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Friday, August 17, 2012

10 Basic Design Principles That Teach You How To Create A Flyer

So you need to make a Flyer for your business, special event, or project and you have no idea where to start. Well first off, no one said you have to be a professional graphic designer to make a decent flyer.

You already know the information that you wish to present. Now all you need to do is stick to certain basic design principles that will give you the confidence that you need to make your flyer stand out. I can't tell you how many times I've seen flyers with serious design flaws. 

Basic Flyer Design should focus on a few key areas. I have outlined 10 for you. 

1. Flyer Title

Your Flyer's Title should always stand out from the rest of the information on your Flyer. You need people to be able to see in a split second, who or what you are talking about.

Try using a bolder looking Font. I often use Fonts like Impact, Advert and Manchester for Titles, to name a few. The Title also gives the viewer a clue as to what the Flyer is about. 

The Flyer Title is clearly
more visible than the other

You can see the Flyer Title
here but the chosen Font
does not stress its

    2. Image Size 

    Your Images should always be the right size - not too big or too small, so that they become a distraction and take away from the message of the Flyer. Remember our eyes are usually drawn to images first.

    Image is
    Too Small
    you notice that
    something is off
    here. Why is this
    Image so small?

    Image is Proportional
    You scan the
    Image and your
    eyes move on to
    another area of
    the Flyer.

    Image is
    Too Big
    The Image is so
    big it's running
    into the Title and
    other Key Text
    on the Flyer.

    3. Color

    Use colors that will both appeal to the viewer, and will look good on screen and in print format. At the end of the day, your Flyer is going to be printed, so you must consider colors that look good on screen may not appear the same when you have an actual copy in your hand. These are things that you need to test for. 

    Besides the Background Colors, remember you also have to take into consideration your Font Color and Image Color. They all have to work well together.

    No My eyes!!!
    Just try to picture
    some Text and
    Images on this
    background. Can
    you feel the pain?

    Adding Images
    and Text here,
    the viewer will
    want to read on
    to find out more.

    4. Margins

    Know where your margins are and design your flyer within them. If this is not done correctly, some of the flyer will be missing when you print or even print preview. 

    Avoid the hassle and confusion this causes. Adjust your margins before you start your design process.

    With Margin set,
    there is no problem
    on print preview
    or printing.

    Everything has to be
    readjusted. Costing
    you needed time
    and diminishing
    your patience.

    5. White Space

    Yes, it literally is white space.  But there's more to it. White space makes things stand out and your flyer much easier to read. Find the right balance. 

    Face it, no one wants to read a book when looking at a Flyer. Remember you only have that many seconds to capture your viewer's attention. White space in your friend.

      This Flyer is still
      readable, but so
      cluttered, you risk
      turning the reader off.

      There's enough
      White Space here,
      that each area of
      this Flyer can get
      the attention it

    6. Information

    Your Flyer must have certain information to get your message across to the viewer - Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Omit some of these and it will only leave your viewer with more questions. Follow through with everything your Flyer needs to present in order for it to be effective. 

    If you're having a special event, like a birthday party or a special sale and you give your address (Where), but no time (When), do you see the predicament? Will the viewer be able to find this out on their own and will they even care to do so?

    This could be an
    important event to
    some people.
    However, there is
    no contact info,
    time, date, phone
    number. Leaving
    the viewer with 2
    choices - become a
    detective or toss
    the Flyer.

    Flyer provides
    enough information
    to answer any
    questions that
    may arise.

    7. Text Formatting & Fonts

    Don't use too many types of Text Formats in your Flyer, like Bold, Italic, Underline, Highlight, etc. Not only is this distracting, it can become confusing. You don't want to take the focus off your Flyer's message.

    A Flyer with a
    clear message.

    A Flyer with so
    much going on, the
    viewer is distracted.

    8. Concept

    Gear the information on the Flyer around your images and or background. I always work on the Flyer's background, title and images before placing the remaining text details.

    It's easier to place these on the Flyer and then figure out where to put Text. I can't imagine it the other way round, putting Text on my Flyer first and then trying to tuck in an Image, Title or Background in this space or that.

    Easy to see available
    space to place Text.

    Don't even know 
    where to begin.

    9. Perception

    Will your Flyer catch someone's interest from 5 or 10 feet away? Zoom out of the flyer while you are creating it so that you can see what it would look like from a distance. What catches your eye? Should your image be made bigger? 

    It's a little trick that I use repeatedly during the design process. It really helps me to determine what works and what doesn't. 

    10. Errors

    Proofread your Flyer repeatedly (ok a couple times) to make sure that there's no words spelt incorrectly and or poor grammar, since these can be a turn off for the viewer.

    When you're done that, give it to someone else so that they too can glance over it for you, perhaps catching an error that you may have missed. 

    Ready to Design? 

    Stick to these principles to create great flyers with clear messages. 

    I hope that you have found these tips helpful. 

    Now it's time to Dabble in Design.

    Are there any other design flaws that you can come up with? Leave a comment below!


    1. These are all very helpful tips for creating flyers. Proper font selection, white space, and correct picture sizing all play a key role in a well balanced flyer. For another page with helpful printing tips: http://www.onlineprintingservices.net/flyers/

      One key takeaway: It's very important that the reader can tell what your business is about in a very short amount of time. You need to capture the attention of your target audience fast. All of the design elements come together and make this happen.

      1. Hi Cap-k,
        Thanks for your comment and great key point. We do only have but a bit of time to capture a reader's interest. So make it count!