How to Create a ~Fly~ Flyer in 3 Easy Steps

Flyers are often looked at as just throwaway items, wasteful pieces of paper. How often do you glance at a flyer tacked to a bulletin board or telephone pole and don’t care enough to even read what it’s advertising?

 
The goal of this blog post is to teach you how to design a flyer so good it’ll catch anyone’s attention and won’t end up in the trash seconds after being handed out. A flyer is nothing to fly through- take it seriously!

Step 1 – choose the right image

First things first, no clip art. No one wants to read a flyer that looks like it was created by a 12-year-old using Microsoft Word. You want your image or images to look professional! The pictures you choose to put on your flyer are just as important as your headline. Choose something that catches the viewer’s attention but also allows the viewer to easily read what the flyer is advertising.

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Try to find an image that has a natural empty space so that you already have a space carved out for you to put your headline and other important information without cluttering your flyer or making it difficult to read. On the right is the image I started with when making my flyer. I chose this particular image because of all the space there is at the top of the photo. I immediately thought that this would be a good area to put the headline.

Step 2 – make a snazzy headline

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Okay, now it’s time to think about your headline. I used this article, 11 Formulas and Strategies to Write Irresistible Ad Headlines to come up with my flyer’s headline. Similar to how you want your image to attract the viewer, your headline must be powerful enough to draw viewers in as well.

 
I know your first instinct will be to write every single detail about whatever your flyer is advertising but STOP! Only include the most necessary information on the flyer, and be sure to put a website or contact info so that the viewer can find out more information if they’re interested. No one is going to read a novel that’s been printed on a flyer.

 
In my flyer for the Governor’s Ball Music Festival I included a few of the headlining musicians, the date, location, and the website, that way people who are interested know where to go to find out more information about the event. Less text draws more attention to the image and headline instead of bombarding the viewer with too much information.

Step 3 – create visual hierarchy

Now that you’ve found the perfect image, came up with a bold flashy headline and decided on what important information you’re going to include in your flyer, the next step is organizing it so that it flows screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-22-15-pmnicely on the page. I found this article by Canva about visual hierarchy to be extremely informative, and I’m sure you will find it useful too.

 
Notice how “Governor’s Ball” is the biggest text on the page. Your eye is immediately drawn to the headline. I put “the” and “music festival” in a much smaller type to create contrast, and so that they wouldn’t take away from the main headline. Then throughout the rest of the flyer I varied the font sizes based on how important the information was. This creates a visual hierarchy which makes it easy for the viewer to pick up on the most important information at first glance, then naturally draw their eye to any other less important info on the page.

The finished product

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If you take into account all 3 of these steps when making your flyer I have no doubt that the result will be a masterpiece, something that people will actually want to stop and look at. Take a look at my completed flyer. Notice how you can immediately tell what the flyer is advertising before even looking at the text, without it overpowering or distracting from the text itself. They work perfectly together. The text on my flyer is easy to read and the visual hierarchy draws the viewer’s eye from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of the page.

 
Following these 3 easy steps will ensure that your flyer will be a great success!

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Welcome to the Wonderful World of Desktop Publishing

What is desktop publishing?

When you hear the words “desktop publishing,” what do you think of? For me, the first images that popped into my mind were old desktop computers and boring online pamphlets but as it turns out, desktop publishing is far more interesting than that.

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According to this very informative article, desktop publishing can be defined as the use of computer software to create visual displays of ideas and information. An example of desktop publishing may be designing print communications such as brochures, fliers, ads, and posters.

A big part of desktop publishing is working with the four big design principles. What are the four big design principles you ask? Contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity, duh!

Contrast is perhaps the most powerful design concept out of the four. Our brains are constantly scanning situations to see what is similar and what is different. We pick up on what is different, or contrasted, in a design much faster than we notice what fades into the background.

Repetition is using elements in you piece that are similar or the same, and is used to tie your design together. You have to be careful though, don’t just arbitrarily place your repeating elements around your design- this is where alignment comes in. Nothing in your design should appear out of place or random, align your images and text appropriately within your design.

Last but not least we have proximity. Use proximity to achieve a clean, organized look for your design. Space your images and text accordingly so that the viewer doesn’t have to work too hard to decipher your design.

For more details on these four principles of design, I’d highly recommend reading chapter six of Presentation Zen.

Color scheming

So you’ve got the four design principles down, now comes the fun part- color! Choosing a color scheme for your blog, personal brand, business cards, anything, is about more than just choosing your favorite colors. The colors and shades that you choose should have meaning behind them, as they will subconsciously convey a message to the viewer- so choose wisely!

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When considering color schemes for my personal brand, the first thing I did was brush up on my knowledge of color theory. Sounds boring, I know, but when choosing what colors will represent your brand you want to know what you’re doing, or else your design will end up a disaster. Some articles I found to be extra helpful were Color Theory for Designers and Why Color Matters.

After a lot of thought I decided on a pretty simple color scheme for my personal brand. Green, black, white, and cream. Although I love the color blue, it can carry some glum connotations. Green on the other hand is “like blue but with the energy of yellow,” and can be used to represent growth and new beginnings- perfect for my budding personal brand.

For my text color I chose a soft warm cream color. At first I had chosen white for the text, but I didn’t love how stark and sterile it looked against the energetic yet cool green tone I had chosen. Notice below how well the lower portion of my business card contrasts against the photo of Manhattan in the top half. The bottom portion is bold and opaque and easy to read, while the top portion lets the eye wander.

Say yes to the…font?

Another element in your design that is crucial is what fonts you choose. Are you a serif or a sans serif type of person? What do your font pairings say about you?

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While searching for the perfect “me” fonts, I took inspiration from Cha Cha Matcha, a popular cafe in Manhattan. I love how fun the font “cha cha” is written in, and how clean the “matcha” font is.

Paired together I think it perfectly exemplifies my keywords, versatile, minimalist, and creative. On Canva I found the perfect imitation fonts, Yellowtail and Montserrat. The two vastly different fonts contrast each other tastefully and showcase my versatility and my creativity. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different combinations of fonts, as long as the font that you choose in your final design is truly “you.”

The finished product

So, you’ve found the perfect font, a color scheme that practically speaks for itself, and you’ve mastered the four big principles of design. The outcome- you embodied in a business card. It may take a bit of self-reflection and more technical thinking than you may have thought at first glance, but trust me, it’s worth it. I love my personal brand business card, pictured below.

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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to see your final design. Post a picture in the comments section!