There has been a lot of buzz lately about the benefits of visual content.
This conversation has infiltrated virtually every facet of businesses–from marketing to analytics to HR.
Particularly, there has been discussion in recent years about the importance of communicating your brand’s story internally.
In many ways, HR professionals are internal marketers–it’s the HR professional’s job to help communicate and carry out your company’s values in the workplace.
HR professionals are internal marketers
Many people are finding visual content to be a powerful tool for communicating to team members.
You’ve probably seen the popularly quoted statistic that 65% of people are visual learners.
That means that there’s a good chance that a large portion of your team are visual learners.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt, in that case, to introduce more visual content into your workplace.
So how do you leverage visual learning capabilities to enable better communication between management and employees?
Partly through engaging visuals in the workplace.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the benefits of creating posters to promote internal events with how to engage employees.
Communicating Company Values Through Engaging Posters
The kind of signage that you put up around your workplace in general communicates values to employees. Even posters for business events.
As an HR professional, you know that employee engagement is a constant concern.
Employee engagement, skills enrichment and company culture can all be fostered through business events.
The problem is, if you don’t present these events in an enticing way, many employees will just see them as another obligation.
65% of people are visual learners
Put yourself in the shoes of other employees.
If you were to walk by a poorly designed poster with cheesy clip art, hard to read fonts and a general sense of minimal effort, would you care what the poster has to say?
You wouldn’t pay it much attention, would you?
Even if the poster is advertising something fun and useful like a presentation from an influencer in your company’s industry.
Odds are you would barely glance at it before walking away.
The case is similar for posters distributed through email.
While the subject line of an email may get the attention of readers, the moment their eyes fall on a corny poster, they are likely to think, “oh, another boring work function.”
But a nicely designed poster communicates the professionalism of the event, the important of the event, and the value of the event.
After all, people are busy. They want to know that a business event will be worth their time.
Nicely designed poster communicates the professionalism of the event
This is where really good visual communication is important.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: I’m an HR professional, not a graphic designer.
But there’s no reason why you wouldn’t benefit from knowing some basic principles of good design.
Plus, knowing how to make beautiful posters for events will actually save you time and save your team money, since you won’t have to turn to a designer.
This is particularly the case if you work at a small company. In small companies, every employee will probably have to try on several different hats on a regular basis.
Being able to turn out a snazzy piece of visual content in a short amount of time is a valuable skill transferable to many roles you may inhabit in the future.
What Makes for a Beautiful and Functional Poster Design?
The first step in getting employees involved in an event is to introduce them to what the event is all about.
The second step is to show them the value of the event.
To achieve the first step and make employees aware of your event, you need a beautiful and eye-catching design.
Your design can look any number of different ways, but there are a couple of basic elements of good poster design that you should be mindful of.
Generally, bright colors are ideal to catch readers’ attention, particularly if you’re designing your poster for print.
If you’re designing for web, just make sure the colors aren’t so glaring that they hurt readers’ eyes.
Instead of using small and detailed visuals, aim to use one clear focus visual that reflects the theme of the event.
The theme should dictate which colors you use.
Rarely will you want to use a darkly lit image; brightly lit images are better for evoking positive emotions in readers.
There are certain colors that are iconic of certain events.
For example, green and red are associated with Christmas, while black and orange are associated with Halloween (this is one of the rare cases where you would want to give your poster a dark and spooky feel).
For a skill building workshop, a corporate blue will be indicative of a professional work event.
For example, take this poster for a holiday party from Venngage that uses a green color swatch over an image of holiday lights.
Whichever direction you choose to go with your design, remember that readability is the most important aspect.
If your poster is difficult to read, people won’t understand.
Tell Readers what They Need to Know, and That’s It
Once you’ve captured the attention of readers through a beautiful design, you have to sell them on your event.
To convince readers that your event presents value, your copy needs to be concise and convincing.
For posters advertising events, it’s best to keep your copy minimal and to the point. Follow a hierarchy of information that focuses on the details of the event:
- Name of event
- Company or department title
- Short description of the event or a catchy tagline
- Date and time of the event
- Location of event
- If necessary, where they can find more information
That’s really all you need. The shorter and more concise your text is, the more freedom you’ll have to play around with fonts.
The hierarchy of information applies not only to the order in which your information should appear, but also the font size.
The focus of the poster should be the name of the event, in big and easy to read font.
You can place the name of the event either at the top of the poster or in the center, with the other information circling around it.
After that, you can play around with the font sizes and the various other pieces of information.
The poster below from Designspiration is a great example of both information hierarchy and using three different fonts:
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t use more than three different fonts on one poster.
Too many different fonts will make your design look cluttered and disorganized.
Print Your Poster in an Appropriate Size
You know when you go to download an image and it turns out to be huge and you get really annoyed?
You don’t want that to happen when people download your poster.
Generally, 1080 x 1080 dpi are safe dimensions for email graphics. A square is also compatible for both desktop and mobile.
Similarly, a poster that you pin up on a wall should be big enough for people walking by to read.
Odds are you will want to design it to fit a regular piece of paper for the sake of saving money.
In this case, make sure the elements on your poster are evenly aligned with the margins of the page and that the font and images you use are big enough to be viewed from two meters away.
Visual Stimulation is Important for Productivity
Introducing more visuals into the workplace isn’t just a matter of communication.
A 2006 study showed that a lack of visual stimulation throughout the day negatively affects workers’ ability to stay alert.
But when visual stimulation like color variation and light is introduced into the workspace, employees are able to stay more alert.
Lack of visual stimulation throughout the day negatively affects workers’ ability to stay alert
So the more beautiful visual communication you introduce into your workplace, the more visual stimulation you’ll be offering employees.
And if those visual communications also get employees more involved in work activities and events, then even better.
The Poster Design Process
If you don’t know where to start with your design, try using a tool that offers poster templates, like Venngage.
Once you get comfortable with personalizing templates, you will be able to create more original designs.
This infographics walks you through the process of creating an attention-grabbing poster:
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Sara McGuire is a Content Editor at Venngage infographics. When she isn’t writing research-driven articles for a number of business and marketing sites, she enjoys reading graphic novels and writing music reviews.
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