Flyer distribution is a truly time-tested marketing stunt—and it’s still highly relevant and effective. It’s affordable for you and informative for your target market. Lead generation is quick and easy. And let’s admit it: now that flyers are getting a bit “old school,” they’re just that unique enough to make an impression.
Most of all, flyers allow for a lot of creative freedom. In that little rectangle of soon-to-be-printed paper, the possibilities are endless. (It doesn’t even have to be a rectangle, does it? Go wild!) But how to make your flyers an eye-catching, informative work of art?
How to design promotional flyers:
1. Target your audience.
Who is your target audience, and why would they do business with you? If possible, your flyer should attract them at a glance.
For example, the design below is targeted at adults who gamble or frequent casinos. It’s a bit of a no-brainer: you’ve got the flying coins, the lightbulb sign font, the casino chip, and the fiery color scheme.
2. Keep your content brief.
Keep your message brief and to the point. This is more in the copywriting territory, but both writers and designers should collaborate to keep a flyer’s main message short and easy to digest.
In the design below, the headline consists of three simple words: “Trivia is served.” And below that, the description is equally brief: “Every Sunday 3 PM,” followed
by the price of Coronas and caesars. With this information, combined with the simple, clever illustration, we can infer that Devlin’s Advocate holds a paid, trivia-themed snack time every Sunday afternoon.
3. Focus on visual hierarchy.
Visual hierarchy refers to the way a design’s elements are arranged to imply each element’s importance. A design’s visual hierarchy determines what the viewer sees first, next, and last.
You should order your content accordingly. Which statement is the most important? Would it catch people’s attention, and at the same be sufficiently informative?
For Shrop Comedy’s flyer below, they chose to highlight the statement, “The Shrop Squad is growing!” This means their target audience, preferably, already has them in the radar. The intended viewer is aware of who “the Shrop Squad” is and would be interested that they’re “growing.”
Next, the eye is drawn towards the cool-looking young men using a laptop and operating video equipment. So without reading the fine print just yet, you know that the team is probably looking for digital creatives.
4. Mind the contrast.
Contrast is the visual difference between two elements, making one distinguishable from the other. For example, this blog’s text defaults to dark on a light background. That’s why you’re able to read it. Light and dark colors have high contrast, while dark on dark (or light on light) colors have low contrast.
In the design below, there’s a high contrast between the light text and the dark background. This makes the text stand out more, and rank higher in terms of visual hierarchy. Meanwhile, the photos of people are faded out, creating a low contrast with the background. This is because, in terms of visual hierarchy, they’re the least important element: they’re more decorative than informative.
5. Include a concise call to action.
Your graphics have caught their attention. But now what do they do? With a CTA or call to action, you have the chance to motivate your viewers to become paying customers or clients. Ask them to “Try it now for free!” or “Learn more!’ Tell them they can “Visit our shop now” or “Sign up today.”
The secret sauce is that your viewers want to be told what to do. They’ve spent a precious second or two staring at your lovely flyer. “Now what?” they’ll wonder.
And your CTA will be there to answer that question.
In the flyer below, the call-to-action is found in the golden “button” element at the bottom right. This element implies that the viewer can now head over to the website and make reservations.
6. Be findable: don’t forget your contact information.
Just like your CTA, your contact information should be present to answer your viewers’ most immediate questions. “Now what? Who do I call? How do I call them?”
In the design below, the company’s contact number is actually included in the call-to-action element. Their website can be found directly below.
7. Proofread and quality check.
Before your flyer is printed and handed out to dozens (or hundreds) of strangers, do some quality control. Check for spelling or grammar errors. Mind the quality and implications of the colors, photos, and graphics used.
Take a step back and imagine you’re seeing the design for the first time. Analyze the clarity of your message. Is it awkward? Readable? Engaging? Rude? Memorable? Hard to digest?
Run a few print samples so you know how your design looks in real life, in its true size. Sometimes, you have to hold it in your hands to be sure it actually works.
Bonus Tip: Optimize for Online
If you’re like most businesses, your target audience can also be found online. In that case, it won’t hurt to create a version of your flyer that can be posted on social media or published as an online ad. This way, you’re expanding your flyer’s reach as far as possible.
Need help designing your next promotional flyer?
Color, contrast, typography, visual hierarchy—you’re much too busy running your business to focus on the ins and outs of graphic design.
Well, there’s no need to sweat the small stuff. Head over to Design Pickle, where all you have to do is manage your instructional emails, and we can handle the designing for you. Or check out our handy Graphic Design Cost Calculator to find out how much your next project will cost (or save!) you.