The Ultimate Poster Design Guide: 80+ Design Tips and Templates for Every Occasion

By Sara McGuire, Jun 12, 2018

poster designPosters are one of the oldest, most tried and true types of marketing content for: 

  • advertising events
  • introducing products
  • promoting campaigns
  • communicating educational information
  • and a lot more.

That’s because posters are so diverse. They can be designed for web, print or both. You can make them as creative or as classic as you want. The possibilities are endless.

Because the possibilities are so endless, there is no one right way to make a poster. But there are still design best practices that you should follow. (You have to know the rules before you can break them, after all!)

People use Venngage to create awesome posters for their businesses, campaigns, classes and personal occasions. So we decided to take it upon ourselves to write the ultimate, most in-depth poster design guide out there.


In this massive poster design guide, I’ll cover:

  1. Poster Design Best Practices
  2. Event Poster Design
  3. Sale Poster Design
  4. Fundraising Poster Design
  5. Research Posters (Coming Soon)
  6. Social Media Poster Design (Coming Soon)
  7. Educational Poster Design (Coming Soon)
  8. Travel Poster Design (Coming Soon)
  9. Motivational Poster Design (Coming Soon)
  10. Real Estate Poster Design (Coming Soon)
  11. Scientific Poster Design (Coming Soon)

We’re going to be publishing this guide in parts, so check back for updates!

Let’s get designing!

GIF Source

1. Poster Design Best Practices

Before diving into the different types of poster you can create, there are some poster design best practices that you should keep in your back pocket. These poster design tips will apply to virtually any poster you design.

This short video will introduce you to 10 essential poster design tips you should keep in mind:

Identify the goal of your poster

Your poster design choices will hinge on the goal of your poster. The text, visuals, color scheme, and page size should all be picked with your poster’s goal in mind.

Before you design your poster, think about:

  • What core message you want your poster to communicate.
  • What mood your poster to convey.
  • Where your poster will be shared.

For example, if the goal of your poster is to get people to attend a conference, then your poster should be designed strategically to help you achieve this goal. A rule to written communication is that simplicity wins.

Take a look at this conference poster:

Modern Tech Conference Event Poster Design


The design emphasizes the key information attendees will need to know, with a sleek, professional finish:

  • The yellow contrasts with the blue, putting emphasis on the time and place of the even and the featured speakers (information that is likely to pique the interest of attendees).
  • The name of the conference is also written in the biggest text.
  • The title is followed by a brief description of what the conference is about.
  • The background image reflects the theme of a team working together to achieve a vision.

Now take a look at this fundraising poster for a Thanksgiving food drive:

Colorful Food Drive Event Poster Design


The goal of this poster is to advertise the event and encourage people to participate.

  • The design is much more playful and appropriate for people of all ages.
  • Icons are used to illustrate the theme of the event. They also emphasize the three actions the event organizers want readers to take–to get involved, to donate, and to learn more about the event.


Start with a pre-made poster template

If you don’t have a ton of design experience (or any, for that matter), designing your own poster might be intimidating. A poster template will give you a foundation to create your own design.

Start by picking a template that will help communicate the goal of your poster. Look for a poster template that reflects the theme of your event, or that has the right layout you’re looking for. 


Here are some things to keep in mind when picking a poster template:

  • Look for a poster template with a layout that fits your vision (ex. header placement, image placeholders, and page dimensions).
  • Pick a poster template with the right dimensions for where you will be sharing your poster (I’ll go into correct page dimensions in a little bit).
  • Remember that you can always customize your templates if there are aspects of the design that you don’t like.

For example, if you want to emphasize three key points, pick a template that has placeholders for three points:

Pink Yoga Class Event Poster Design


Use bold and contrasting colors to draw attention to your poster

Bright and bold colors scheme are one of this year’s biggest graphic design trends. They’re eye-catching a modern–perfect for poster design. 

Use colid color fills for your visuals, and bold backgrounds:

poster design

For example, look at how bold blocks of color are used in this movie poster:

Love Actually Creative Movie Poster Design


Taking a risk when picking a color scheme can pay off in an attention-grabbing poster design.

Of course, a bright color scheme won’t fit every situation. Sometimes, a more subdued or minimalist poster design will work better. But even in those cases, some contrasting color should be used to direct the eye towards important information.

For example, this minimalist health care poster uses pops of light green draw the eye and emphasize the name of the health center being advertised:

Health Care Info Poster Design


Use striking, high-quality images in your poster design 

Because you have limited space in your poster, there’s no room for poor quality images. Every visual you include in your poster design should play a role in attracting attention and making information easy to understand.

The image you choose should be unique. They should be picked strategically to elicit an emotional reaction from your audience.

For example, the photo used in this science fair poster template captures feelings of wonder and curiosity:

Science Fair School Event Poster Design


Or take this motivational poster template. A lavender color filter gives the already cheery photo a calming effect:

Purple Motivational Poster Design

A good photo will typically have a light, bright color filter to give readers a happy feeling. Dark color filters are generally associated with negative feelings and may undercut the excitement of, say, a fundraiser or symposium.

But there are exceptions to that rule, so pick an image that makes sense for your poster and goals.


Use no more than three different fonts

This is a good rule of thumb to avoid cluttering your design when picking fonts. Use no more than three fonts in one poster design.

How to pick fonts for your posters:

  • Pick a bold, decorative font for the poster header.
  • Pick a simpler font with a similar style for subheaders.
  • Pick a neat, readable font for the body text.

Blue Business Marketing Poster Design


But as the saying goes, rules are meant to be broken. One situation where you may want to use more than three fonts is if you make typography the central element of your poster design.

For example, this music festival poster design is comprised of many different fonts. What ties them together in a cohesive color scheme:

Green Creative Music Event Poster Design


Optimize your poster for print 

Think about where your poster will be shared–on your website? Pinned up around town? On a busy school cork board? If you’re planning on printing out your poster, there are some basic guidelines you should keep in mind.

Visualize where you will pin up your poster

You probably have an idea of where you’re going to pin up your poster. Where you decide to pin it up can help you make a few design decisions.

If it’s going on a wall with a bunch of other posters, print your poster in a larger size so it will stand out. If it’s going on a relatively bare wall, print it in a smaller size and pin up a bunch of them to create impact.

Yellow Simple Motivational Poster Design


Design your poster for a standard paper size

Unless you want to create a big poster, you probably don’t want to spend the money on getting it printed. You can print it yourself by simply designing your poster to fit standard ISO A1-A5 printer paper.

Simple White Healthcare Poster Design


Use CMYK colors

Certain colors won’t turn out right when printed. I know, frustrating! That’s why it’s important to use the right color palette from the get-go, so you don’t get attached to a design that won’t translate properly to print.

CMYK colors stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK. Printers use CMYK colors so to ensure that your poster looks the way you intended it to, design your posters for print using CMYK in the first place.  

poster design


Do you see the difference between the two color wheels? Look closely.

Choose a font that’s easy to read from far away

You may be tempted to use a really fancy font for your poster but please, restrain yourself. Intricate fonts will be hard to read from far away.

For example, this poster uses Paytone One, size 200 points for the header. The body text is sized at 24 points:

Blue & Yellow Job Fair Poster Design copy

Size the body text of your poster between 24 – 48 points

If you font is too small, people won’t be able to read it from a few meters away and will probably not pay attention to it.  

Export in the right resolution

Blurry pictures are annoying and can be easily avoided by simply exporting your poster in the right resolution. Export in a 300 dpi resolution so that the image won’t come out blurry.

With Venngage, you can download your poster as an HD PNG or PDF:

poster design

Set bleed marks for printing

In printing, “bleed” is when you have an image or object touching the edge of the page. When you design a poster with an image that is flush with the edges of the poster, your printer will automatically leave a thin white line around the edge of the paper.

When your document has bleed, it needs to be printed on a larger sheet of paper than the design, and then trimmed down to your intended dimensions.

To print your poster so that there is no white margin around the edge, set crop marks. These will designate where the design ends on the page, so that you can crop the poster after you print it.

poster design

Optimize your poster for social media sharing

There are fewer restraints when designing a poster for web than for print. This is a great opportunity to do something really fun with your design. Still, there are some guidelines you should follow.  

Optimize your poster for a specific social media platform

If you want your poster to look really good on social media, size it for the specific platform you’re promoting it on. You may want to make a couple of different versions of your poster for different platforms.

In general, a portrait orientation looks best for mobile viewing. People are used to scrolling up and down on mobile, rather than side to side.

But if you’re promoting your event on Twitter or Facebook, banners generally fit better on their newsfeeds. In that case, a landscape orientation is fine.

Colorful PRIDE Week Event Poster Design


Meanwhile, if you’re planning on sending your poster out in an email, a 1080 x 1080 dpi square poster is a safe bet. These dimensions also apply to posters created for Instagram.

New Music Party Event Poster Design1


Use big, bold fonts for social media posters

Keep in mind that the image is going to be small in people’s feeds, especially if they’re viewing it on mobile.

Use big fonts that will grab their attention and keep the amount of text you use in general to a minimum.


Use icons to enhance stock photos

If you’ve been on the internet long enough, you’ve probably come across the same stock photo used in several different contexts. A bland stock photo can lead to a pretty uninspired design.

But if you’re working within a tight budget, you may have no choice but to use stock photos. So it’s time to get creative and look for ways to customize your stock photos.

Icons are the perfect way to enhance your poster design. You can use icons to embellish points and, in certain cases, replace text. They’re also great for illustrating ideas.

For example, the addition of some simple flag icons give this space stock photo new meaning:

Creative Sci Fi Movie Poster Design 1


Keep these best practices in mind when using icons in your poster design:

  • Pick icons with a consistent style (line thickness, flat or illustrated design, line art or filled).
  • Use icons sparingly and allow for plenty of whitespace to let your design breathe.
  • If you do replace text with icons, make sure that the meaning is very obvious (for example, replacing the word “Twitter” with a Twitter icon).

Unsplash and Pexels are both great sites for finding beautiful, not cringey stock photos. 


2. Event Poster Design

You’ve got an event coming up that you want to promote. It could be a work party, a professional development seminar, a club event…literally anything. The question is: how do you get the word out there?

GIF Source

Don’t underestimate the power of an event poster. With an eye-catching design and compelling text, you can get people excited about your event.

Look at it the same way you would package a product. Think about how you can communicate the theme and feeling of your event in your poster design.

A good place to start is figuring out the goal of your event poster.


Emphasize the core action you want readers to take

Ultimately, all event posters have the same goal: to promote an event. But how you approach that might differ, depending on your event.

The goal of your poster can be to:

  • Show people what they can expect at your event.
  • Make people curious about your event.
  • Recruit people to help run your event.
  • Or even explain the benefits of your event for attendees.

For example, if you’re promoting a fitness class, there’s a good chance that not everyone will know what the benefits of your class are. That information may be what piques their interest and inspires them to attend.

Take this yoga class poster, which briefly explain some of the benefits of taking yoga. Icons help illustrate each of the three points:  

Minimalist Pink Yoga Event Poster Design 1


Or take this poster, which explains what yoga is to anyone who might not be completely familiar with it:

Purple Meditation Event Poster Design

Keep your event description brief and concise

If you want to offer more information about your event, include a URL to your site, or include your contact information.

But what if your goal isn’t to provide all of the information up front? What if you want to build anticipation around your event?

In that case, you may want to withhold certain information from your audience. For example, keeping the location of a mystery, only to reveal it the day before, can make your event seem more exclusive.

For example, this album release poster offers only the title of the album and the release date:

Modern Music Event Poster Design


Only offering the name of the product and the release day can help build anticipation around the event. That will help spur conversation around the new product, with people wondering what to expect.


Follow a hierarchy of information when adding text to your poster design

What information you choose to include on your poster will depend on the goal of your poster. But if you’re creating a fairly standard poster, it’s best practice to follow a hierarchy of information.

The event information on your poster should be read in this order:

  1. The name of your event.
  2. The date and time of your event.
  3. A short description of the event or a catchy tagline.
  4. The location of your event (if you choose to include it).
  5. The name of your company, department, organization, etc.
  6. If necessary, where they can find more information (like a website, social media page or contact number).

You don’t have to put the information in that order. But you should try to steer the reader’s eyes in the order you want to information to be read.

How do you steer the reader’s eyes? Here’s a couple of methods:

  • Write the name of your event in the biggest font
  • Use icons and images to draw attention to important points
  • Use a bright color for key words

Simple Arts & Music Event Poster Design

Pick a color scheme that reflects the mood of your event

Colors affect how we perceive visual content. While the exact science of color psychology is contested, there is no denying that we associate certain emotions with certain colors.

Take the industry and demographic your event is appealing to into account when picking a color scheme. For example, a color scheme using plenty of blue is a safe bet for a business event. A study of the world’s top 100 brands found that most brands use blue.

Blue Job Expo Event Poster Design

Meanwhile, it makes sense for a poster for an art event to be bursting with bright, contrasting colors to reflect creativity:

Creative Art Show Event Poster Design

If the event calls for it, you may even choose to go without colors. Take this poster for a black and white holiday gala that uses–you guessed it–a simple black and white color scheme to achieve a classy effect:

Black Tie Event Poster Design



In certain cases, the appropriate color scheme will be obvious. For example, if you’re creating a poster for a fall-themed event, then a color scheme of warm oranges, browns, and yellows will evoke the feeling of fall.

Fall Festival Event Poster Design

The same goes for most holiday event posters, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween.


Use a color filter to make an image cohesive

Use a semi-transparent color swatch to overlay a color over a background image. Not only does this allow you to customize your design, it also helps prevent your background image from drowning out your text.

Simple Holiday Party Poster Design

In Venngage, you can create this effect by dragging a colored square icon onto the canvas, and stretching the square to cover the image. Then, adjust the transparency of the square using the color picker tool.

Simple Holiday Party Poster Design Example

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to pairing colors, a color scheme generating tool like Coolors can be helpful.


Pick decorative fonts that reflect the theme of your event

Different fonts have different personalities. Fonts help communicate the theme and mood of your event. Similar to picking a color scheme, it’s also helpful to take your target audience into account when picking fonts.

In general, serif fonts have a classic and fancy feel because they have those little line embellishments. They could work for an arts event, or a dinner party, or a wedding shower, for example.

Take this poster example, which use serif fonts to give your poster design a folksy feel:

Brown Music Night Event Poster Design


Meanwhile, sans serif fonts are fonts sans the serif embellishment. They tend to have a more minimalist and efficient feel. That’s probably why they’re more commonly used in tech-related content.  

poster design

You would probably rather use a sans serif font for an event like a business conference, like in this poster:

Modern Business Conference Event Poster Design


You can also pair a couple of different fonts on your poster. In fact, picking a more decorative font for the header and combining it with a more minimalist font for the body text works very well.

Take this poster example, which tastefully combines three different fonts:

Bar Party Event Poster Design


Use images of past events, or that represent what attendees can expect

In many cases, people will want to know what they can expect from an event before they decide to attend. That’s why you can make your poster design more convincing by including pictures from past events.


For example, this concert poster template shows a picture from a previous concert. People interested in the event will get a sense of the mood and size of their concerts:

Black Modern Concert Event Poster Design



If you don’t have pictures from past events, then try including a picture that represents what will happen at your event.

For example, this poster for a cooking class uses a beautiful and enticing picture of tomatoes as a background image. Foodie culture is huge and people interested in food are sure to be enticed by the promise of learning to use beautiful ingredients like this:

Creative Cooking Lesson Event Poster Design 1

3. Sale Poster Design

So you have an exciting sales event that you want to promote.

You could run out into the streets and scream about it at the top of your lungs…


But I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, make an awesome sale poster and use that to get the word out. (Most of us aren’t skilled actors like Tobias Fünke anyway.)

Sale posters can grab your audience’s attention and sparking their interest. You can send them out in an email newsletter, share them on social media, and print them out for some old fashioned distribution.

A lot of the best practices covered in the event poster section apply to sale poster design as well, but there are some specifics tips you should keep in mind.


Keep your sale poster text minimal and concise

Focus your poster text on the what, the when and the where.

A lot of sale posters you’ll see out there put the emphasis on how much prices are reduced by. That’s because in most cases, the goal of a sale poster is to let people know exactly what you’re offering them.

Let your audience know what the sale is:

  1. By telling them how much of a discount you’re offering,
  2. by telling them what products will be on sale,
  3. by telling them how long the sale will run for,
  4. or all of the above!

You probably won’t have enough space to include much for information than that.

For example, take this sale poster that tells people what you are offering (free delivery) and for how long (2 days only):

Special Offer Sales Poster Design

Anyone who is interested can either scroll down on the page/email to read more information, or click through to your site.

A quick note on whether you should use percentages or dollar amounts in your posters:

Anecdotally, some people have found percentages perform better, while others have found that dollar amounts perform better. What some experts have found is that the success of one over the other really has more to do with which is perceived to be a higher value.

So if you feature “$50 OFF” in your poster, there’s a good chance it will perform better than saying “$15 OFF”. But if you advertise a big percentage like “50% OFF”, there’s a good chance people are going to be interested!


Include high quality product photos

The quality of your product photos will directly impact how the quality of your products are perceived.


So when we’re talking about high quality product shots, what does that mean? Well, here are some product photography tips to get you started:

  1. Use shots of your product on a white background to emphasize the quality of your product.
  2. Use shots of your product in context (for example, a watch on someone’s wrist or a pie on a kitchen counter).
  3. Use scale shots of your products so people have an idea of how big they are.
  4. Use group shots of products together to encourage people to buy multiple products.
  5. Use detail shots to emphasize particular features of your product.
  6. Use packaging shots to tap into the excitement of unwrapping a new purchase.

Shopify has a great guide for how to take good quality product shots for cheap: here. And Big Commerce also has a great guide to taking product shots: here.

For example, here’s a simple sales poster that I received in an Indigo newsletter:

Indigo Newsletter Sales Poster Design 1

The pretty stationary shots on a simple dotted background make for a pleasing, minimalist poster design. As someone who loves stationary, I admit it–I clicked.

Another approach is to use your products as a background image and overlay your text on top.

You see this a lot in fashion sale posters. For example, take this poster from Zara:

Modern Fashion Sales Poster Design


This is an example of a sale poster that uses a shot of their product in context. Their audience can look at the model wearing the jacket and picture themselves wearing it.


Incorporate your branding in your sale poster

It’s important to use consistent branding across all of your visual content in order to grow your brand recognition.

If you’re advertising a sale event, it’s kind of a given that people need to know what your business is!

Include your logo and brand colors in your sale poster

You don’t have to make that the focus–just include it along the top of bottom of the poster.

For example, here’s a Black Friday sales poster we’ve used in the past:

Simple Sales Coupon Poster Design 1

See the little Venngage logo at the bottom? It by no means distracts from important information, but it lets people know who is putting on this event. This is particularly useful if you want to share your poster on social media, where people might not immediately look at the name of your account in their newsfeed.

This sale poster example also uses Venngage’s brand shade of blue. 

(Psst! Venngage’s My Brand Kit lets you save your brand color palettes, logos, and fonts to make designing branded graphics even easier. Ok, shameless plug over.)


Optimize your sale poster for social media and email

Odds are, most people are going to find out about your sale online (if you’re an ecommerce site, that’s a given). Plus, you may want to run ads on social media featuring your sale poster.

The best practices for poster sizing I talked about in the event poster section apply here as well. Depending on the social media platform you want to advertise on, you may want to adjust the dimensions of your poster accordingly.

These are the ideal dimensions for each of the big social media platforms:

Facebook: 1200 x 627

Twitter: 440 x 220

Instagram: 1080 x 1080

Pinterest: You have more wiggle room here for length, but pin widths are 238 px.

Optimizing your sale poster for each social media site will ensure that none of your poster gets cut off and that it is readable.

For example, this coffee sale poster would work well for Twitter:

Creative Coffee Sales Poster Design

Or take this Black Friday sale poster is perfect for appearing in an Instagram feed:

Black Friday Sale Event Poster Design

It’s particularly important to keep text concise when making social media posters. Because people are probably going to be looking at them on their phones, the images are going to be small.



Include a call-to-action

Ideally, people who come across your sale poster online are going to click through to your site to check out your awesome deals. So why not give them a little boost by including a call-to-action (or CTA) in your poster?

A CTA will prompt people to take the next step towards making a purchase. Usually, a CTA is a simple action phrase, like in this poster example:

Creative Fashion Sales Poster Design


“DON’T MISS OUT!” at the bottom of the poster will encourage people to act now.

You could even go ahead and add an actual button that people can click to take them to your site. This is common in sale posters that are included in email newsletters (by the way, our newsletter design tool offers a ton of creative newsletter templates you can use).

Take this poster, which uses a “SHOP NOW” button to prompt people to click through:

Modern Tech Sales Poster Design


It’s human nature: we see a button, we want to press it.

Now, you might be wondering: does it matter what color I make my CTA button?

The answer is yes, sort of.

You’re going to hear different opinions about this, depending on who you talk to. Ultimately, though, how well your CTA button converts has more to do with how well the CTA button stands out from the rest of your poster than the specific color.

If you’re going to use a CTA button, use a bright color that contrasts with the background color.

Here’s another poster with a green CTA button, this time on a white background:

Modern Fashion Sales Poster Design1


And here’s a poster with a black button on an off-white background:

Creative Holiday Sales Poster Design


Use a dark/bold colored button on a light background, and use a light colored button on a dark background. You shouldn’t have any problems.


Make your sale poster a GIF

You know how your cat or dog will suddenly jolt into rapt attention when they see movement? People aren’t all that different.

Turning your sale poster into a GIF is a great way to grab for your audience’s attention and to make your promo more fun.

Take a look at this sale poster that LOFT sent as part of an email campaign:

poster design


How to create a sale poster GIF:

Step 1: Create several versions of your poster with slight variations

For example, you could change the position of icons or text (like how the watermelon seeds move like raindrops in the LOFT poster).

Here are two versions of the same poster, where the candy cane icons are moved slightly.

poster design

The result will be a poster with dancing candy canes!

You could also change certain colors in your poster.

poster design

Step 2: Export your images as PNGs

Download each version of your poster as a separate image. Then you can string them together to create a GIF.

poster design

Step 3: Use a GIF maker to compile your images into one GIF

There are free online tools that you can use to create your own GIFS. Giphy is one example (I used it to create the example poster GIFS!). You could also use or EZgif.

And voila! Two fun GIF posters:


4. Fundraising Poster Design

Now, let’s turn to a more altruistic type of poster: the fundraising poster. These are posters that non-profit organization, schools, or companies use to raise money for a charity.

Typically, fundraising posters advertise for a charity event, or an event supporting a local organization like a club or school program. But they can also be used to grow brand awareness for non-profit organizations.

As with any type of poster, general poster design best practices apply. But there are specific tips you should keep in mind when designing a fundraising poster.


Consider your target audience when coming up with a poster design

People donate to certain causes because they’re passionate about them.

Think about who is likely to be most passionate about your cause and try to design your fundraising poster to appeal to them.

For example, say you’re advertising a fundraising event an animal rights charity. Animals lovers are the people who are going to be passionate about supporting your cause.

This poster explains how donations to the charity will be distributed to help dogs’ health:

Simple Pet Shelter Fundraising Poster Design 1


Dog owners will know how much is costs to maintain a dog’s health, and they are likely to sympathize with the cause.

Or take this meme-able poster that will appeal to the hearts of cat lovers:

Funny Pet Shelter Fundraising Poster Design

This poster uses a bold, bright pink font that contrasts with the green background. It’s tacky and weird–and people who like looking at cats on the internet will love it for that.

Depending on the mood of your fundraising event, don’t be afraid to get silly with your poster design.

After all, if people are excited about your event (as cat lovers are sure to be when they see this amazing poster), they are going to be more likely to want to participate!


Identify the problem you’re solving in the poster header

In most cases, it’s best to be upfront about the cause your charity is trying to support. After all, the purpose of a fundraising poster is to convince people to donate money to a cause.

People are often distrustful of charities. They want to know that their money is going directly towards solving a problem they care about.

Poster headers are meant to grab the attention of someone walking by, or scrolling through their newsfeed, or flipping through their emails.

Nonprofit Volunteer Fundraising Poster Design


Because you have limited space on your poster, visuals are the perfect way to pack more information into one page.

Icons, illustrations, and charts can be used to show shocking statistics, examples of concepts, and success stories, and other information that will help paint a clearer picture for your audience.

For example, this poster for Charity: Water uses icons to show examples of how clean water makes a big impact on communities:  

Charity Water Fundraising Poster Design


Icon design hack: group icons into a shape for a detailed illustration. Use icons that are a similar style to create a cohesive, uncluttered design. For example, the poster above uses only flat icons with similar line widths.


Identify reasons why people should donate

Of course, you don’t have room on a poster to make an in-depth case for your charity. But, at the very least, you should be able to summarize a few of your charity’s major goals or strategies in a few sentences.

Offer some eye-opening statistics 

Numbers can put a problem into perspective. Include statistics that are likely to hit close to home for readers. For example, the number of people who suffer from a certain illness, or how little money people in a community make.

This blood drive poster lists five statistics that may be surprising to a lot of readers:

Blood Drive Nonprofit Fundraising Poster Design


Emphasize important numbers by combining a neutral or grayscale background with pops of color 

The poster above uses red circles to make the statistics stand out.

Here’s another poster examples that use the same information but with a different, more minimalist design:

Simple Blood Drive Fundraising Poster Design


The benefit of the second design is that it places greater focus on the CTA button. I’ll get into that in more detail shortly.

Numbers can also be used to convince people that your organization or charity is one they can trust.

Highlight how your organization has helped already 

Donors will want to know that they can trust your organization to put their money to good use.

If you’ve had achievements in the past, you could include them on your poster to show people that your organization is serious about making an impact on your cause.

You could show a particularly impressive dollar amount that your organization achieved. For example, take this poster that highlights the amount of money invested in reducing poverty in the current year:

Minimalist Nonprofit Fundraising Poster Design


If you’re advertising a yearly fundraising event at your workplace, you could highlight the amount of money you raised last year. You could also count the number of people you helped.

For example, this whimsical poster for a charity that funds school libraries boasts the number of books schools they funded in a year:

Simple Book Fair Fundraising Poster Design



Venngage’s icon library contains plenty of illustrations you could use to give your poster a whimsical design!

Use pictures of real people in your poster design

Particularly pictures that show people’s faces. A study published in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty found that people are more likely to want to make a charitable donation when the pleas feature one identifiable beneficiary.

When you show a real person in your poster, you help concretize the problem that needs to be solved.

For example, this poster by Oxfam identifies gives a name to the beneficiary pictured:

Health Care Fundraising Poster Design


This puts a real person in the minds of potential donors.

Include a clear call-to-action

Once you have someone’s attention, you need to make it very clear what their next steps are to help.

This could be as simple as writing “Donate Now”, but you could also get more creative with your CTA.

For example, the Oxfam poster in the previous section not only includes the URL to where people can go to donate, it also emphasizes the campaign’s slogan: “Close the Gap”.

Including a campaign slogan on your poster is an effective way to reinforce your message 

If it stick in readers’ minds, they’re more likely to consider donating.

You can also include a CTA button 

Just how you could a button on a sales poster, CTA buttons are equally effective when used in fundraising posters.  

Remember, your CTA button should contrast with the background color of your poster so it pops out at readers. Like the bright green CTA button in this poster:

Nonprofit Volunteer Fundraising Poster Design

Make your fundraising event seem fun

You might be raising funds for a serious cause, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t have fun helping out! If you’re hosting an event to not only raise money, but also to build a community, then highlight the community aspect in your fundraising poster.

Use your poster design to give people an idea of how much fun they’ll have helping out. You can do this by:

  • Listing the fun activities your event will include.
  • Showing pictures of past events.
  • Featuring any rewards people will receive for participating.
  • Listing accomplishments that your community has achieved in the past.

For example, this bright and cheery fundraising event poster explains what the campaign is, and the steps participants need to follow to participate:

Simple Food Drive Fundraising Poster Design


You don’t have to rely on a dark and somber color scheme

The color scheme you choose should reflect the mood you want your poster to convey.

  • A dark color palette can help communicate the gravity of an issue and evoke feelings of sadness and sympathy in your audience, which can encourage them to want to contribute.
  • But a bright and cheery color scheme can be eye-catching and can encourage your audience to want to participate in solving a problem. People often appreciate a positive perspective!

Think about who you want to reach with your fundraising poster and what you want your audience’s primary response to be.


Get those creative juices flowing!

A poster is the perfect opportunity to get really creative with your design. Remember: even if you don’t have any design experience, you can start with a poster template. Then, customize your design to really make your event stand out.

Next time we’ll walk you through how to create a research poster, so check back soon!


More advertising design guides:

40+ Best Creative Poster Ideas, Templates & Tips

5 Iconic Romantic Movie Poster Designs Reimagined & How You Can Make Your Own

10 Attention-Grabbing Event Poster Templates

5 Essential Human Resources Poster Templates

About Sara McGuire

Sara McGuire is a Content Editor at Venngage. When she isn't writing research-driven content, she enjoys reviewing music and hitting up the latest culinary hot spot in her home city of Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @sara_mcguire