How To Design A Flyer: Step by Step Ultimate Guide

By Denver Kunaka In Design
Last Updated June 10, 2024

Flyers are an essential part of marketing. Everyday people need flyers for their businesses, events and services.

Digitalization has made flyers more accessible and in demand. You don’t need to print to get your word across.

If you want to learn how to design flyers on your own without hiring a graphic designer to do some basic designs or edits then this post is for you.

Know Your Audience

When designing a flyer or anything visual you first need to know the type of people you’re targeting to see your flyer. Are you creating a flyer for kids, adults, mourners or wealthy people? Knowing your audience allows you to select the right colours, fonts and styles for your design.

For example, you cannot use Comic sans font for a funeral flyer. The playful appearance of Comic sans makes it suitable for kids related flyers.

What do you want to convey?

Do you want people to feel happy, excited or sad? Knowing the type of mood or feeling you want people to experience will also aid you in selecting the right design styles.

Flyer Components & Principals

Colours

colour psychology chart
Colour psychology

Colours make people feel a certain way. Here is a list of the top colours and their related psychologixL representations:

  • Black: mystery, class, prestige, luxury, serious, gloom
  • White: purity, class, alive, innocence
  • Blue: trust, calmness, peace
  • Green: nature, health, calmness, freshness
  • Red: impact. energy, love
  • Yellow/Orange: playful, youthful, joy, whimsical, alive
  • Purple: royalty, prestige, class, power luxury,, mystery

Read more about Color Psychology

When you add black to a colour you create a shade, while adding white creates a tint.

Colour shade and tint
Blue colour shade and tint

Dark colours or shades are more associated with maturity, prestige and class, mystery, or gloom whilst light colours or tints show purity and calmness. Highly saturated colours like lime are more vivid, youthful and playful.

A classy black design
This flyer tells that the event is going to be classy

Tinted colours can be said to be muted because of low colour saturation

A muted flyer design

Knowing colour feelings aid you in selecting the right colours for your target audience and the message you want to portray.

For starters keep colours at a minimum. One or two colour variations can work wonders for you. For the two colours you can use shades, one light and another slightly dark, or you can use colours next to each other on the colour wheel (analogous)

If you want to be a bit different you can use complementary colours opposite each other on the colour wheel, e.g purple and green, blue and orange etc

Extracting colours from a picture

If your flyer design contains pictures you can extract the colours and apply them to the design. This makes colors to blend and be in harmony with each other. You can extract colours from a photo by using the eyedropper tool.

The brown on the burger is in harmony with the brown text and shapes

Hierarchy & Layout

You need to know how to align and arrange different elements on your flyer.

What’s the most important thing you want people to see first? This is called emphasis. You may want to go with this structure:

  • The Headline must be big and vivid. Use big fonts here.
  • Subheadings follow headlines. These can be taglines or something you want to capture attention second.
  • Body includes things like lists or paragraphs
  • Footer includes contact information or other less prominent details. They are usually small.
  • Attention grabbers are elements that you want people to look at other than the headline. They are styled differently from all other elements to make them standout. These can be bold text, italics, call-to-action buttons,  funky styles, shapes or colours. An example is the circular price tag on the burger flyer above.

Logos usually appear small in the header or the footer. They must not overpower the design unless they are your main focal point you want people to see.

Balancing Your Flyer

How are your elements distributed across your design. Are they symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial or scattered.

Symmetrical balance

Elements are distributed evenly on both sides along an imaginary line of symmetry. Symmetrical designs appear more organised. The line of symmetry can be vertical, horizontal or both. Each mirror side must share similar weight and elements.

Symmetrical flyer design
Symmetrical flyer design

Asymmetrical

Elements are not evenly distributed. Asymmetrical designs add more visual interest

worship church flyer
An asymmetrical flyer. Notice how the “with Pstr name” is offset from the heading adding visual interest

Radial

Elements diverge or radiate around a central point

A radial balance flyer
A radial balance flyer

Mosaic balance/ Crystallographic balance

In a mosaic balance elements are scattered all over the place, but creating visual interest at the same time

clothes store flyer with mosaic balance
Clothes store flyer with mosaic balance

Where possible try to center align elements such as text. Centered (symmetric) elements and text creates a more organised outlook.

Typography

Fonts or typefaces play a crucial role in any design. You need to know the different feelings fonts give to people. For example, this font reflects prestige and class.

Classy calligraphy font
Classy calligraphy font

They’re basically 5 groups of fonts; serifs, sans serifs, monospace, calligraphy and handwritten.

Serif

Serifs have extra strokes around their edges, e.g Times New Roman. They are more suitable  if you want a classy and prestigious feel to your design.

serif fonts
Serif fonts

Sans Serifs

Sans Serifs don’t have extra strokes around the edges. They’re are modern and can suit any design, e.f Arial, Roboto and Montserrat

sans serif font list
Sans serifs

Monospace

Each glyph/character in a monospaced font is equal in length. Courier New is a popular monospace font. Monospaces are usually used in computer terminals.

Monospace fonts
Monospace fonts

Script

Script fonts are stylised and decorative handwritings, including calligraphy They’re are suited for classy and prestigious outlooks such as wedding or church designs. However, playful script fonts also exist like Pacifico.

script fonts
Script fonts

Handwritten

These fonts, as the name suggests, are written by hand. They are more playful and casual. They’re mostly suited for kids-related designs or something that has a playful feel to it.

handwritten fonts
Handwritten fonts

Other font variations and namings exist like Slab and Grunge. These fonts are based on the main ones but with additional styles and variants.

How Many Fonts Should I Use

Try to keep fonts at a minimum. 2 to 3 fonts per design are enough. Choose a bold typeface mostly suited for the heading and one for other elements on the flyer.

Spacing

You need to know how to utilise space. Leave some space out to make room for breathing and reduce congestion.

Use appropriate line height for text, typically 1.5. Avoid placing your elements close to the edges. Leave some margin around the page where your elements will not extend. Apply spacing around text boxes

While lots of white/negative space can be intentional, sometimes more empty spaces can make the design less appealing and boring. Try placing small styles, clip art or patterns such as dots or slanted strokes to bring the flyer to life. This creates rhythm.

Intentional white space
White space illustration
White space illustration by Noma bar
Baking lessons flyer
The white patterns around the edges create rhythm and reduce negative space making the flyer more interesting

Contrast

Make sure your elements are vivid and can be seen. Use contrasting colours to make the design pop, e.g white and any dark colour. 

When working with pictures you can place a slightly transparent overlay shape on top of an image for the text to standout.

catering flyer with orange overlay
Look how the orange overlay makes text readable. Without the overlay the white text over rice will not be legible

Shapes

Like anything else the shapes you put on your flyer matter. Circular and curved shapes are more playful and modern while angled shapes like squares and triangles have an energetic feel.

laptop sale blue flyer
The high angled shape creates energy
A curved shape design

Images

Images can break or make a flyer, choose wisely. A picture is more than a thousand words and this cannot be further from the truth. Images can liven up a design. However, if poorly taken the flyer can be less attractive. For example, out of focus images, blurred images or poorly lighted images can break a design.

Always take nice photos with good focus and lighting. You can use free stock photo libraries like Unsplash and Pexels within Flayaz.

Media libray in Flayaz
Media libray in Flayaz

Some of the best image angles and orientations are closeups, low-angle shots, and birds eye view.

bird's eye view image with text overlay
Bird’s eye view photo angle
fruit flyer with aerial view
Try these aerial photos with a blank side space for adding text

If you’re working with “not so good” photos, try applying filters such as black and white, colourisation with one colour, or applying overlays. Doing this helps make the photo blend and be in harmony with other colours.

A grayscaled photo with text on top
A grayscaled photo with text on top

How to get good at flyer creation

Like anything else practice makes perfect. Play with different colours, shapes and typography and see what comes out. Get inspiration from from other designs. Pintrest and Behance are a good place to start.

Further Reading

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