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Achieve Extra Pulling Power with your next Fundraising Event Poster

A fundraising event poster can be defined as a placard or large bill posted up for advertising, publicity or awareness purposes. A4 size can be used for small display areas but posters are generally recognized to lie within the A3 (420 x 297mm) to A0 (1189x841mm) range. A poster sets out to inform, sell and persuade. And this means poster design, content and graphic layout are paramount. A good fundraising event poster is simply one which grabs attention, conveys its information clearly and ultimately burns its message into readers’ brains.

Effective fundraiser posters might contain only a few words and images. But the ‘less is more’ concept can be deceptively difficult to get right. Use these NetPrintNFP guidelines for designing posters and you can achieve better results than most, irrespective of your design skill. Draw on NetPrintNFP’s free poster designs as you see fit or perhaps commission an exclusive design for your non-profit’s next campaign. Remember NetPrintNFP can be your non-profit’s home for all that is local marketing and brand related. Contact us here.

Guideline #1: Think & research.

Determine the purpose of your poster and its intended audience. Is it advertising an upcoming fundraising event? Is it asking for positive action right now? Is it part of a wider awareness campaign? People are so used to having thousands of advertising images thrust at them every day. So much so that ‘poster blindness’ is a real risk! In large organizations, noticeboards can be packed full of posters and notices, often ignored by everyone. So locate and study several of your intended display locations. What catches your eye now? How is your design going to compete on the wall? What colour combinations would work well against the backdrops?

Lighting also plays an issue; the design will appear differently in natural light, dark areas, or indoors with artificial lighting. Some of this is common sense, some of it will require a little ‘try it and see’ experience. And don’t forget unusual size as a differentiator. It’s the same issue in terms of what will stand out in a given situation. But you can now print posters in almost any size you want implications.

Guideline #2: Establish your creative concept

The 'creative concept' may already be set as the root of your whole publicity campaign. If not, then you will need to brainstorm some ideas. If your non-profit charity has a set of brand guidelines these will also need to be taken into account. (Remember NetPrintNFP helps any organization deliver brand control into its community).

Good poster creative catches the eye AND tells the tale. It’s no good having a strong visual if your words are hard to read or work against the picture. For example, if you’re promoting a fundraising dance you have to decide whether to advertise the basic ‘feel good’ factor of the event alone or attempt to include the reasons why your organization is fundraising. In local advertising cryptic posters are best avoided. You do not have the time and money to ‘build’ a message which grows over time.

Look at other people’s work for inspiration. Don’t copy, but get inspired. And don’t forget to reference your findings from Guideline#1.

Guideline #3: Poster Layout 101

Remember you have less than 3 seconds to draw the attention of your audience.

If you are using a familiar image let it have centre stage. That might be a well-known person, place or activity. You will need permission from whoever owns the images or use to discover thousands of images under creative commons licensing(?).

The eye journey starts on upper middle then tracks top left to bottom right.

Balance your space. Don't feel like you need to fill every inch of your poster with something. Use "white space" - the space that isn't filled with graphics or text as much as needed. Who wants to read a cluttered poster ? The majority of your audience won’t make time to read it all as they walk by. If they don't know what you’re saying in under 3 seconds they will never move to any details.

It is not easy to read lines and words that are solely in capital letters,

e.g. HEADLINE STYLES vs Headline Styles.

Be careful with logos. Bottom to bottom right is where people expect to find them.

Don’t put text too close to the edge of the paper or too close to the edges of boxes.

Use contrasting colors. Use bright colours against a dark background and dark colors against a bright background. But complementary colours are going to please the eye most. Check out the NetPrintNFP colour wheel for advice.

Display just one point of contact – and make it obvious.

Guideline #4: Font choices

If your non-profit charity works with brand guidelines (register with NetPrintNFP now!) then font choice will already be assigned for your poster design. Else, a good rule of thumb is to use two fonts in your poster creation. Bold and extra bold sans-serif fonts are best for large headlines and consider unusual fonts only if they are clear and readable.

By using variations in font weight, size, spacing and colour you should have plenty of flexibility in a poster environment. The need for body copy is likely minimal so serif fonts on posters are a rarity.

Guideline #5: Keep it Simple, Stupid!

A common mistake is to put too much information on a fundraising event poster. Remember ‘less is more’ in poster advertising. Be very strict on word count. Get the important message out there in as few words as possible. People will read your support information if you’ve won their attention in that first 3 seconds!

Make support information imaginative and exciting – phrases can really help sell a fundraising event. For example, a small venue can offer "an exclusive, intimate performance'. A one night event can be "your one and only chance to see this'. Avoiding the trite or cliché is, of course, desirable.

Think about what it is about your event that will actually make people want to come? What are the unique selling points of your event? What might it have that no competing event offers?

People like to have assurance that an event will be good before they spend their time or money on it. Quotes from respected local people can help with this. Or perhaps show evidence to support your event is well reputed e.g. ‘now in its fifth year’; ‘over £5000 raised last year’.

Guideline #6: Poster readability

Wherever your fundraising poster is displayed it will be subject to 3 main viewing distances. It should aim to work at all distances in its given situation, always revealing a little more the closer you get.

Long Range – There should be large imagery or headline (or both) to draw the viewer in closer. This is where your ‘3 seconds to grab attention’ is vital.

Medium Range - This could include dates, venues, pricing and event content which gets people excited. For example music details, what’s included, and testimonials from previous events.

Close Range - If your reader is still interested in your event they will now take time for a more careful look. Even though smallest in size, your remaining information should still be important or simply not be on your poster at all. These might include contest rules, further information location,

Guideline #7: Sizing your Event Posters

One size does not fit all (see #1). Choose poster sizes for maximum impact on location and which match your budget. You may want a small poster you can print at home or a large fundraiser event banner when will need a professional. Some printing services only offer event posters in standard sizes or charge more for custom sizes. NetPrintNFP does not. So there is no reason for you to feel constrained by someone who tells you to design one poster size for efficiency reasons.

So use different sized fundraising posters for different locations. You will likely have to use small for places like bulletin boards. But A3, A2 or larger are preferable for windows and wall hanging. For bigger budgets banners are an effective way to gain passing eyes.

Guideline #8: Preparation & Timing

‘Allow yourself enough time’ is valuable advice so rarely taken. Aim to start your promotion 3-4 weeks prior to your event. That means Your poster design thinking and research should have begun 6-7 weeks prior to your fundraising date. You’ll be surprised how long designing your publicity takes, particularly if several people need to be involved.

Artistic spats besides, getting ‘sign-off’ is important. But forgetful people have the knack of eating up time in spades. Even with posters, when you may have just minimum word content, you can't proof too many times. Get others to check it and read it backwards. And look for errors on line transfers,

God Save The

The Queen.

All too easily can something like this slip through:

bad sign

Production itself can be as short as 24 hours. But allow 5 days in your plan. Else you could end up paying higher premiums from some suppliers for very fast turnaround. And remember, it takes time and organization to reach all your display locations.

Guideline #9: Production & implementation

Make sure you pick your suppliers well when planning your poster campaign. Make sure your quote includes all possible costs inc. delivery. NeptrintNFP is transparent about pricing and you can use this information to ensure you know you are getting a good deal, wherever you go. NetprintNFP automatically takes care of file type and preparation, but if you are supplying to a third party make sure you are clear on the file format required and when you can expect delivery.

Additional accessories like window suckers, wire hangers and velcro stickers may also be needed for you to get the best out of your potential display locations. So don’t forget to order them at the same time.

If your fundraising poster is semi-permanent, then the addition of a pocket or plastic holder gives you the opportunity to supply cards, flyers or brochures for people to take away.

NetprintNFP offers fundraising and event posters to interact with donors, sponsored fundraisers, friends, volunteers, employees, benefactors and corporate partners. We simply help you nurture those people who would have a positive impact on your community and its ambitions.

Choose NetPrintNFP fundraising posters for your next Charity event

Your Brand & content – always protected, and always fully invested for maximum impact

Value Poster Pricing – no set-up fees, pricing from just 25p!

Best practice Knowledge Distribution – show your community what has worked well at local level

Innovation & Inspiration - new ideas to keep you fresh in your local communities

Reliable – high quality, fast and dependable poster production.