Saving energy and water, recycling, reducing waste and using sustainable transport are just a few themes championed by poster campaigns we’ve designed for the University of Bristol. Their success has revealed that despite advances in digital technology the humble poster still has an important role to play in communication.
After launching the “You wouldn’t want a lecture on waste” poster campaign (see our design above) the University of Bristol Sustainability Department found clear evidence that posters were influencing behavioural change. Using a tongue in cheek approach the posters encouraged students to take responsibility for their litter, rather than leaving it in lecture theatres. Combined with our recycling posters (see our portfolio) students were persuaded to put their waste in recycling bins outside the lecture theatres rather than leaving it to be sent to landfill. The result: there was a 90% drop in waste in the first couple of months after the campaign was launched, levelling out at 70% reduction in waste. The University told us “This was seen as a direct result of the effectiveness of the campaign.”
“Posters reach out more effectively because there’s less choice on the part of who sees them.You can’t control what you see when you’re driving down the street” according to Carol Wells, director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. In contrast “the only people who find you on the Internet are people who are looking for you”. Have a look at The Power of Print to see how posters use font size, style and colour to grip the attention of passers-by.
The key to a strong poster campaign is to keep the message striking and simple. To have real impact posters should be up for a short period of time. You might catch a subliminal glance of a poster on the first day it goes up; but it won’t be until the third or fourth time it’s seen that the message will really be taken in.
Before you embark on a behavioural change campaign, make sure you have a baseline measure and gather statistics before you start, so you can monitor the effectiveness of the campaign. Don’t forget to consider your carbon footprint when printing posters: use FSC or recycled paper, vegetable based ink where possible and avoid waste by proofing before you print!
Image sourced: Green Hat Designstagsgreen hat designsgreen marketingwork and business