18 Free Wanted Poster Templates (Word, PDF)

A wanted poster is a document distributed to the public informing them of an alleged criminal or individual wanted by the law.

These templates were commonly used in the old-time West by law enforcers but can still be used today to inform the public of an entity being looked for by an individual or an institution.

A wanted poster usually includes a picture or facial composite of the entity being looked for and a note on why they are wanted. It may also include the form or mode of compensation for any information that may aid in the search for the person.

Although these posters were commonly used to warn people of dangerous people, they are still being used today, but their functionality has evolved. For example, they are now being used to inform the public of job openings, volunteer programs, and much more.

Wanted Poster Template

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    How to Design a Wanted Poster Template

    Wanted poster templates are a great way to convey your message to the public, and when used correctly, these posters can catch the public’s eyes and make them aware of the information you are trying to convey. In addition, posters have a powerful ability to stick in people’s minds and help you achieve what you want much more quickly.

    Here are some of the things that you should consider when designing your template to ensure maximum effectiveness:

    Identify your goal

    The first thing that you must do before designing is to identify your goal. To identify your goal, consider asking yourself the following questions: what message are you trying to convey to the public, and how would you like your audience to react after seeing the poster?

    Whether you are looking to inform the public of a dangerous person within the neighborhood, a job opening, or a call for volunteers, these two questions are fundamental as they will help you design it much more easily.

    Select your target audience

    The next step is to choose your target audience. To do this, you must ask yourself, “Whom are you trying to reach with your poster template?” By answering this question, you will understand the words, color, and theme in it.

    After choosing your target audience, the next step is to choose where you would like to share your template. The contemporary way is to print and post the poster on notice boards and walls around your target area. But with technology, now you can design and share the poster on social platforms and easily engage your followers. Your mode of sharing will determine how you optimize your poster.

    Look for pre-built posters

    The easiest way to design one is to download one that is already pre-built. With a pre-built wanted poster, you can easily customize it and add the required information within minutes. You can also use a pre-built one to draw inspiration on how to design one from scratch.

    Some of the crucial things that you should consider when choosing a pre-built poster to include:

    • Look for a template with a layout that matches your goals
    • Select the correct dimensions for where you will be sharing your poster
    • Pick a template that you can easily customize to fit your goals

    Branded color scheme

    Colors are essential as they help capture the reader’s attention. The first thing that will draw people to your poster is the color scheme you use on the poster. The color scheme you use should go with the message you are trying to convey.


    If you are trying to get the public to know about a dangerous person wanted by the authorities, you should consider using raisin black, metallic bronze, light French beige, desert sand, or pale taupe.

    Call to action

    After identifying your goal, selecting your target audience, determining where and how to share the poster, and the suitable color scheme to use, the next thing is to include a call to action. A call to action is simply what you would like your audience to do once they have the information you need.


    if you are informing the public about a dangerous person wanted by the authorities, you may consider writing something like,

    “If you have any information that can lead the authorities to John Doe, please call 911 immediately as he is armed and dangerous.”

    Use fonts to create a hierarchy of information

    The information included in the template usually depends on the subject matter of the poster. Regardless of the goal or objective of the template, it is recommended to follow a hierarchy of information. For instance, if you are creating a wanted sign for a dangerous person, the information included in your poster should follow the following order:

    1. The title of the poster,


    “Wanted” or “Wanted Person”

    1. The date of creating the poster
    2. A description of suitable applicants or a catchy tagline
    3. A call to action, for example, “If you see him/her or have any information that may lead to his/her arrest, please call 555-555-555 or 911.”

    Use high-quality image

    Most people tend to remember images more than words. Therefore, using high-quality images to help you convey your message will reach more people and appeal to their visual memory. This will help them remember the message you are conveying.


    If you are alerting the public about a dangerous person, using a clear image will help people easily remember when they spot the person and prompt them to contact the relevant parties.

    Download and export

    After creating a wanted poster template and ensuring that every piece of information is well captured, the next step is to download and export the file. If you are using a print version, your next step will be to print the file. If you are sharing the poster on social platforms, after downloading it, you can share the poster. Again, provide essential information to help the readers understand the poster and why you share it.

    Related: 30 Amazing Movie Poster Templates & Size Guide

    Wanted Poster Samples

    Unique Wanted Poster Template - Word and PDF Formats

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      How to Create a Wanted Poster

      There are three different methods of creating a template for it. These three methods include using Microsoft Word, Paint, and Photoshop. Below is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to using them to create an appealing poster guaranteed to capture your audience’s attention.

      Method 1: Using Microsoft Word

      Microsoft Word is one of the most readily available software that anyone can use to create it.

      Step 1

      Start by opening Microsoft Word. Open the default blank page and select the “Page Layout” tab at the top of the workspace. Next, click on the size button just directly below the tab. Select the “More paper sizes” option. Next, pull down the “Paper size” drop-down menu and select a poster size fit for your use. Click on the “OK” button, and the default document will automatically be resized.

      Step 2

      The next step is to include the poster’s title at the very top middle part of the document.


      You can write “WANTED,”  or “MOST WANTED.”

      Next, highlight the title and click on the “Home” tab; select the options in the “Font” section of the toolbar to increase the font size and change the font type.

      Step 3

      After creating a great title and using the correct font color, size, and type, the next step is to skip a line by clicking on the “Enter” button and inserting a picture or image. To insert the image, click on the “Insert” tab, and select “Picture,” you will be redirected to your computer’s folders. Select an image you would like to insert into the poster and double-click on it to add it to the poster.

      PRO TIP

      Ensure that the image you use is of good quality.

      Press the enter key after aligning the image at the right spot and type in the information about the person and why they are wanted.

      Step 4

      The next step is to select the color you would like to use on the poster. To do this, click on the “Page Layout” tab, select “Page color,” which is in the middle of the toolbar, and select the color you would like to use on the poster by clicking on the small colored square.

      Step 5

      After ensuring that the information, color scheme, and words included in the poster are correct, the next step is to save the file into the computer. To do this, click on the “File” tab and select “Save as,” save the file with a name such as Wanted Person Poster or Wanted, and click on “Save” to save it to the computer. After saving it, you can choose to print or share it on your socials.

      Method 2: Using paint

      The second method is to use Paint to create the template. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to go for it.

      Step 1

      Open Paint and select “Open.” You will be directed to your computer’s files. Select an image you would like to insert into the wanted poster and double-click to insert. The image will open in the Paint workspace. Click on the Paint button and select the “Properties.” Set the height at 24 and width at 18, and click on the “OK” button to resize. Drag the image to the middle of the poster.

      Step 2

      The next step is to include the title. To do this, click on the “A” icon in the “Tools” section to activate the text tool. Next, choose a font type, color, and size and type the poster’s title at the top part of the poster.

      Step 3

      After providing the title for the poster, the next step is to provide additional information to help your audience understand what the poster is all about. To do this, click below the photo and use a smaller text size. Type the information you would like your audience to know about regarding the poster. Why the image has been used, or why has the title “Wanted” been used.

      Step 4

      Next is to set the color scheme for the poster. To do this, click on the “Colors” section and select a color that best suits the poster. Next, click on the “Fill with color” tool and select anywhere on the poster where you would like to fill it with a colored background.

      Step 5

      After writing the title, using a great description, and selecting the color scheme, the next step is to save the poster. To do this, click on the “Paint button,” select “Save As,” type the name of the poster, and click “Save.” The file will be saved in the location you choose on your computer. You can choose to print the poster or distribute it on your socials from there.

      Method 3: Using Photoshop

      The last method is to use Photoshop. Photoshop is one of the most sought-after software when it comes to photo and poster editing.

      Here is a step-by-step comprehensive breakdown of how to use Photoshop to create a wanted poster template.

      Step 1

      To create a wanted poster template on Photoshop, Open Photoshop, click on “File,” and select “New.” Type the name of the poster into the “Name” box. Set the height of the poster to 24 and the width to 18, and click the “OK” button to resize the file.

      Step 2

      The next step is to insert the image into the poster. To insert the image, click on the “File” button and select “Open.” Next, select the image you would like to insert. Next, press and hold down the control–“Ctrl” key and drag and drop the photo onto the poster. Set the image to a standard size by pulling down the “Edit menu,” selecting “Transform,” and clicking on “Scale” to resize the picture to fit the poster.

      Step 3

      The next step is to set the font size, color, and text into the poster. To do this, click on the “T” icon; for the font type, click on the “Type” tool in the “Tools” section. Select a font for the poster and choose the size and the color from the toolbar at the top of the screen. Next, click the top of the template and type in the name of the poster.

      Step 4

      The next step is to provide information about the person, entity, or why you are creating the poster. Ensure that the font you use will be visible enough for everyone to read with ease.

      Step 5

      The fifth and last step is to save the file. To do this, click on the “File” menu, select “Save as,” and select “Save,” and the file will be saved on your computer. From there, you can print or distribute the poster on your social media sites.

      Color Scheme for Wanted Poster

      The most common color scheme used on wanted posters usually comprises 6 colors, named as:

      • Raisin Black (#281E18)
      • Metallic Bronze (#AE773F)
      • Peru (#C38945)
      • Light French Beige (#D1A879)
      • Pale Taupe (#BC9A76)
      • Desert Sand (#DECBB6)


      A wanted poster template can be helpful in many ways; for instance, it can be used to seek out a fugitive, or a missing child, or even advertise a job opening. When used to inform the public about a fugitive, the poster can help multiply the number of eyes focused on finding the fugitive and increase the chances of capture.By incorporating images of the person being looked for, describing why the poster has been set up, and including a call to action, you can quickly meet your goal by printing and sharing the poster on your social media pages. Remember to use a color scheme that goes with your message. For instance, if the poster is about a fugitive, use a brown background with a “WANTED PERSON” title in bold at the top center of the poster.

      About This Article

      Nick B.
      Authored by:
      Brand / Graphic Design, Illustration, UI / Visual Design
      Badhon is a highly skilled and passionate graphic designer specializing in logo branding. With a wealth of experience in the field, Badhon excels at creating visually captivating designs that effectively communicate brand identities. Their expertise lies in crafting unique and impactful logos that leave a lasting impression. Badhon's commitment to excellence and attention to detail make them a sought-after professional in the industry.

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