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Best Practices in Flyer Design

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Best Practices in Flyer Design

By Drew Palmer | July 07, 2014

One of the biggest misconceptions about things like social media and inbound marketing is that they will completely do away with older marketing approaches. Of course, while some techniques — cold calling comes to mind — will certainly wane in popularity, other approaches will continue to be important components of your marketing toolkit. 

Take the classic flyer, for example. It's simple, it's affordable, and it can be tremendously effective. After all, it's the first thing your customers see when they walk into your store. Therefore today we'd like to take some time to look at the elements of effective flyer design. They include:shutterstock 92815735

Less is more. By "less" we mean "less copy." It's the most important principle of effective flyer design. Much like a billboard or a landing page, viewers have a finite amount of time to see, process, and retain information on a flyer. Brevity and concision count (but don't be afraid to throw in a compelling tagline like "the most exciting Northern California charity golf event since 1994!")

Stick to the basics. Who, what, when, and where. Also be clear in how you present specific information. For example, spell out the date — August 4, 2014 — rather than 8/4/14. Also include fees or cost. 

Make it digestible. While your flier may include the aforementioned "who, what, when, and where," viewers may not read it if the text is clumped together, too small, or in a strange font. Break up the text and make it easy to read.

Provide next steps. Some events are self-explanatory. Others require some next steps on the part of the viewer. Therefore, be explicit as to what they need to do next (e.g. "For tickets visit StocktonHonda.com.")

Employ bright colors. People are inevitably drawn to bright, eye-catching colors. Embrace reds, yellows, greens, and blues and stay away from blacks and browns. They're depressing. Better yet, employ colors with an eye towards your brand and logo. Keep them uniform and consistent so that everything flows together from a visual standpoint. For instance, make sure your text color complements the colors in your image. If your image is blue and green, don't introduce red text — it's too disorienting.

Use entertaining or provocative images. "Entertaining," of course, is a relative term, but you'll know it when you see it. If you're promoting pop-up dinner featuring local restaurants and vendors, you can display images of smiling bakers and sommeliers. However, you may want to "think outside the box" on certain occasions in order to grab a viewer's attention with a unique or provocative image. Also liberally check free online image sites for material.

Make the font match the mood. If you're having a July 4th Pre-Owned Car Sale, you're not going to want to employ a font with cursive writing or one that connotes softness or gentility. On the other hand, you don't want an offensively in-your-face font or all-cap text. You'll want something strong, bold, and basic.

Remember the power of alignment. You want to arrange the text so viewers read it in an intuitive and easy manner. To accomplish this, make sure both text and images align on vertical and horizontal planes. Similarly, frame the text properly by making sure it's not too close to the edge of the page.

Now we'd like to ask you for your input. What flyer design techniques have proved helpful to your brand? What doesn't work? What's the best way to grab a viewer's attention?

Does your event flyer and related marketing material effectively reflect your brand? Download our Brand Audit ebook and find out.


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