When a family member goes missing, the affected family goes through a difficult time. They spend most of their time searching for them. When they cannot find them, they seek help from the public and police. To help pass the message widely, they design a missing person poster that can be displayed strategically in places where people will easily see it. The family should choose an easy-to-use missing person template but also remember to follow the rules.
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Missing Poster Templates
What is a missing person poster?
A missing person poster is a design that is printed and displayed in public places to alert them about a person who’s gone missing. The poster contains a short description of the missing person, their photo, and contact information. The family decides the size of the poster they’d prefer to print. They should observe the state laws governing the distribution and displaying of posters.
Missing Person Templates
Types of missing person posters
If you have the right missing person template, you can create your own missing person poster. The most important thing is to know the size of the poster you want to create and the information to include. There are different types of missing person posters as follows:
- Missing person flyer with two pictures. You use a missing person flyer when you want to insert the photo of the missing person and another one showing the clothes they were wearing when they went missing. It helps the public easily identify the person when they see their face and clothes. Like other types of posters, the missing person flyer should contain a brief description of the person and contact information.
- A group of missing persons poster. This type of missing person poster is also called a multiple missing person poster. They contain photos of more than one missing person. The missing person template for this poster needs to be bigger to accommodate more than one photo, including the description of each. The missing persons could be from one family or different families.
- Missing person poster. This is a missing person sign containing one photo. The missing person template used for this poster is mostly standard. It can accommodate all the information required.
- Red missing person poster. A red missing person poster is designed with a bright red border. Its purpose is to easily attract people’s attention so that they can take a minute to read and observe the details.
- Abducted person poster. This is a missing person sign designed when the family members are strongly convinced the person must have been abducted. The family might have the details of the abductor as captured in the CCTV. If they have the footage, they should put the photo of the abducted person and that of their abductor.
What size should a missing person poster be?
Before you choose the size of the missing person template you want to use, confirm with the local laws to know the right poster sizes allowed. The building where you want to display the poster might also have guidelines on the size of posters allowed. Poster sizes can be as follows:
- A5 paper size measures 148mm x 210mm
- A4 size measures 210mm x 297mm
- A3 size measures 297mm x 420mm
Check with the local government requirements if the posters require approval before displaying. There could also be a fee payable according to the days the posters will be displayed. Commercial buildings might charge to display posters on their notice walls.
Missing Person Flyers
Information to include in a missing person poster
The person designing the missing person sign should have a customizable missing sign template. It should include the following information.
The wording in the missing person sign should be bold and legible. It matters the colors you choose. Write the words in bold such as:
- “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PERSON?”
- “HELP FIND ME”
To help attract people’s attention, put the word/s on top of the poster and in bold. Choose the brightest colors for the wording. The purpose is to make it easily visible to passersby.
Make sure you insert the photo of the missing person in the missing person template. Ensure the photo is full color and captures their full face. Blurry photographs will not be well visible. They might not be effective when searching for a missing person.
There should not be other people in the photo. Choose a photo where the person is alone. Another rule is not to use an old photo. The missing person could be 20 years old but you use a photo taken when they were 15 years old. That age difference is big and the public may never correctly identify the person.
The best photo to use is one that is not more than three months old. Within that period, the person’s physical features cannot have changed much. Some people can trace the photo to remove the background, which is okay. It helps to make the photo clearer.
The missing person sign should have the full names of the missing person. If they are known by a nickname, write the nickname in brackets. Someone who only recognizes them by their nickname will easily recognize the name.
A person’s height is measured in feet and inches. Indicate their exact height if you have recorded it recently. If you are not certain about their height, write an approximated figure. Write the missing person’s weight if you know their exact weight or an approximated weight.
Indicate the missing person’s age. Sometimes a person can look older or younger than their age. If this case applies to them, mention it in the missing person poster.
You may describe the missing person’s color in different ways. You can describe them according to:
- Race – White, Black, Asian American, etc.
- Eye color – Blue, gray, amber, brown, etc.
- Hair color – Blonde, black, red, brunette, etc.
- Skin complexion – Dark, light brown, pale white, etc.
Physical traits that are easily recognizable
Describe the unique traits the missing person might have. They could be tall, short, or medium. They might also have an easily recognizable scar, tattoo, glasses, etc. You may indicate in the missing person sign if the person has any easily noticeable health issues.
They could be mentally sick, visually impaired, have speech problems, hearing issues, or have another kind of physical disability. It might help to offer the missing person medical attention if found.
Location last seen
Describe in the missing person poster the location and time they were last seen. If you know the clothes they were wearing at that time, describe them.
You can give an incentive to the person who will give information that will help lead to the missing person.
You can add the telephone of the nearest police station or 911. Most people do not add their personal numbers for security reasons. If you are comfortable with adding your number, you can add it at the bottom part of the poster.
Missing Sign Templates
How do I make a missing poster?
If your family member goes missing, your first step should be to try to find them the soonest. Unless they are a child, many people wait for another one or two days when the missing person is an adult. They could have visited a friend or relative. If it is not normal for them to go anywhere without letting someone know, you will have a reason to be concerned.
You can call relatives, their workplace, school, or friends. If they are still missing, you can report to the nearest police station or check the health care centers nearby. If you are not successful in all these steps, this is the time you plan to print the missing person poster. To create a well-visible missing person poster, follow these steps.
Gather all the information you require
Gather every information that will help you describe the person correctly. Get their full-color photograph and any details that might be useful in the description. This can be information about the clothes they were wearing last, the place seen last, their color, height, etc.
Get a missing person template
You need to save time by designing a missing person poster fast. The best way out is to get a custom-made missing person template. Decide the size of the poster you want to design and a template that will fit your chosen size.
Formatting your own missing poster
The first step when formatting your own missing person poster is to download the right missing person template. It is easy to format the poster if you are using a pre-designed template because you will only need to fill in the correct information. Once you have downloaded the right missing person template, you can move to the next step.
Decide your preferred font
The type of font you choose is very important. The legibility of the missing person sign is crucial. People might easily ignore reading a poster that doesn’t look legible from a distance. You could be templated to mix several different fonts but this will only make the poster look disorganized.
The best type of font to choose is the bold type. Ignore the fancy fonts and go for those that are clear. The fancy fonts are mostly hard to read. If you find it difficult to choose a good font, just opt to use the ones in the missing person template, they will work for you.
Choose the background color/s
You must be very particular with the background color you choose. Some colors make it hard to read the important content. Have in mind that the important content is the information about the missing person. Their names, alias names, last seen, and other descriptions are what is important and not the background color.
However, if you must choose a background color, go for lighter colors. Darker colors would make the texts hard to read. The colors must match well with the texts and the missing person photo. Another option is to create a border around the template and leave the middle part white. You may also add a light color in the middle and fade it out as if taking it further into the background.
Decide if you want to add tabs with your contact information
The missing person poster will have your contact information. However, someone might not have somewhere to write the number or have time to write it. This is where the idea of adding tabs comes in. They are added below the poster and you must cut in between the numbers. If a person needs one, they will just easily rip it out and carry it with them.
Insert the missing person photograph
The best photo to insert is a colored photo. If you don’t have any, you can opt for black and white. What is most important is to ensure the photo is clear. The photo is an important component of the missing person sign. It easily shows the features of the missing person. The photo should be inserted in the middle of the poster.
Place the header
The header should be simple. Place it at the top of the poster and center it. Do not add too much information but only write the word/s “MISSING,” “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PERSON?”, etc. Your goal is to make the header clear and legible from a distance. Presentation is crucial because people shall ignore a poster that looks boring.
Write important details about the person
Create bullets and describe the missing person. Describe their names, skin color, eye color, special physical features, the clothing they were last wearing, and where they were last seen. It could be likely that they are still wearing the same clothes, which makes it easy to identify them.
Write your contact information
It is important that you will have informed the police by this time. The police might give you a contact number that they can be contacted if the person is found. Another important number to include is 911 which everyone can easily remember. You may include your number if you are comfortable doing so.
Specify your reward
Just mention there is a reward without necessarily specifying the amount. It could attract unfaithful people who can create false information and claim the reward. Only be sure that the reward is ready with you to give the person who leads you to your missing relative.
Distribute the missing person posters
Distribute the missing person posters widely and post them online too.