What Makes A Good Flyer

Some say that flyers are like the “Swiss Army Knife” of print design.  Why?  Well, they can be anything.  They could be advertisements, announcements, invitations, informational…  Anything!  And not just that, they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One thing that all flyers need is a purpose. The purpose, equally, can be anything; a concert, a fundraiser, an event or a service.  Perhaps it could be advertising a business, or a product.  Whatever it is, a flyer can be tailored to any marketing purpose.  So if you’re a designer, like us, or designing something for yourself, it’s useful to have a good grasp of flyer design.  Keep reading for some ideas with how to create a fantastic flyer, from design, to copywriting and marketing tactics.

If you’re new to the whole design process, it can be tricky trying to figure out what design decisions create a great final product.  Designers seem to have an ability to either say “Yes. That looks good.” or “Try this.” which is when they promptly take over the mouse or grab a nearby Sharpie and move everything around to make an original idea look better.

So back to the original point of this blog post.  What makes a flyer good?  We’ll try to narrow it down to some fairly simple points which we use in our designs.

Make it eye-catching

Have you been aimlessly scrolling through your preferred social media platform, going past all of the viral videos, updates, news items but something makes you stop and scroll back up a little?  And what made you stop was a picture of a flyer?  Something about that flyer made you stop and go back because it caught a little bit of your attention.  More often than not, it was a visual element; the colours, shapes, photo or illustration or typography.

A few features that will help your flyer design stand out include:

Clear Focal Point

Every design needs a focal point, which is simply the part of the layout which draws viewers to the design.  It could be an image, graphic, heading or promotion.

In this design, a neon yellow stripe highlights the flyer’s most important points; the business’ name, website address and a short synopsis.   Against the slate grey background, this technique is effective in terms of where the viewer should look.

Relevant Imagery

Most flyers benefit from some imagery, whether it is graphics, shapes, icons or photographs. A relevant visual component adds to the purpose or theme giving the viewer an immediate idea as to what the flyer is about.

Appropriate Fonts

Typography is essential in flyer layout.  It is very rare that a design can communicate its message with just imagery.  However in the same way that choosing images require consideration of the flyer’s purpose, context, audience etc, picking fonts takes the same amount of care.

This flyer has a specific theme and sticks to it in a tasteful way.  It does this by using art and typography to allude to the seasonal aspect of the event.  However, the illustrations also point out the type of business hosting the event.  The “spooky” font used for the name of the event probably wouldn’t be suitable for anything else other than something Halloween related, which is key.  Readability is also an important factor for flyers, which means you’ll want to avoid any fonts that or overly ornate or unusual, barring a specific purpose.

Consider Colour

Nothing attracts attention quite like a splash of colour.  There are previous blog posts on the importance of colour which is appropriate not just for websites, but anything design related, so have a quick read of both parts of those blog posts (Part 1 and Part 2).

The Balancing Act

One thing that is almost definitely going to discourage people from looking at a flyer is a crowded, busy layout.  Too much information on one page means that there is too much time spent with people trying to work out the flyer is about so people are more likely to just walk past.  On the other hand, a well-balanced, well-spaced layout makes the whole flyer easy to see at a glance, and pertinent information easy to find.

Aside from limiting content, the balancing act of a flyer is a big factor of a good design.  Making good use of space is essential.

This concert flyer features both white space and strategic alignment allowing the content to be separate and organised.  The result is a balanced layout that creates a dynamic, diagonal composition that easily leads the viewer’s eye from one design element to another.

Moving away from design and onto copywriting.  Already we’ve touched on this in terms of limiting content but, for maximum impact, the artwork and copywriting need to work hand-in-hand to produce an effective marketing tool.  Whilst visual design may be the first thing to catch the viewer’s attention, designers who don’t devote time to the text on a flyer are missing out on a valuable opportunity.

Here are some methods which could make a flyer’s copywriting more compelling.

 

Develop A Content Strategy

Before placing some copy into a flyer design, it’s a wise choice to do some planning.  Asking yourself "What is essential?  What could be added if there’s some extra room?  What would be taking up valuable space?".  Setting aside some time to narrow down copywriting ideas and identifying your must-have pieces of information will pay off in terms of getting eyes on your design.  Generally speaking, less is more.

 

Make The Purpose Clear

At the start of this blog post, we mentioned how versatile flyers are.  This is true, but each design needs to have a specific purpose or message.  Whatever that message is, it needs to be highly visible. 

 

You may have a great flyer, with excellent design and copywriting, but marketing tactics also need to be implemented in order to get the results.  Here are two suggestions we would make.

 

Include A Call To Action

A call to action (or CTA) is a foundational marketing concept.  You want your audience to do something?  Simply invite them to do it.  And CTAs aren’t just for selling things, they could say things like “Visit today” “Get your free tickets now” or “Visit our website at”.

If a call to action would compliment the purpose of the flyer, trying it out is certainly worth a shot.  Address the audience direction, make it friendly and conversational and it may result in surprising stats.

 

Distribution

The flyer is now designed and printed.  Now is the potentially tricky job of making sure people see them.  There are plenty of traditional ways like posting them, door-dropping, hanging them in windows, on bulletin boards or in public places.

However, we would suggest considering distributing them digitally as well.  You can send them out in an email, publish it on a website or use social media.

 

We hope that this has given you some thoughts with regards to the next flyer you design!  Don't forget to head to our Portfolio page to have a look at some of the flyers we've designed as well as other design work.