Time for some helpful tips on designing church posters!
Today we’re thinking about Church Poster Design – how to get the best out of your posters. We’ll think about how to decide what to include, how to make them look good and even some tips for getting them produced.
This blog post comes in the form of a short audio recording (around 6 minutes), plus there are some handy links below, as well as an audio transcript. Enjoy!
Audio Recording – Church Poster Design Tips from ChurchTrain
Helpful Blog Posts about Church Graphic Design
Some Poster Examples
Note that the ‘Songs of the Pilgrim’ poster is informing about an upcoming sermon series, so there is no call to action needed.
Hey it’s Joe here from ChurchTrain and we’re trying something different today – whilst I’ve done some public speaking about church communications and even appeared on podcasts before, I’ve never sat down and recorded anything of my own, so here goes!
Alongside this recording, there are some images and links on the ChurchTrain blog which fit nicely with what we’re thinking about today, so with that, let’s dive in to talking about posters.
Sure, churches communicate a lot of their messages online these days, but posters are still cool! I wrote a blog post a while back about Church Flyer Design – it’s still there on churchtrain.uk and I’ve linked to it so you can find it nice and easily! In that post I note that doing digital communications well shouldn’t come at the cost of our offline messages. These messages are still effective, and for some people they’ll be the thing which informs, educates or persuades them about a ministry or an upcoming activity.
With that said, it’s easy to do print publicity badly – I try very hard to not be negative in my blog posts, but boy, have I seen some awful church poster designs over the years!
So here is a quick roundup, with some simple, practical tips that you can use to improve the graphic design of your church posters.
Remember to include key information on your poster – but don’t overdo it. A poster’s purpose is to grab the attention of passer’s by, not to answer every single question they could possibly have about the event! Less is more, and adding too much info can end up being more distracting than helpful.
Perhaps think of your church posters as a ‘Save the date’. You know those lovely little invites to a wedding that aren’t really the proper invite, but they let you know you’re going to get an invite. Think about what information really needs to be there. On the save the date you’ll probably have the names of the couple, otherwise you wouldn’t know whose wedding it is. You’ll obviously have the date. Perhaps a rough location or timings, but probably not a lot else. It gives the wedding guest just the right amount of information they need at this point, and further details will come later.
When it comes to planning your poster, or setting the brief for whoever is going to design it, it might be helpful to have all of the information you have about an event or ministry in front of you, and then circle the bits of information that people really need to know to persuade them.
One thing to always include is a call to action. What are you asking people to do in response to your poster design? How do they do it? These days, this usually looks like a web address, but it could be a phone number or an email.
Thinking about the visual look and feel of your church poster design, we have to keep with that less is more type of thinking. A poster might look incredible and have great detailed illustration or stunning photography, but if it distracts from the information, it’s not doing its job! The same goes for choosing fonts – I don’t care how pretty it looks, if I can’t read it, your poster has failed! There are some helpful font tips in the church flyers blog post I mentioned earlier, as well as some tips about combining colours, choosing photos and leaving some breathing room to let your information stand out.
Sticking with this visual theme, let’s think back to our save the date. You might have a photo of the couple, or include some simple graphics to fit in with the theme of the wedding, but it will hopefully be subtle, and won’t take away from that key information we mentioned earlier.
By all means, use great photos and graphics in your poster, but know when to stop. Here’s a very quick and easy test. Print out a rough version of your poster and prop it up across t he room. If you can’t read at least the main message from 10 paces away, it’s not clear enough! In this case you may need to look at making the design visually simpler, or removing some of the unnecessary elements.
Now, when it comes to actually printing the work, posters can be expensive – but they don’t have to be. Sometimes a black and white poster printed a4 on the church photocopier can do the job, posted around the building a few times with blue tack (don’t go mad, you can have too much of a good thing!). Just remember that when you’re printing grayscale, colours can blend together, and details become hard to read. So keep it really simple!
If you’re posting your gorgeous new posters outside, make sure they’re protected against the elements! An enclosed notice board is one solution, though this can be pricey if you don’t have one. For posters that are going to be up for a month or more, it might be worth looking in to getting the poster printed on a thin vinyl, rather than paper. This will mean wind and rain can do their worst and your poster will still look vibrant.
So there you have it, some practical tips for poster design, I hope they’ve been really helpful, and I’d love to see the results of you putting these in to practice. Do leave a comment on the blog post, or get in touch with me via the ChurchTrain website. If you’re new to ChurchTrain and you’ve made it this far, let me know and we might even be able to send you a little gift!
Don’t forget you can sign up to get a little email each week with any new blog posts so you can always be in the ChurchTrain loop. Thanks for listening, Bye for now!