How to Create Your Own One-Piece Wanted Poster

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How to Create Your Own One-Piece Wanted Poster
Take a head shot of your subject in Western clothes for your "Wanted" poster. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

"Wanted" posters represent a time when outlaws ruled the West and law officers were on constant lookout for them. If you have an occasion for which you need one of these posters, because you want to recreate some of the visual iconography of the Old West, you can make a "Wanted" poster of your own. With the new advances in digital design programs, it's possible to create such a poster in an afternoon.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Sketch pad and supplies
  • Digital camera and accessories
  • Computer
  • Layout and design program
  • Printer
  • Paper

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Instructions

    Preliminary Phase

  1. 1

    Make a sketched poster dummy. This not only allows you to work out the textual information you'll use for the poster, it also gives you an idea of the size of poster you want to make. If you're printing the poster on your home computer, you may want to stick with paper sizes that fit standard computers -- 8 1/2 by 11 inches or 8 1/2 by 14. The size you choose will affect the layout of the poster, so work out those details in this step. Make sure the drawing fills only one page so you have a one-piece poster.

  2. 2

    Use proper visual grammar when designing your "Wanted" poster. These elements tell your reader what's most important on the poster. Size of the font and placement of elements like headlines and photos are some of the most important visual clues you can give the reader.

  3. 3

    Design with a balance of white space. A good use of white space makes the pictures and the text stand out more.

    Computer Design Phase

  1. 1

    Create a folder on your computer desktop to keep all of the materials related to your "Wanted" poster in one place. Save everything in your file folder.

  2. 2

    Take a photograph of the person. Take head shots. Having your subject dress up in some Wild West elements, such as a big hat and bandanna, will add an air of authenticity. If the occasion for which you're making this poster is a surprise, you may have to be a bit secretive about why you want the photos.

  3. 3

    Upload the photo to your computer using the accessories that came with the camera. Save them in your file folder.

  4. 4

    Create a document in your graphic design program. Use the graphic design and layout program you know best; this prevents you from having to learn a new program while you design the "Wanted" poster. Some common layout programs include Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher and Quark.

  5. 5

    Add the textual elements of your poster following the template you made in the sketching process.

  6. 6

    Place the photo in the poster. Work with the sizing of it so the picture stands out when you print it.

  7. 7

    Load the paper in your printer and print out your posters. To do this, go to "File" and then "Print". Once the pop-up menu comes up, select your printer from the drop-down menu and hit "OK." Make as many posters as you need for your event.

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