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How to design a flyer – a small business guide

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How to design a flyer – a small business guide

how to design a flyer

How to design your flyer…

…you’ve crafted the perfect message, and if you haven’t then check out the post how to write copy for promotional flyers

Now it’s time to design it.

The most important thing is this:

Make sure your flyer is DOUBLE-SIDED.

It may cost a little more, but having a blank back to a flyer should be a crime. It’s wasted space and you can never be sure which way round people will look first – and a blank, white page isn’t the best first impression!

It also gives you twice as much space to get your message across.

When it comes to designing the flyer, and if you want to do it yourself, it’s a lot easier than you think. There are so many tools available nowadays, all you need is a little patience and an eye for what looks good.


Make it Eye-catching

Let’s say you’ve popped into the coffee shop to get your morning caffeine fix. You wander over to a small counter to get some sugar and milk, and as you reach for the milk, something catches your eye. It’s a flyer for a local festival hanging on the bulletin board. Now, you’re busy—you’re trying to get to work, you haven’t had your coffee yet, but something still made you stop and give that flyer a second look.

Whatever it was that caught your eye, it was most likely a visual element — maybe the colours or shapes, or a great photo or illustration, or attractively arranged typography. At their heart, flyers are visual advertisements, whether they’re selling something or not. So if you want a flyer to serve its intended purpose, it needs to be seen, first and foremost.

Let’s look at a few features that will help your flyer design stand out:

Clear Focal Point: Every design needs a focal point, which is simply the part of the layout that draws viewers into the design. It could be an image or graphic, a headline or promotion, or other text/lettering — but the focal point of a design is usually the thing people notice first. For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure your focal point directs viewers to the most important information you have to communicate.

Relevant Imagery: Most flyers will have some kind of imagery, whether simple graphics like shapes or icons, a photograph in the background, or something more sophisticated like a custom illustration or hand-drawn typography. A visual component that is relevant to the purpose or theme of the flyer will help viewers immediately get a grasp on what the flyer is all about.

Appropriate Fonts: Typography plays an important role in pretty much any flyer layout; it’s the rare design that can communicate its message using imagery alone. However, in the same way that choosing images requires consideration of a flyer’s purpose, context, and audience, picking fonts calls for just as much care. Because fonts alone can give a design a distinct look or mood, you’ll want to make sure any typeface you choose matches up with the overall style and intent of your design.

Readability is also an important factor for flyers, which means you’ll want to avoid any fonts that or overly ornate or unusual, barring a specific purpose (as above).

Consider Colour

Nothing attracts our attention quite like colour. But colour also engages our feelings and emotions, which is why colour can give your flyer design even more impact. For instance, warm colours like red and orange are thought to communicate warmth, energy, and excitement, while cool colours like blue and green are considered more calming, nature-inspired, and conservative. Use these qualities to enhance your flyer’s message.


Find Balance

One thing that’s sure to discourage people from looking at your flyer is a crowded, busy layout. If there’s so much information crammed onto one page then discovering what the flyer is for and finding information looks next to possible, then viewers are likely to just walk on by. On the other hand, a balanced, well-spaced layout makes the whole flyer easy to see at a glance and makes pertinent information easy to find.

Aside from limiting your content to only the most important information, one of the biggest factors in achieving a balanced layout is making good use of white space, or blank areas without any words or graphics. Never, ever be scared of using white space. While your first inclination may be to fit as much as you possibly can onto your flyer, that approach won’t do you any favours. And including white (or blank) areas in your layout isn’t wasted space — it helps direct the eye to the focal point and other content. Think of those blank areas as a roadmap that viewers use to navigate your layout, travelling from one design element to another.

Top Tip: Taking advantage of the margins and alignment settings or tools in your chosen design program can make even a content-heavy flyer look more balanced. These settings work in combination with white space to help organize your layout.


Canva (www.canva.com) is a free online tool that lets you easily design really amazing looking images, flyers, posters and more!

Canva has its own intuitive drag-and-drop flyer maker which means it’s easy to create a professional flyer, even without any graphic design skills.

So whether you’re creating a flyer for a flash sale, a gallery opening or a fundraising campaign, Canva’s easy to use flyer maker will help you create an amazing flyer your audience will want to read.

Forget text-heavy flyers with clip art and basic images – Canva has a fantastic selection of professionally designed layouts for you to choose from and a whole host of fonts, colours, images and banners that you can use to create great design in minutes.

You don’t need to install any software to create an amazing flyer design in Canva. Simply head on over to www.canva.comand create an account to start designing.

Using Verve

Nowadays, it doesn’t cost a fortune to get a great flyer designed by a professional designer.

So if you want a good looking flyer, but don’t have the time, patience or desire to design the thing yourself – just send us a message and we will get right onto it – email us here: [email protected]!


Whatever you do DO NOT print your flyer at home!

Unless you own professional printing equipment, do not print your own flyers.

Flyers are naturally very easy to throw away. So in order to keep them in your prospect’s hand for longer than just a trip to the bin, you need to make the flyer look and feel like a high quality flyer. So printing at home is a big no no.

If you are looking to get a quote from a professional printer then these are some of the terms you should know:


GSM means ‘Grams per Square Meter’. Essentially, the higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper. And the heavier the paper, the higher quality is perceived.

Here’s a quick guide on GSM:

35gsm to 55gsm:  Very thin paper, like the paper newspapers will be printed on.

90gsm to 100gsm: This is the weight of most household printer paper.

120gsm to 140gsm:  Paper with this GSM is sturdy enough to withstand a bit of wear and tear. It’s also the thickness of low-cost, cheap looking flyers.

210gsm to 300gsm: We’re moving onto quality flyers now. This paper weight is more like that of a magazine cover. This is the best GSM to use for your flyers!.

350gsm to 400gsm: This GSM is essentially card. It will stand up under its own weight and is most commonly associated with business cards.

We like to use 280 gsm for our flyers and would NOT recommend going any lower.

Colour or not?

It’s the age old conundrum…

Black and white or colour?

The answer is colour!

You need your flyer to stand out to your prospects. It needs to be eye-catching – and colour is the best way to do this!
So make your flyer as bright and vibrant as you can.

Colour is not as expensive nowadays as it used to be, as most printers now have really high-quality digital printers. These let you do low quantity runs with great colour quality.

Paper Type

When you go to print your flyer there are three main finishes:

  • Glossy
  • Matte
  • Silk

It’s a matter of personal preference which one you go for.

A Glossy finish will give your flyer a shine. This is great if you’re going for a ‘glamorous’ look.

A Matte finish will give your flyer the opposite effect. It won’t shine at all. We like this finish because it helps give the flyer that sense of quality. Most flyers have a shine thanks to the cheap paper they’re printed on – so a Matte finish is another way to differentiate yourself from the rest.

Silk is less shiny than a gloss, but is used by most people, another reason we prefer matte.


Flyers are remarkably affordable.

You can find some online printers who will do a great deal – BUT – you get what you pay for…

So be prepared for lower quality paper and print.

Your best bet is to get a couple of quotes from various suppliers, and even request print samples.


We have a range of printers we use, each having their own specialisms, so are always happy to help if you want some quotes. Let’s see how we can help you – email us at [email protected]





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