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Flyer Design Made Easy

Updated on October 5, 2014
Rose background  (Source: Cheryl Rogers)
Rose background (Source: Cheryl Rogers)

How to Design Flyers the Easy Way

Designing flyers may be part of your job description. Whenever there's a special event, you get to make the flyer. Maybe you're in a club or small group, and you were elected -- just because you have a computer or are prompt answering your emails.

Flyers are popular and you may be called upon to make them -- at one time or another. When you know how, you may even use the flyer format for birthday party invitations, promotional mailers, or small inspirational posters.

This Hubpage gives you tips to get the job done, more quickly and easily!

Beach background  (Source: Cheryl Rogers)
Beach background (Source: Cheryl Rogers)

Starting Your Flyer

There's no right or wrong way to design a flyer. There are just fast ways and slow ways - preferred ways and not-so-preferred ways. This lens will focus on designing flyers with a computer.

To design a flyer with your computer, you'll need text, page layout, or art software. Text software is limiting, but it can be done if you won't need graphic elements or if your software will support them. An attractive flyer can be made on a pre-printed background like the one pictured here. Just make sure your text is bold enough so it is easy to read.

Page layout software will allow you to use logos, photos and other art you may have access to in formats such as .JPG, .TIFF and .EPS. Art software lets you make your own graphics right on the flyer page, then add your text. You may be able to do special effects such as three-dimenstional and arced type, but the software may limit you if you want to use large amounts of regular type.

The Complete Manual of Typography: A Guide to Setting Perfect Type
The Complete Manual of Typography: A Guide to Setting Perfect Type

Art is important but a good flyer is more than a pretty picture. Learn about type with handy manual.


Designing Your Flyer

When it's time to lay out your flyer, you'll want to use a type style which is easy to read. Be sure to balance bold and regular type using the bold type to grab attention for the most important part of the message. Small and regular type styles can be used for the details of your message.

A flyer without graphics or arts is boring, so you'll want to incorporate some form of artwork. Perhaps the simplest way is to use a pre-printed background appropriate to your message. For example, use a background of trees along a river to announce a youth group picnic. Or use a butterfly in the background to announce the latest garden club workshop. This type of background is printed without full ink saturation so it won't interfere with your message.

Another type of background intentionally has parts of the image blank, or filled with white or black ink, so you have space for your message. These are suitable for short messages intended to grab the readers attention.

If you have a logo or other graphic readily identifiable by your group, or the flyer's intended readers, you may want to use it. If it does not reproduce clearly, however, it is better omitted.

You may want to use clip art to ornament your flyer, but be sure it is in the public domain or you have permission from the copyright holders.

Getting to Work

Before you actually begin work on your flyer, you'll need to configure your page in your page layout software, setting up margins and planning your work area for one, two, or four flyers.

Decide if your flyer will be 8.5" x 11", or if you can use a half sheet and get two flyers per page. The half page flyer should be designed on a landscape page using 5.5" x 8.5." When you're happy with your design, your software may let you group all of the type and objects, then copy and paste it on the second half of the page. This can then be photocopied and sliced.

For small announcements, you can design a mini-flyer to print four times per page. Design in one corner, allowing 4.25" x 5.5." Then group your objects and copy and paste three more times, making sure they are placed properly for cutting.

Whatever size you choose for your flyer, be sure to allow proper margins. Your printer likely will not print edge to edge -- even if you want to include that lovely background. So plan on 1/3" of an inch for larger posters, even 1/2" if you can spare the space. For pretty backgrounds, you'll want to leave 1/4," or 1/8" at the very least for mini-flyers. Uniform margins will give your flyer a less haphazard look, but you are the designer. Maybe a larger margin at the top or right will enhance your message or give your flyer a unique look. You're the judge.

Flyer background
Flyer background

Pre-Printed Flyer Backgrounds

When you're often called on to make the flyer, whether it be birthday party invitation flyers, company picnics or family reunions, it's good to have a few backgrounds handy to make your job a cinch. Here are some pre-printed flyer backgrounds I've developed. The are set to print at less than full ink saturation for a pastel look that does not compete with your message.

If you have just a few words to say, and want something more vibrant, check my Zazzle store for more options.

Buy the Photo Background Download

As a nature photographer, I shoot photos for background use. Some photos are taken with spaces to be used for text, others are edited in Adobe Photoshop so they can be used as a photo background. Some are lightened for use with dark text and some are darkened for use with light text. I would be happy to edit any of my photos for background use without an additional charge.

You can purchase licenses for personal, media or commercial uses. I have floral images, river scenes, beach backgrounds and more. Also lots of sky backgrounds on the "Earth and Sky."

I also offer Themed Designer Packs, a collection of six backgrounds around central themes like Floral Backgrounds, Beach Backgrounds, and River Backgrounds. These are reduced at least 50 percent off regular pricing, for personal, media or commercial uses.

An image license is a good idea if you prefer to work with a .jpg file and your own page layout software. You can use a local copy shop or you have access to a color printer. It's also a good idea if want to coordinate posters, flyers, rack cards, business cards, brochures and other promotional materials with a book cover, for example. Or if you want to design your own invitations with matching stamps and Thank You cards. It's a plan if you want to give prints to some of your friends as gifts, or if you plan to use and reuse the photo several years in a row to promote your picnic.

If you are looking for some unique nature photography, please contact me. You can see some of my work as nature posters in my store or at Zazzle.

Butterfly background
Butterfly background
Cheryl Rogers
Cheryl Rogers

About the Author

I used to run a desktop publishing business from 1990-1994. Designing flyers was one of the jobs I regularly did for print shops, individuals and myself.

I realize how time consuming designing a flyer can be if you don't have experience doing this, so I developed these backgrounds, or templates, to make the job easier.

A former journalist, I now am a free-lance writer and self publishing assistant. I also run an online magazine at It features new book announcements, book excerpts, and features of interest to the Christian reading and writing communities. The magazine's store features my ebooks as well as those of other authors.

In addition to writing on Hubages, I have several articles available for purchase at Constant Content, and have contributed to CALLED Magazine, Simple Joy, Grace and Mercy Magazine and more. I offer services to clients in need of business writing, editing and proofing, design assistance, self publishing help, and print brokering. View my Elance profile here.

I have authored a devotions book, Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook, which encapsulates Bible principles for new and young believers. The goal of the book is to help new believers sidestep some of the common pitfalls by encouraging them to spend time daily with God and learn from him. I also address common issues like how to love and forgive others, why to set aside pride, and how to deal with tragedy and death, all from a non-denominational viewpoint.

Learn more about Fast Track to Victory at my web site, where I also share Scripture songs God gave me.

Software from Amazon

If are on the market for a good page layout software, I highly recommend Adobe Indesign to help you create professional looking flyers. I have been using Adobe software since the early 1990s when I ran a desktop publishing company. Pagemaker was one of the my key softwares. Now I use Indesign for books and ebooks.

Would you use a digital background to design your flyer?

See results

Would you use a printed background when you design your flyer?

See results

© 2009 Cheryl Rogers


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