What Is a Motivational Poster?

B. Miller

A motivational poster is a decorative wall hanging designed to inspire and motivate people in various settings. Motivational posters are common in certain workplaces, as well as around schools, particularly for younger students. They generally feature a combination of positive text and images, and are available in many different sizes and designs for different environments. The effectiveness of motivational posters can be debated, but they remain common decorative items in many different places, and are easy to find for purchase in stores or online.

Businesses use motivational posters to provide positive encouragement to employees.
Businesses use motivational posters to provide positive encouragement to employees.

There are two very common images most often found on a motivational poster. These include athletes and animals. A motivational poster designed for younger kids will often feature animals, such as the ubiquitous "Hang in there!" poster with a kitten holding on to a tree. Ideally, the message shared is that kids should keep trying, and not give up when things become challenging. There are many different types of animal posters available now, however. Though they are often used as a decoration in a child's bedroom at home, teachers often purchase them for use in classrooms as well.

Motivational posters might be used to encourage athletes.
Motivational posters might be used to encourage athletes.

Schools for older students, or sometimes even workplaces, more often make use of athlete images to encourage people to keep trying and work hard. Sometimes professional athletes are shown, whereas other times the motivational poster will show an athlete with a special challenge or disability, which can also serve to inspire those who are going through a difficult time. A motivational poster might also simply feature a pretty photograph, such as a nature picture, along with a well known quote or religious phrase written across the bottom. These are some of the most common types of motivational posters; of course, it is also possible for individuals to make their own using a favorite photograph and quote.

Plenty of people try to create their own motivational posters or motivational boards, such as in a bedroom or above a work desk, for example. This allows them to combine a number of different inspiring images or quotes, and can help to provide encouragement when an individual is challenged. Otherwise, these posters can be ordered online, generally in large sizes for the wall or smaller sizes to pass out in flier form. They are typically pretty inexpensive and can even be ordered in bulk, or customized, such as for a school or other special event in which a large number of people will be participating.

Motivational posters may encourage meeting specific goals.
Motivational posters may encourage meeting specific goals.

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Discussion Comments


I try to change out my motivational posters at work just so I don't get bored with the sentiment. My boss doesn't want anyone to post demotivational posters or other posters that might be offensive to clients.


I think those motivational posters are closely related to all of those motivational memes I see on social websites. I think motivational posters are funny in general, but I don't know if too many of them actually move me to do anything. I actually enjoy reading a demotivational poster just because it skewers the over-the-top earnestness of most business motivational posters.

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