Make a Simple but Truly Effective Free-item Poster Design

By on May 13, 2012 — Updated on February 9, 2016

Giving away freebies along with every purchase made in your store is the most popular and effective technique of promoting sales.

If you have a bigger retail store, your suppliers of different brands will also take initiative to give away free items through your outlet, but, usually the free items don’t come with a poster to inform your customers that you have such promotion, and it would be your initiative as retail store owner to make the poster to encourage more sales.

Posters are part of visual merchandising which are of great help to deliver important information to your shoppers. Here are few things you need to remember when making a poster of free items.


The Headline

Simply use the ‘FREE (name of the item)‘ pattern for the headline, but you can create customize headline if want and you feel it to be more effective; perhaps yo can use ‘A Gift for You’.

Avoid using ‘Gratis’ or ‘Libre’ because these words are not familiar to many and may lessen the effectiveness of your poster. Use simple and common words as possible.

The Photo of the Item

The photo will give the costumers a instant view about what item they can get for free. Make sure that you have a presentable photo to add impact or else, it will work against you.

You can shoot the item by your own or find some available royalty free photo of the item in the internet. You also need to know about post processing if you shoot the item by your own.

The Content

This will tell your customers how they could acquire the free item. Usually we use, “With every purchase of  (something or specific amount) you can get one FREE .” Make you statement clear and straightforward if you are constructing your content.

Avoid adding to much modifiers which will only add confusion to the message you are trying to tell.

Make it short and as snappy as you can.

The Company Logo

This is the identity of your business that should appear on you printed materials. By doing this, you’re promoting the product and your business at the same time.

The Terms and Conditions

This is the detailed information about your promotion, this may include the time frame, the availability of stocks, where and how to claim the free items and so on.

Make sure to make your terms and conditions are clear and very specific to avoid misunderstanding. Add a note for your customers to ask for further information from the sales staff to clarify the details of the promotion. Here are Terms and Conditions Templates that may help you.

The white space is also important

White space is the part design which has no objects or an empty area that is intended to let the eyes of your audience rest, but white space it is not necessary to be white. On the above image, the white space is literally indicated – the white portion.

Do not try to add many effects and decorations on your design if they won’t help to deliver the right message to your customers. A white background is best if what to save ink of your printer. Aside from white space, your layout is also important because a poor layout could lead to misunderstanding.

And lastly, do not use ‘FREE GIFTS’ because any dictionary defines ‘gift’ as something given voluntarily without payment in return. This means that a gift is indeed free. This means that it is redundant to use FREE as modifier of GIFT.

Thank you for reading, Godspeed!

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  1. metalpig design

    June 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Really great tips when designing an effective poster for promoting products… and I also think that nobody can’t get wrong when adding the word FREE in big and bold colors.. 😉
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  2. tatess

    June 18, 2012 at 1:53 am

    “free gifts”. yeah ,I just realized that after reading this post. Gift is indeed free so no need to add “free” before the word. Business strategies and marketing is really effective for a business to survive.
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  3. carmel

    June 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    The word FREE really attracts. 🙂 Some merchants also trick their customers with putting on the price in large letters and below in small letters the weight, not per kilo but per half kilo. For instance, in SM supermarket, in the mangoes section, a big P80 (or P70) and below it “1/2 kilo”. hehehe… mahal.
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  4. RonLeyba

    June 26, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Proper spacing and color combination as well as the borders are extremely important as well. Great info once again!
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