Fostering a positive environment inside the classroom is an important part of a child’s educational experience. Below, we look at 20 inspiring classroom poster designs and provide you with 10 templates that you can download and hang up in your own classroom.
There’s so much you learn in school, both academic (like multiplication tables and how to read and write) and social (like how to connect with your classmates and play nice in the sandbox).
But creating an environment that fosters learning and discovery is about more than teaching things out of a book. Classrooms offer an opportunity to inspire students, help them discover their potential, and get them excited about learning—and a great way to do that? Inspiring classroom posters.
Classroom posters can not only inspire, but it can teach us a lot about how to craft a design that delivers a message—in a visually impactful way that makes a lasting impression on students.
Let’s take a look at 20 of the most inspiring classroom poster designs from around the globe and why each one works from a design perspective.
Inspiring classroom posters
One of the most important roles a teacher has is to inspire students. There are plenty of ways you can inspire your classroom, whether it's by seeing the best in every student and encouraging them to reach their potential or by finding new and creative ways to make learning come alive for your class.
But one of the simplest (and most effective) ways to inspire your students is through posters. When you paper the walls of your classroom with inspiring posters, your students are exposed to those messages every day. And those messages are far more likely to sink in and make a lasting impact.
Why it works: The fun, graphic fonts create interest on the page. The creator has also designed the poster with a textured background. Paired with the lightbulb illustration (which has a unique collaged effect) all these elements come together to create an impactful vehicle for this poster’s inspirational message.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” —Zig Ziglar
Why it works: The bold, script font and the box around the text makes this poster’s messaging pop. Plus, the way the brightly colored shapes are scattered throughout the whitespace of the design is reminiscent of confetti, which makes the “throw kindness around like confetti” messaging even stronger.
Why it works: The bright blue background and 8-bit style design are immediately attention-grabbing. Plus, leveraging a well-known character like Mario in a poster design never hurts!
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” —Earl Nightingale.
Why it works: This collection of inspirational posters all use an interesting mix of typography, color, and illustrations that pop against the chalkboard background. The key to using these many elements successfully in a single design? Balance. No individual element is too overwhelming. Instead, they work together to make unique and visually interesting posters that immediately grab your attention.
Why it works: If you’re trying to inspire older students (for example, high school or university), something over-the-top or cartoonish will feel a little too childish. This simple design, which uses color blocking and texture to add visual interest, feels more mature—and will be much easier for older students to connect with.
“A learning curve is essential to growth.” —Tammy Bjelland
Why it works: This poster is meant to inspire the imagination. Using bold colors, intricate details and magical illustrations it successfully makes you feel like you’re in another realm.
Why it works: Again, not all classroom posters are geared towards a younger audience. This sophisticated design, which features a textured, watercolor-inspired background with a muted color palette, is a great option for inspiring older students.
“The most successful people in life are the ones who ask questions. They’re always learning. They’re always growing. They’re always pushing.” —Robert Kiyosaki
Posters that clarify the rules
As a teacher, it’s your job to inspire and get kids excited about learning. But it’s also your job to keep order and make sure kids follow the rules. And posters are a great way to do it.
Having a rules poster is a constant reminder to your classroom of what kind of behavior you expect from them, which can help you keep the peace when your students start to get antsy. (Plus, when your rules are laid out on the walls, students have no excuse to break them; they can’t claim they didn’t know they weren’t allowed to run around the halls or chew gum when it’s plastered on a poster!).
Why it works: Students are used to looking at the chalkboard and this poster plays off that by using a green, chalkboard-inspired background. Plus, each of the rules is written in a bold, bright color, which not only pops against the background but also grabs students’ attention.
Why it works: Using beloved characters, like the Disney characters featured in this rules poster, is a great way to get younger kids to pay attention—and when you pair those characters with other design elements that appeal to children (like primary colors, bold shapes, and easy-to-read typography), this poster design is a slam dunk.
"Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Be kind to the object you use in the classroom."
Why it works: The use of blocking and whitespace in this poster design really calls attention to the text and illustrations, which are simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. When you hang this poster in your classroom, your students will get the message loud and clear (with their listening ears, of course!).
Why it works: There are plenty of kids today who wouldn’t think twice about bringing their cell phones into the classroom. But this poster’s use of hierarchy, which emphasizes the “No” and the bold red slash through the cell phone illustration, makes it clear that cell phones are a huge no-no.
"Treat others the way you would like to be treated."
Why it works: This poster uses a concept that children are already familiar with—red light, yellow light, green light—to grab their attention. And once it has their attention, it makes sure they get the message by using white text on a bright blue background, which makes the messaging pop.
"Rules of the classroom: Be kind to others. Be ready to learn. Believe in yourself."
Why it works: This poster design is simple and straightforward. The neutral color palette allows the rules to take center stage, and the use of relevant graphics to reinforce each rule (so, for example, the rock climber next to “Take Risks & Make Mistakes”) really drives the messaging home.
You want to inspire your students. You want to help them follow the rules. But let’s be real, the first and foremost job of a teacher is to teach. And academic posters that reinforce whatever you’re teaching—whether it’s grammar rules, multiplication tables, or history facts—are a great way to make sure your students are learning at every opportunity.
Why it works: The vintage-inspired illustrations help students identify each letter—and because each letter and illustration is equally spaced and well balanced, the overall aesthetic of the poster isn’t visually overwhelming, making it easy for students to absorb.
Why it works: This poster packs a lot of information into a small space. The use of white space keeps the color, text, and illustrations from feeling overwhelming.
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." —Albert Einstein
Why it works: This poster is a case study in how to design for kids. The bright color palette, the whimsical fonts, the fun illustrations all work together to create an interesting poster. It’s attention-grabbing, it’s fun, and because each illustration teaches you something about the state where it’s drawn it’s educational, too.
Why it works: This poster makes great use of scale to illustrate the differences in size between the planets in our solar system, which is an innovative and fun way to leverage design to educate students.
“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” —Albert Einstein
Why it works: Every student needs to learn their multiplication tables. This poster makes sure students learn their 2x2s by incorporating custom illustrations and fun pops of color—both of which are sure to grab students’ attention.
“To solve math problems, you need to know the basic mathematics before you can start applying it.” —Catherine Asaro
Why it works: This classroom poster design uses a layout similar to a timeline infographic, which is a great way to tell a visual story. And when you add in the bold color palette and fun illustration, this poster tells a story about the nervous system that’s sure to be a slam dunk with students.
Why it works: The grid layout of this poster brings equal attention to each of the punctuation illustrations—while the colored titles help differentiate each element enough to keep the poster design from feeling boring or undefined.
“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” —Jack Ma