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How to Design a Killer Promotional Flyer

They say nothing is as good as word-of-mouth advertising — but flyers run a close second. These versatile print media can establish a strong visual presence for your brand, anywhere from coffee shops to light poles to networking meetups. That said, a badly designed flyer can harm your brand’s reputation. Avoid a waste of ink: Read on to learn what makes an awesome promo flyer.

The 3 Types of Flyers

While there are many print materials a company can have, flyers are useful because they pull double duty: They can be directly handed to a prospective customer, or they can be posted in a public place. They can promote a specific product, service, or event, or they can provide general information about a company. They’re amazingly versatile and effective. That said, you should design your flyers for their intended use. There are three main types:

Poster: As the name suggests, this type of flyer is meant to be posted. It’s larger (usually 11×17 inches) and often printed on thicker paper. This makes it unwieldy to hand out to people but great for promoting in high-traffic areas!

Handbill: Another aptly named type of flyer is the handbill. These are often double-sided and printed on cardstock at a smaller size (usually 4×6 or 5×7). They’re great for handing out to people at events, hence the name. They’re sturdy enough that they won’t be easily damaged if people put them in their pocket or bag.

Leaflet: Similar to a handbill, a leaflet is typically small yet lightweight. Rather than being handed to people, it’s often left on car windshields or in stacks at gathering places.

Principles of Flyer Design

A flyer needs to quickly communicate information in both a visual and written way. That means that it needs to strike a balance between images and text. This is easier said than done. A good flyer:

  1. Uses a single compelling image. Avoid the temptation to cram multiple images into the design. A strong image, whether it’s a logo, graphic, or photo can say a thousand words, as the saying goes.
  2. Uses visual hierarchy. Put the most important information in the biggest type. That might not be the name of your company. Know your audience: If you’re already well established, you can focus on pitching a specific event, product, or service to the reader. If you have a specific target audience, you can place your slogan or call-to-action in a large font.
  3. Minimizes textual information. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a flyer that’s cluttered and confusing. Anything that you can communicate visually, do so. If your logo is well known, use it, and omit your company name. Use visual cues for the thing being promoted rather than lines of text describing it.
  4. Uses contrast to its advantage. Flyers need to immediately catch the eye, and a good way to do this is to use high-contrast design. Avoid using font and background colors that are in the same color family, and take caution with complex backgrounds that could make the text hard to read.
  5. Includes a strong call-to-action. Remember, flyers are sales tools! Ensure that you include a clear action for the reader to take. Avoid having multiple calls-to-action that could be confusing. If you have several products or events to promote, create a separate flyer for each one.


Killer flyers are more than simple pieces of paper: They’re effective advertising tools that can reach people you might not otherwise reach. They’re also a great opportunity to establish your brand’s visual presence and provide a piece of art for people to take. For that reason, you should spend time and resources to ensure that your flyer looks good. It’s a powerful first impression — don’t blow it with an ugly flyer!


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