How to Design a Poster for Litter

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you're on a committee to clean up your neighbourhood or trying to help students toss their trash more neatly in your school, you can create litter posters with just a few clicks on your computer using software already included with your installation. Make posters that point to nearby garbage cans, teach the importance of keeping an area clean or explain which recyclables may be placed in the available containers without having to pay for graphic design or art companies to create your signs.

Open Word and click "File," then click "Page Setup." Click the "Page" tab and scroll to "Custom," then input the height and weight of your poster. Standard frames for posters come in 18-inch by 24-inch sizes; paper is also available in 11-inch by 17-inch sizes as well. Click the "OK" button.

(Optional) Click the "Insert" menu, then choose "Picture" and select "From File." Browse to a location on your computer where you have images stored for the poster, such as a photo of your school, campground or garbage can. Double-click an image and it appears on the workspace.

Click the "Insert" menu, then choose "Picture" and select "Clip Art." Pull down the arrow in the "Search in" box and make sure all boxes are checked. Pull down the arrow in the "Results should be" box and check "Clip Art" and "Photographs." Type "trash can" or "dumpster" into the "Search for" box and click "Go." When you find an image you like, double-click it and it appears on the workspace.

Position your cursor at the top of the page and type "Place litter here." Highlight the words with your mouse and cursor, then pull down the font size menu on the toolbar and change the font to a large size. Change the font to an eye-catching, bold font such as Rockwell Extra Bold or Elephant. Change the colour to red or a bright pink.

Type more text onto the poster, such as benefits of throwing away trash, how litter could attract animals and the importance of taking pride in the environment.

Click the "Insert" menu and select "Symbol." On the "Symbol" tab, click the down-pointing arrow (if your poster will be hung above a litter can) and then click the "Insert" button. Position your cursor to the left of the arrow and press the "Enter" key to move the arrow to the bottom of the page. Then highlight it with your cursor and change the font size to 72 points and change the colour to red or bright pink.

(Optional) Click the "Format" menu and select "Background." Click a box to colour the entire background of the poster in that colour or click the "Fill Effects" link to choose a textured pattern such as a sunburst or tye-dye.


Another program that may have been included in your installation of Microsoft Office, Publisher, can also be used to design a litter poster and has a variety of preset options that may aid in your design work.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word
  • (Optional) Digital images
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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.