Customizable Wanted Poster Templates [FBI and Old West]

free wanted poster template 13

A wanted poster template is used to create a poster of a person who is wanted by the law. It is distributed in the public to let them know of an alleged criminal. It is distributed by the police department and other authorities who want that particular person. However, the main purpose of this poster to let the public know how this person is dangerous to their lives.

The posters should be designed in understandable and readable way. The sketch or image of the wanted person should be clear and the fonts are readable. The poster should be designed simple. Furthermore, posters are used all over the world. They can be placed at any public place, railway stations, bus stops, and other crowded areas. They are not just used for criminals, people may also use it to make fun with friends and family. You may also like Police Report Template.

History of wanted posters:

In the Old West, wanted posters were the only means used by law enforcement to let the public know that a crime had been committed. Information included at that time on the poster is a sketch of wanted person, crime that was committed, identifying marks were mentioned, and the reward for a capturing criminal. Many sketches were not accurate and several men were hung for crimes they didn’t commit.

John Wikes Booth poster was one of the most famous wanted posters. He was the man who killed President Abraham Lincoln. Authorities distributed the poster of John Wikes Booth after five days of Lincoln Murder. It is considered the first used wanted poster that was issued in 1865. After the distribution of this poster, booth was captured twelve days later.

In the 1800s, there were not many ways to capture bad guys. Community members have informed a few details and appearance of stranger in the town. Then, wanted posters were created and placed in post offices and other government buildings. In 2007, the FBI used electric billboards to increase the use of wanted posters. With the help of Electron billboard, the poster of criminal can be created after just a few minutes of crime.

The FBI and other detective agencies used the wanted posters in different ways. They distributed the posters electronically. Then, Google the name of a most wanted and you can see physical posted posters that contains identifying marks and last seen information.

Hence, the wanted posters are the best way to catch bad guys. The 1800/1900s were era’s when there wasn’t an advanced technology to capture criminals. At that time, wanted posters were introduced that gave first-hand information. Technology has become advanced day-by-day and now we have posters on websites, posted in electronically which helps in capturing hundreds of hardened criminals.

Importance of wanted poster:

For the security agencies, finding out the escaped criminal isn’t easy. But when you ask public for help, they make it bit easier for you. Wanted posters are the best and effective way to let the public know that crime has committed and you want their help in finding an escaped person. With the advancement of technology, electric billboards are used to let the public know about wanted people. Additionally, it alerts the public about the escaped criminals in an efficient way.

To track down any criminal, these posters are placed at every crowded area. These posters have unique design to attain attention. In this electronic media era, you can break any news in a few seconds. Electronic media helps the agencies to capture any escaped criminal with an electronic wanted poster template. It is also sent to the different media channels for broadcasting to aware the people.

What to include on a wanted poster?

Information included on a wanted poster template is;

  • Picture of the wanted person.
  • Name of the wanted person
  • Characteristics like height, color, gender, etc.
  • Dead or alive statement: this statement states that government has allowed to kill the person or not. Whether they want him in any state i.e. dead or alive.
  • The reward amount for the person who find out the wanted person.
  • Most importantly, the contact details of law enforcement agencies.

Different types of wanted posters:

Blank wanted poster:

A blank poster is perfect for you if you want a customizable wanted poster. On this type of poster, you can add pictures of the criminal, name, reward information, and contact information of the law enforcement agencies.

Best Western wanted poster:

This type of wanted poster is considered as the traditional wanted poster. It contains Cowboy or Cowgirl hats with guns and bull images. You can find these types of posters from any website in different formats.

Modern wanted poster:

People always want something new. However, they also feel great with traditional old western wanted posters.

Cartoon wanted posters:

As its name implies, it includes cartoons, memes, and funny images. Wanted posters are not just used for criminals, people also use it to make fun with friends and family. You should also check Business Memo Templates.


In conclusion, a wanted poster template is used by law enforcement agencies to make the posters of escaped criminals. These posters are distributed among the public to let them know how this person is dangerous to their lives. They are placed at every crowded area. Moreover, the picture of the wanted person should be clear so that it can be easily recognizable by the people. With the advancement of technology, electronic wanted posters are most popular.

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