggestions. I'll put some of them to use. The red on the glasses was intended to be blood spatter but I guess that wasn't clear so I'll change it to bloody finger prints. I really like the idea of making the glasses less uniform. Dec 1, 2014 at 16:18
  • I think the event should evoke 'Good taste' luxury product and premium event, not this Friday 13th theme. who are you trying to entice with this message. The charity focus for the Homeless, possibly financially 'unlucky' - possibly substance abusers. I feel you should try put a positive spin on your efforts not concentrating on the calendar day, although part of the messaging - i think the direction you are taking is a little distasteful. try to highlight the good work the funds can do and the premium event. My 5 cents. :)
    – Mark Read
    Dec 2, 2014 at 2:11
  • Think about what Vodka stands for - Purity, refinement, warmth, luxury, versatility (cocktail mixology) social gentrification/high society. I think these themes might be more enticing. You could have a dress up theme or run a game of "who dunnit" or BINGO! YATZEE! and have a major door prize for a competition where the attendees have to make a little extra effort. Actually Yatzee and Vodka go together really well - 'Skol' (cheers) to my Swedish fam! ABSOLUTE/YATZEE Infact the idea of yatzee is to roll dice for a 'Full House' or 'Home' get it? google instruction.
    – Mark Read
    Dec 2, 2014 at 2:23
  • Did you create another one? be nice to see an updated WIP
    – Mark Read
    Dec 8, 2014 at 22:13

Your design reminds me of the Horrormovie "Friday 13th" - Is that what you're aiming for? If not, i'd suggest a more "luck"-oriented kind of style..maybe something with a one-armed bandit or something like that?


For starters, I'm not sure what "Friday the 13th" theme would be. Is it referring to the movie franchise?

I think the martini glasses work very well to communicate 'vodka tasting' so that's a strong element. [EDIT: as the comments note, this is probably incorrect. Vodka Martinis aren't the norm when one thinks of a martini. A martini glass would typically be more appropriate for gin. A small tumbler would likely be better glassware to represent (perhaps with ice)]

The Ransom Note lettering, however, seems out of place. I don't recall if that was an element in the films. If not, then I'd rethinking using it as it has strong symbolism outside of Friday the 13th at well and is a bit confusing in this context.

The style of lettering for "Friday Night, March 13th" definitely seems more inline with the film series, but it also the most subdued of all the type in the layout. As it feels like the most important bit of information, I'd suggest rethinking how you've implemented that type. Figure out how to emphasize that over the other type.

The bottom line, if I were invited to this party, I'm not sure I'd understand from this invitation what the theme actually is and what I'd be expected to wear/bring to fit in based on this invite by itself.

  • 1
    "martini glasses work very well to communicate 'vodka tasting'" - HOW?
    – pute
    Dec 1, 2014 at 19:07
  • 1
    @pute excellent point. I was thinking 'vodka martini' but that's obviously the exception, not the norm as to what a martini glass symbolizes. I'll edit my answer.
    – DA01
    Dec 1, 2014 at 19:19
  • Thanks for your critique! With the ransom lettering, I imagined some association with Friday the 13th (the date not the film) with the bad luck, and the general horror theme associated with the date. Good point about the confusion from mixing themes from the day and the film. Dec 1, 2014 at 19:47
  • @pute Especially as the vermouth in a vodka martini makes it rather hard to taste the vodka. Dec 1, 2014 at 19:47
  • @DavidRicherby Only if there's too much vermouth. Dec 1, 2014 at 21:33

This is a very good start few points to consider

  • Readability
  • Number of font variations
  • the structure of the text, if this is to drive a single perspective perhaps a simpler amount of text is required. I.e Consider the intention of the poster
  • Graphic glasses seem too close perhaps spacing this and playing around with sizing -The contrast in lettering i.e Free vodka drinks, I would personally either not contrast, relocate the text with a different size point to match the location details, or take it out completely
  • Balance between texts
  • The NG in "Tasting" is the same highlight this does not match the cohesivness of the rest of the text
  • The glasses illustrations i.e seem empty

i hope all goes well

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