Flip Chart 101 – Creative Ways to Post Flip Chart Pages On Walls

Flip Chart 101 - Creative Ways to Post Flip Chart Pages On Walls

Flip Chart 101 – Creative Ways to Post Flip Chart Pages On Walls

Designing and drawing creative flip chart pages for adult learning workshops with graphics takes time and effort, depending on how complex you make them. Due to the energy you put into them, you should consider ways to make them as durable as possible so that you can re-use them multiple times.

The following are some simple techniques that can assist in posting your masterpieces, and preventing excessive damage to them so that you can use them more than once.

Permanent masking tape on the back of pages

To reduce wear and damage to your pre-drawn flipcharts page try permanently mounting a three-inch strip of masking tape (two-inch width) on the back of pages at each corner. You can then put a rolled piece of tape over each piece whenever you need to use the page and tape to the wall. This decreases the chance of ripping a page by removing tape directly from the back after use.

Stick pins or thumbtacks

An easy way to attach paper around the perimeter of any room is to install a thin wooden strip with   (similar to that found on bulletin boards) at a height of approximately seven feet. You can then use bulletin board stick pins or thumbtacks to attach your pages. These corkboard strips are usually available in office, art, and school supply stores where presentation materials are sold.

To prevent wear and tear on the corners, place a three-inch-long piece of two-inch-wide masking tape on the front and back corners of the page and stick your pins there.

Double-sided masking tape

While sometimes difficult to find, an alternative to putting tape on each page is to mount a long strip of double-sided tape along the wall at a height of approximately seven feet. You can then add or remove pages to the wall, as needed.

Velcro strips

While not directly related to using flipchart paper, this idea can be used in conjunction with an easel.

For years, Velcro has been used successfully by those who sew clothing. Creative teachers and presenters have also used it in a variety of ways.

One way for you to use this nifty tool is to cut small strips of the “male” Velcro (the part that has dozens of small barb devices that adhere to rough cloth surfaces). Glue or tape these to the back of poster board strips cut large enough to allow you to attach words or phrases to each. You can first write on flipchart paper, then cut to fit the poster board.  Next, attach the pasteboard strips onto a large piece of felt draped over a flipchart easel or apply them directly to a cloth papered classroom wall (if you have these) by simply pushing them up against the rough cloth surface. The barbs of the Velcro cling to the cloth.

This technique allows you to build a storyline or series of steps as you put each up strip, one at a time.

Metal strips

Another, more permanent strategy for hanging flipchart pages is to mount metal strips around your classroom walls. Ensure that you use steel or something other than aluminum since magnets will not still to the thinner coated metals. You can then use a standard kitchen or note magnet to hold the flipchart page to the wall.

Wooden strips

An alternative to the metal wall strips is to use wooden ones. Before mounting, nail or attach standard wooden spring-type clothespins or the heavy-duty metal “bull clips” (available in office supply stores) along the strip. You can then hang flipchart pages, as needed.

Metal dry erase writing boards

Many classrooms these days have magnetic dry erase whiteboards mounted on walls. Simply by some small round magnets and attach your prepared flip chart pages to the boards. If you plan to write on the paper once it is posted, make sure to put an extra sheet of paper under it and use water-based flip chart markers instead of a permanent marker. This can prevent the ink from “bleeding through” onto the boards and damaging them.

For more creative ways to design, develop, use, transport, and store flipcharts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators.

Flip Chart 101 – Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

Flip Chart 101 – Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

If you are going to spend time creatively drawing flip charts before the session begins, give some thought to what you will include on them. Find a large flat writing surface and spend some time writing out key points and adding any illustrations you would like on a writing tablet first. This will save wasting expensive flip chart pads when you make errors or decide to change something.Flip Chart 101 - Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

The following strategies can assist in making your flip chart pages more effective and project a polished, professional image:

  • Use a straight edge of some sort.  If the paper is not lined, find a yard/meter stick, ruler or another straight-edged tool to ensure that lines of text are evenly spaced and are not at distracting angles.
  • Make sure that you use block lettering that is at least one to two inches high. Visibility is important if you want learners to grasp concepts and refer to your written materials. To help ensure that everyone can see what is on your flip charts from about 30-40 feet use block type font that has straight lines without fancy curls at the ends. This type and size of the lettering will allow a clean image and make reading easier for learners.
  • Use upper case letters or larger font size for title lines and upper and lower case for text lines. In order to help emphasize the words and help visually define the topic. This approach to writing will allow a more natural reading format. Consider the design of books and other publications. They have bold headers followed by text that is in upper and lower case letters. Extensive amounts of text in all capital letters are difficult to read and not normally used.
  • Limit the number of words to six to eight per line and the number of lines of text to six to eight (“six-by-eight rule”). This will provide a less cluttered look, and allow more lines of text to fit onto a sheet of paper.
  • Use horizontal lettering that runs across the page as opposed to vertical lettering that runs down the page from top to bottom. The exception would be if you are discussing an acronym, such as ADDIE (Assessment, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation), and wanted to the letters down the left side of the page and add a line of text for each letter.
  • Use no more than three columns per page. If you are going to use vertical columns of information leave a slight space between each column. Generally, you would only use this format for lists of words, numerical figures, or shorts points rather than sentences.
  • Limit yourself to one topic per page. This will prevent cramming irrelevant information onto the page — it will only confuse your participants.
  • Avoid using the bottom one-third of the page since some participants in the rear of the room will have difficulty seeing it over the heads of others.

For more useful and creative tips and strategies for making, using transporting and storing flip charts get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators.