A tried and true marketing tactic, flyers are a fantastic way to reach your target market — so long as they’re done right.
If you can master the skills needed to send a clear, captivating, action-inspiring message, you’ll be more than happy you trusted these age-old promotional tools with your brand. Fail to execute your vision, however, and you can all but guarantee your hard work will be overlooked.
So save yourself the hassle and check out this total guide to flyer design. I’ll talk the tips and tools you need to make this simple yet effective print medium work for you. Plus, you’ll find plenty of examples and customizable templates throughout.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a flyer?
- What is the purpose of a flyer?
- How can I create a great flyer?
- How to write awesome flyer content
- Flyer design 101
- Bonus tips for making a great flyer
- How to design a flyer using Venngage’s Flyer Maker
What is a flyer?
A flyer is a type of promotional material that’s printed on a sheet of paper — i.e. a print ad. Like a poster, flyers are used to to inform potential customers about products, services and updates from a brand, business or organization.
These advertisements are typically made from basic printing materials such as paper or cardstock. Though the standard size is 8.5 x 11 inches (the same as a sheet of printer paper), flyers can come in different shapes and sizes depending on their purpose.
Containing just a page’s worth of information, flyers usually feature straightforward messaging that can be easily understood by anyone on the receiving end.
Related: What Is a Business Flyer [+ How To Make One]
What is the purpose of a flyer?
A flyer’s main aim is to provide promotional, informative content about a product, service or business.
They may be used to promote new products, remind customers about a business’s services, or provide sales and discount offers, as shown here:
Compared to other kinds of marketing materials that are more complex, a professional flyer is an effective advertisement tool because of their relatively inexpensive cost.
But that doesn’t mean you can print out just any sheet of paper and expect conversions to skyrocket…
How can I create a great flyer?
In our blog, 50+ Captivating Flyer Examples, Templates and Design Tips, we noted that the best kinds of flyers are:
- Eye-catching — enough to make people stop and take an interest in reading it.
- Targeted — the flyer needs to speak directly to the audience you’re targeting.
- Informative —people should know what the flyer is advertising and where they can find out more.
- Convincing — the flyer should get people excited about your product, service or event.
But doing this is a whole lot easier said than done — especially if you’re not a graphic designer.
So in the next sections, I’ll provide some advice to help you do exactly this. I’ll also discuss why the best way to make a fantastic flyer is by enlisting the help of an online design platform — like Venngage’s Flyer Maker.
Stay tuned for all the intel.
How to write awesome flyer content
Above all else, the most important thing when it comes to flyer design is to make sure the information is engaging, informative and consistent with the overall goal of your business.
A concrete way to ensure this is by crafting a thorough outline. To get started, write out all the information and details you’ll need to include, and their order of relative importance.
Be sure to consider your audience, your goals for creating the flyer, and where you’ll be placing it. Whether you’re targeting a broad base or a specific group, continuously ask yourself…
- Will my audience find this useful?
- Is there anything I’ve left unclear?
- How does this solve readers’ problem?
- What is the benefit my audience will receive from reading this?
For example, the flyer above has the goal of appealing to inexperienced yogis because it’s titled an “orientation”. There are also three major benefits outlined to entice folks who are unfamiliar with the practice.
Since this flyer provides details about where the orientation will be taking place, this flyer can be placed in different spaces. However, without a city or town name, you’ll need to consider that those unfamiliar may not know where to go. They would need to follow the CTA and check the online site for more details.
The moral of the story is, creating a clear outline that keeps your target audience and goal in mind helps focus your content, and prevents you from glossing over, or leaving out, important information.
When writing the actual flyer, keep these tips in mind too:
Keep it simple
I know I’ve said it already, but it’s worth repeating: with a limited amount of space, make sure every word included counts.
Don’t add unnecessary information or use overly flowery language that might confuse viewers. Just stick to the point, and your purpose!
Use action verbs
When writing your flyer copy, use an active voice over a passive voice — the former is significantly more engaging for people to read.
For example, “We’re hiring! Contact us today!” is a lot more direct and action-inspiring than “there are vacancies open.” It gives readers a clear understanding of what’s happening and what they need to do.
Create a sense of urgency
People are more likely to pay attention and act quickly when they feel time is running out. Convey this by placing a CTA on your design that urges people to take immediate action, instead of waiting for a later date or time.
This tactic works particularly well with discounts and sales offers, like so:
With “one week only” to capitalize on these deals, you can bet interested viewers will make plans to check out the sale soon.
Use benefit statements
Want people to buy-in? Tell them exactly what they’ll gain.
Take the above as an example. Even if it seems obvious that a financial service will help them save, you should point out the value your business add to their lives explicitly. Connect the dots and be as clear as possible.
Got it? Great. Now that you’ve got your copy down, let’s move onto the aesthetics…
Flyer design 101
There’s no question you’ll want your flyer design to stand out amongst the crowd, and use innovative ideas to reflect your business or products.
At the same time, if you go overboard with creativity, you might end up confusing — or losing — your target audience.
That’s why good flyer designs balance a straightforward message with artistic expression.
They complement, rather than complicate, the content within.
As I’ve mentioned, a flyer becomes much more manageable when you have a template to act as your starting point. Using a template allows you to hone in on the elements that really matter and save time by not creating the design from scratch.
Venngage has tons of flyer templates that’ll help you do exactly that, giving you a wide range of designs and layouts to choose from that you can 100% customize to fit your brand.
Speaking of layouts…
Choose the right flyer layout
Here’s some quick tips to help you choose the right flyer layout. For more information, check out this post.
Single column layout
If you have a clear goal and want to funnel folks down to a single CTA, a single column layout is your best bet.
These types of layouts train the eye down the page, omitting extra information to avoid distracting viewers and placing emphasis on the call-to-action instead.
Two column layout
A two column layout, or double column layout, offers more space for information. That way, you can provide context that’ll help seal the deal…
Should the event, or service, require additional explanation to resonate in the minds of your audience members, a double column layout allow you to distribute and space out all that information effectively.
Multi column layout
A multi column layout provides ample space for three or more distinct columns.
These kinds of layouts are best for showing multiple products or service offerings.
Comparison flyers are also a good candidate for this layout, helping you drive conversions by allowing your audience to reflect on the differences between two products.
A hybrid layout alternates between different layout types. This design choice keeps things visually interesting, helping you section off content and display information the way you want it to be consumed.
In the above example, the multi column switch-up conveys three distinct service offerings before closing with two different CTAs via a double column approach.
And remember: all of these flyers featured are 100% customizable and editable, which is important when it comes time to…
Decide which brand identity elements to use
Since a flyer gives you the opportunity to put your business’s best foot forward, use your brand identity elements to maintain consistency and build loyalty with each flyer you design.
This includes your brand colors, logo and any other assets that 1) your brand guidelines identify, and 2) customers use to identify your brand.
It’s easy to do with Venngage’s My Brand Kit — an automated branding feature that makes it a breeze to incorporate your brand identity. My Brand Kit automatically extracts your brand colors and logos for easy application.
Your brand guidelines will also play into how you..
Select the right font and font size
While there are plenty of typeface options available, it’s smart to incorporate your brand fonts when creating a flyer for your business. Repeat after me: consistency is key!
As for some general insights…
If you’re creating a flyer for a one-time event, such as a fundraising campaign or a concert, a sans serif font may be ideal for most of your text. Sans serif fonts are usually more legible and easier to read from afar, which makes them great for grabbing passerby’s attention.
On the other hand, serif fonts tend to have more character, so they can add personality to your design, or evoke certain emotions.
And when it comes to your flyer’s body copy, size matters. A good rule of thumb is to use a font no smaller than 8pt, so people can read the content without straining themselves.
Add icons and relevant, interesting images
You know how people eat with their eyes first? Well, a flyer’s design and aesthetic appeal will dictate whether or not a person engages with your message. So make sure to break up your content with interesting visuals.
Here are some quick tips:
If you’re planning on using your own photos or illustrations, make sure they’re relevant and consistent with the overall look of your design. Avoid using vague images, as viewers taking a quick look won’t be able to gather any defining information.
That being said, not everyone has the ability to source and edit original photos. For those lacking in time or resources, Venngage’s editor has a dynamic library of stock images you can use to illustrate your points, no problem.
Icons are another asset you can incorporate into your flyer design. They heighten its visual interest, communicate meaning and break up the text.
Take this design for example:
Rather than crowd the design by offering a text-based services list, the icons attract attention while adding extra oomph.
They’re also handy when you want to ensure consistency in your work, like so:
Icons like these reinforce your message while ensuring your flyer design is refined and uncluttered.
Visual hierarchy is hugely important when it comes to creating an effective flyer, as this design principle allows you to organize elements and convey their order of importance while creating a visual flow.
Remember how we used our outline to assign relative importance to each element on your flyer? Take these insights, and apply them as a guide so you can design with visual hierarchy in mind.
For example, you may want to structure your flyer so key details are featured on the top of the page to guarantee their noticeability.
This is particularly true for single column layouts like the flyer above.
Another technique to create a visual hierarchy is to indicate important details by bolding the text or increasing the font size.
This two column layout effetctively highlights the sale and the boutique using this strategy.
Bonus tips for making a great flyer
Aside from those core considerations, here are a few more tips to help you make the best custom flyer possible:
The best kind of flyer copy follows the 3 c’s: it’s clear,concise, and compelling. So before you hit print, always consider what’s most vital to your audience. Then, be sure to trim the fat.
Information that’s not as crucial can be saved for follow-up messages (i.e. when they visit your website to learn more).
Choose the right colors
If you feel like your flyer design is lacking or overreaching in the color department, try the rule of 3s. This rule states three shades have a stronger impact than any other number.
You can see this rule in action below. The slate grey, off-white and teal tones work together to impart a clean, sleek feel.
Using accessible colors is another good idea to ensure those with visual impairments will be able to interact with your designs. Try Venngage’s FREE Accessible Color Palette Generator for some inspiration.
Stay up-to-date with flyer design best practices
No matter how you’ve envisioned your end product, make sure you’re abiding by the best practices of design.
By doing this, you’ll avoid things like poor image quality, inaccessible color contrasts, and outdated aesthetics — all things that could hurt your standing in the eyes of consumers.
You wouldn’t want people to think your business is old news, right?
How to design a flyer using Venngage’s Flyer Maker
As I’ve stated throughout, creating a stunning flyer is easy when there’s hundreds of professionally-designed, easy-to-edit templates to act as your starting point.
- Start by picking from our library of professionally designed flyer templates. To do so, look for premium or free flyer templates that reflects the theme, goals and the layout you’re looking for.
- Sign-up for a free Venngage account.
- Now it’s time to make your own custom flyer! Start customizing by swapping in your desired flyer copy, images, icons and colors to make it your own. For graphic content, select from our library of free and premium images or upload your own photos from a file. Be sure to check out our diverse library of icons too.
- Once you’re happy with your own flyer design, you’re welcome to share the link publicly for free. Otherwise, you can upgrade to a paid plan to download your custom flyer template. (With a Business Plan specifically, you’ll get access to premium templates and features — like real-time Team Collaboration, and automated branding via My Brand Kit.)
Note: Download your flyer in PNG HD for print distributions for the best possible quality
You can also add bleed marks to your design by selecting the option under Settings. This guarantees your flyer will be perfect once back from the printer.
Related: 15 Customizable Free Flyer Templates & Design Tips
Win them over with a well-designed flyer
Nearly anyone can print out some words onto a sheet of paper and call it a flyer. Designing an effective, attractive flyer, however, is an entirely different story. And when you’re representing your business with these marketing materials, you need to ensure you’ve got the best possible version of your brand on the page.
Luckily, with this guide and Venngage’s easy-to-edit templates, you’ll be able to create flyers that are truly fly, in no time. Sign up for a free Venngage account today to get started.