Chiropractic Posters, Charts and Wall Art: What's the Difference?
Chiropractic posters and wall graphics are standard equipment in today's mainstream chiropractic practice. However, many chiropractors overlook the many nuances that these graphics communicate to patients.
Here are some important distinctions and common-sense guidance. Keep them in mind when purchasing, placing and even using these vital communication tools.
The Difference Between Posters, Charts and Art
An established engineering maxim asserts that "form follows function." In other words, the form something takes on directly affects its ability to produce the desired outcome. The purpose of a cathedral is quite different from that of an airport. So, their forms are quite different.
What's the function of a chiropractic practice?
There are many, but conveying a different approach to health and healing is the most important. In many ways, you're in the belief-changing business as much as the health and wellness business!
One of the ways to advance this new perspective is to effectively use your wall surfaces. Should you use chiropractic posters? Or chiropractic charts? Or some type of wall art? It depends. Recognize that you have a different communication burden than, say, a medical practitioner. So, sterile white practice walls are a luxury you can't afford.
The Purpose of Chiropractic Posters
Chiropractic posters communicate a chiropractic principle or some aspect about health. They stimulate a question or incite a conversation. Use them to create an environment that provokes critical thinking. Use concept posters to encourage those in your office to question the mainstream medical model. Or appreciate some aspect of chiropractic that differs from the status quo. Position chiropractic posters in the reception room, hallways or adjusting rooms.
The Purpose of Chiropractic Charts
Chiropractic charts are more clinical. Human anatomy, a schematic of spinal nerves or muscles of the body fall into this category. As would X-ray charts showing structural or changes from spinal decay.
These types of wall graphics are more appropriate for your examination room or X-ray room. If you place them in your adjusting rooms, make sure you use them in that environment. Otherwise, keep them in the areas of your practice where you examine patients or report your findings.
The Purpose of Chiropractic Wall Art
Chiropractic wall art is on the other end of the spectrum from charts. Wall art refers to any graphic mounted on your practice walls. For our purposes, wall art is, well, art.
How do you know if you have chiropractic wall art or a poster? There are two criteria. The first is whether the wall graphic includes words. If more than 10–12 words are on the graphic, it's more likely a chiropractic poster rather than wall art.
The second telltale sign of a wall graphic being wall art is some type of impressionism. In other words, if the body or the spine is depicted, it's not anatomically correct—instead, it's an artistic rendition. Chiropractic wall art should be placed in the more public space of your practice, such as the reception room.
Five Ways to Get the Most From Your Chiropractic Graphics
Most chiropractors are not interior decorators or particularly artistic. Granted, there's an "art" to chiropractic, but not in the environmental sense. As a result, many chiropractic practices can become a mishmash of posters, brochure racks, chiropractic sayings and signage. If you've been practicing at the same location for many years, the visual effect can be quite chaotic.
Here are some suggestions that can enhance the effectiveness of your wall treatments.
1. Less is more. From time to time, I encounter a practice with dozens and dozens of wall graphics. When every wall is shouting for attention, everything becomes unimportant! Graphic designers recognize this and allow for "white space" where we can catch our visual breath. Think of an art museum: Instead of cramming every square inch with the artist's work, there is separation. This simple aesthetic will serve to increase the impact of your chiropractic posters and charts. Then, after you pare down your inventory…
2. Rotate your posters. In most practices, the wall posters and charts are in the same location they were first placed. Not only do you no longer see them, but they even become invisible to patients. This "chiropractic art" fades into the background, becoming virtually invisible.
You'll want to rotate your posters throughout your practice. Perhaps on the first day of each month. Move one of your conceptual posters from one adjusting room to another. Retire a few. Add in a fresh one. In other words, make your practice an ever-changing visual feast. When your posters change, they get attention. They're more likely to produce patient comments and questions.
3. Frame your posters. If you value the information (and the poster itself) enough to put it on your wall, it should be properly framed. It's breathtaking how many chiropractors deface their posters with four pushpins and consider the job done. The resulting "college dormitory" look devalues the message. Plus, it exposes your graphics to the oils from occasional touching and the bleaching from daylight.
Granted, professional framing usually costs more than the poster itself! No matter. If you're serious about patients taking your wall messages seriously, invest in proper framing. Not only will your posters last longer, but they'll also look better. Plus, you'll be able to…
4. Annotate your posters. With your graphics mounted behind glass or Plexiglas, use a dry erasable marker to write on your posters. Or attach an appropriate newspaper clipping or three-dimensional object. This type of pattern interruption will draw attention to your wall graphics and engage interested patients. It's a powerful way to reveal your philosophy and prompt patient questions.
5. Use your posters. Ironically, the most common shortcoming of chiropractic wall graphics is simply their lack of use. They're reduced to mere wall decoration.
If you're serious about communicating chiropractic principles, you must go beyond the spoken word—because a picture is worth a thousand words. That means correctly choosing, placing and, above all, using your chiropractic posters and wall charts consciously.