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Marketing a Cluttered World: Tips on How to Make a Great Ad or Flyer

Updated on May 17, 2013

Tips on How to Make a Great Ad or Flyer

One thing about small businesses and marketing is that sometimes you first have to do things yourself. As a small business you have to make newspaper ads, or flyers to get your business the customer traffic it needs. Now, you may not be naturally talented or creative to make them but they still have to be done. There are many programs out there and I would suggest to be as basic as possible. Once you have the program to make an ad but need help to make it good then that's where I can help you avoid being apart of the "clutter" of ads and flyers out there. After years of failed attempts, I have learned some basics to help anyone avoid errors and make your flyer shine. I cannot make it for you, but with these tips they will help you complete it with ease.


The Header

First thing is first - The Header. This is normally the name of your business or the event that your are advertising for. It is hard to start off with a blang page so this is should help to past that by doing it first. It should be the first building block of any ad.

If you already have a logo for your business then I would use that especially since you have already paid for the art. Things to consider for the header is that it has to be legible for anyone. This means the color, font and size would only enhance the word not make it harder to read. You can add effects to it but make sure it is readable. It is also important to remember size. It cannot be too small or too big. You have to find the right proportion of your header to your size of the ad.


Backing It Up

Then next most important is the background color. If you have a light background and light colors on your words then it will be hard to read. Make sure that if one is light then make the other a darker color. See the picture for clarity.

The other background people use are pictures, or clip art. These help put the words as a visual. Sometimes you can put too many pictures. Most of the time it is best to just use one. This will eleminate any complications you may encounter. Sometimes you do not have to a full picture but something to add a little "something". I have seen ads with just a few lines put in an artistic format that looked great. So it depends on your creativity. However, at first to keep it simple using just a picture would be easier.

Please take note to make sure you get permission to use the picture or art before you use it in your ad or flyer. If discovered the owner could take legal action. You can always buy pictures online as well as find free ones. Here are some links to get free stock photos:


Flaunt Your Fonts

Fonts are tricky and sometimes things work and others do not. Try several different fonts until you get to something that you like. You might have to note which ones you like because you may have to decide between three or four fonts. It is okay to be adventurous and creative but be mindful of the practical, people have to be able read it. Try to keep your fonts similar for the different sections. Your font for the body should be the same unless there is some word or phrase you want to stand out. Sometimes it is best to just use the "bold" or "italics" option to do that. There has a be "flow" to the ad and keep fonts and colors similar do that. However, your header font and body fonts can be different and still looks great.


Color and Contrast

When it comes to color this is where the fun part comes in. Just like you have to match your clothes, it's best to match your colors on you ad or flyer. If you want to only use one or two colors then that is the cheaper option. It still works. I have done several flyers on colored paper or card stock with just black ink. It was cheaper than color prints and they came out fantastic. This where were your creativity really helps to piece it how you want it.

If you use a picture sometimes color is better and other times black and white are best. It really depends on the picture. If you have a picture of your staff or yourself, color would be a better choice. It makes you look good plus people will recognize you or your staff. Color attracts the eye so it should be a preference unless you do not have the funds. Depending on how many ads or flyers you are printing color can be a lot more or just a little more, but it's always more.


Moving on to Spacing

As you can spacing is important. Too close or too far and it will not look good. The other problem is people try to jumble on too much. Simplify it down and you will not have so much trouble. Maybe a sentence is too long or the picture is too big. To make it fit try re-sizing or re-phrasing your words. Take note that it does have to be grammatically correct. However, two or three words may get the message across just as good as a full sentence.


Draft and Print

Once your have edited and broken it down as best as you can, try to print it first. Sometimes the art may look good on your monitor but goes bad on paper. This is the best way to draft an Ad/flyer until you have enough practice.

Most people and small businesses do not have the print quality or ink to print out massive amounts of ads or flyers. I would suggest to go to your local print shop. You would pay almost the same amount if not more if you did it yourself. The other plus side is they are experts and can give you some personal help. Also if you are on a budget, let them know so they can quote you a price before placing an order. Then you can decide if you want color or black and white. They also should have different types of paper/card stock. Some are more expensive than others. The cheaper kind do great in most cases but ask to see a print sample first before they print your order. Also note that glossy prints are nice but expensive. I would only recommend using that stock if it is absolutely necessary.

I hope that this helped you with your ad creation. Good luck with your advertising campaign.


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