Custom designed poster boards on Canva

How to Design Custom Poster Boards Using Canva

Brian Kroeker

May 16, 2024


  • Custom poster boards are great for a number of things—from displaying event details to presenting data and information to your audience.
  • Canva offers free templates so you can create a custom poster board for your next event or presentation.
  • Keep the design simple and clean, with eye-catching yet readable fonts, an on-brand colour palette, and other fully-customizable design elements.
  • When you’re finished with your design in Canva, submit your files to Little Rock for professional printing. We offer in-house printing services, custom order sizes with no minimums, and free proofs before you submit your full order.

If you’re looking for a way to present information and data that’s unique and eye-catching, a custom poster board is a good option. Poster boards are durable enough for indoor or outdoor use, so they’re a fan-favourite print option for event displays, like at a wedding, open house, science fair, or trade show.

The great thing about a custom poster board is that you can use it for a simple one-time presentation or print a waterproof, grommeted display to use for multiple events. Our experts at Little Rock Printing can not only show you how to design them to achieve the best product possible, but we can print them for you in basically any shape or size!

See Also:

Custom poster board for Eighty Eight Brewing Co. by Little Rock Printing

Best Practices for Designing Effective Custom Poster Boards

The first thing you need to consider when designing a custom poster board is what you want your poster board to accomplish and how you want to lay out your design. To make a lasting impression, it’s important to provide quick and easy details that capture your viewer’s attention.

For an effective custom poster board design, we recommend focusing on these areas:

  • Define Your Audience: Before designing, define your target audience and create thoughtful messaging that appeals to your prospective viewers or customers. Be sure to include all pertinent information on your poster board like your company or personal name, a headline or event title, important information, a call to action, and any other project-specific details as needed.
  • Choose Your Specs: Depending on the message you want to convey, choose the size and space you’ll need to tell your story in a clean and creative way.
    • Determine the shape of your custom poster board (we can print square, rectangle, or custom shapes)
    • Choose your size (our default size is 24×36 inches, but we can go bigger or smaller)
    • Choose a single or double-sided poster board
  • Visual Appeal: Crisp colours, images, and bold typography are a great way to capture your viewer’s attention. It’s best to use your company or event’s overall colour palette so you’re consistent with your brand’s identity. Consider using eye-catching illustrations, photographs, charts, or graphics.
  • Clarity: Make sure the message is easy to understand and digestible. Clear and concise information is crucial. If you’re looking to display a lot of information or data, you may want to consider grids or tables with columns and rows for easy reading.
  • Call to Action: Encourage your viewers to take a specific action at the end of your custom poster board, whether it’s checking out your website or following your company on social media. Adding a QR code is a great way to make the poster board actionable on the spot.

Starting With Canva

Canva is an easy place to design print products like custom poster boards, plus it’s free to use! To get started, create your free Canva account and click the “Sign Up” button in the upper-right corner.

Canva's template tool for a custom wedding poster board

Step 1: Choose Your Template

Once you’re set up in Canva, you’ll be able to choose from an array of available template options for your custom poster board.

If you have a Canva Pro account you can adjust the size of the template. Simply:

  • Click the “Magic Switch” button near the top of the screen to see a list of resize options.
  • Scroll down and click “Custom Size” to add your own dimensions to the template.

If you’re looking for other printed materials for your business or event, we offer a variety of print-ready Canva templates here.

For Best Results:

  • Prepare the content and images for your poster board in advance to help you decide which template to go with and save time once you start designing.
  • If you want more control over your design, consider upgrading to Canva Pro for access to premium features.
Canva's font tool for a custom wedding poster board

Step 2: Customize Text For Your Poster Board

Now that you’ve chosen a custom poster board template (for this example we’re using a welcome sign for a wedding), add the messaging you want to include on your poster board. Replace the placeholder text with your own and remove or add any text boxes as needed.

For Best Results:

  • Remember all the information that you want to include on your poster board (company or personal names, important data, event details, etc.).

Leave enough space in your design so that the text doesn’t feel too crowded. You also want to allow space to add your company logo, images, or other graphics (including a QR code).

Canva's upload photo tool for a custom wedding poster board

Step 3: Insert Hi-Res Images or Graphics

After you’ve picked a template and edited the text, you’ll want to insert any images, tables, graphics, or QR codes. If your selected Canva template came with a stock image or graphics, simply right-click and select “Delete” to remove it.

To add an image or graphic, click on the “File” tab on the top left of the screen then select “Import Files”. Click “Choose Files” or simply drag and drop the files from your desktop.

Once your photo or graphic has been uploaded, you may need to go back and fix any spacing issues surrounding the image.

For Best Results:

  • Keep images simple but punchy and choose something that aligns with your current brand and style.
  • Be sure your company or personal name is prominent.
  • Make sure all raster images have resolutions of 300 dpi or better and have them saved to your computer ahead of time.
  • If you’re not including a QR code linking to your website, be sure to add your URL which people typically expect to see near the bottom of the poster board.
Canva's styles tool for a custom wedding poster board

Step 4: Customize Design Elements

Once all of your basic details are laid out, you can start playing around with design elements like the colour palette and backgrounds. There’s also a section in Canva called “Styles” where you can choose from pre-made colour palettes.

For Best Results:

  • Choose a background colour or texture that suits your brand and message.
  • Use readable fonts and ensure the text is clear and easy to understand with your colour palette.

Step 5: Review Your Work, Save & Download PDF

Once you’re happy with your custom poster board design, take one last review of your project. This is a good time to look for any typos, errors, or inconsistencies before you submit your final product.

Submitting Your Design to Little Rock for Printing

You’re almost ready to print your poster boards! To ensure high-quality prints, be sure to save and download your custom poster boards in a print-friendly format like PDF. There’s even an option in Canva to select “PDF Print” specifically for printing purposes.

Follow these easy steps to prep for printing:

  • Go to “Share” in the upper right corner.
  • Select “Download” from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose “PDF Print” under “File Type.”
  • Include “Crop marks and bleeds.”
  • Choose “Flatten PDF.”
  • Opt for “CMYK” under “Colour Profile.” (This does require Canva Pro)
  • Click the “Download” button to export as a PDF.

Once you place your order, your design will be printed on a 3mm poster board with a smooth finish and a solid core. This print product works really well leaning on an easel, making it easy to move or adjust. You can also decide to add grommets if you want to hang the poster board.

Real-World Examples

Need some inspiration for your custom poster board? Take a look at some awesome design options that we printed in-house!

Custom wedding seating chart poster board printed by Little Rock Printing

We receive a lot of orders for custom wedding signs and seating charts on poster boards. Customers love the smooth finish of the board and it’s easy to display on an easel. This couple chose a simple layout with easy-read fonts and a blue and white colour scheme that matched their wedding colours.

Custom poster boards for Cold Garden Beverage Company printed by Little Rock Printing

These custom poster boards were made for Cold Garden Beverage Company in Calgary. The design mirrors the company’s logo and the colour palette is consistent for brand identity. These were really fun to make since we got to print a custom shape!

Rely on Little Rock Printing For All Your Printing Needs

It’s easy to print without limits when you partner with Little Rock. Design your one-of-a-kind poster board, then choose from our sizing and shape options for the highest quality product possible.

Contact the Little Rock Printing experts if you have questions about your specific order, or check out the FAQ section below for more details on making custom poster boards work for your next event.

Frequently Asked Questions About Custom Poster Boards

Where Can I Use Custom Poster Boards?

Poster boards are a great way to display event details or present data or information. Consider using custom poster boards at events like:

  • Weddings, birthdays or other celebrations
  • Trade shows
  • Educational events or science fairs
  • Open houses

Posters, Poster Boards & Art Prints: What’s the Difference?

We offer high-quality printing for all posters, poster boards, and art prints. However, each of these products has applications better suited to them than others:

  • Posters are ideal for blowing up photographs and are typically meant to be mounted indoors
  • Poster Boards are excellent for displaying text and graphic design work and are commonly used for indoor or outdoor signage
  • Art Prints are best for capturing the texture and vibrant colours of rich, complex images and are best for more sensitive indoor environments

Can I Put Multiple Poster Board Designs in the Same Order?

Yes! As long as your designs are the same size and ordered at the same time.

To place multiple poster board designs in the same order, choose the total number of poster boards for all orders above when placing your order online. Then, send all design files to [email protected] and specify the breakdown for each (for example: 4 designs with 10 copies each).

How Do I Order Proofs?

Easy—we don’t have a minimum order size, so you can just place an order for a single custom poster board and make sure it’s what you want before ordering the rest! We also offer a free hard-copy proof at checkout for orders over $100.

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