How to Design a Flier

What is a Flier?

Fliers (frequently known as flyers*) are one of the cheapest, and often simplest forms of advertising. A flier is essentially like a poster, but is often printed smaller, either on an 8 ½’’ x 11” or 5” x 7” page.

You will often find fliers being handed out at events, on the street corner, or hanging up on a community board somewhere. Fliers can be useful for getting information out to the public and can be useful forms of advertising.

When Should I Use a Flier?

A flier is most useful for advertising an event, service, or discount, or just getting useful information out to people. PSAs are often advertised through fliers, as are church bake sales, car wash services, or discounted haircuts.

If you or your company is doing something that will be of interest to your community, it would be appropriate to use a flier. So, as with most forms of business communication, you will want to know and understand your audience and what matters to them.

Additionally, if targeting a specific group that could be easily accessible at a specific location or at a specific event, a flier would likely be useful.

What Should I Include on a Flier?

You can really put whatever you want on a flier, and it depends on what the flier is advertising.

In general, you will want to have the following elements:

  • Name and logo of the company
  • Relevant contact information or the address
  • Highlights of the service, event, or topic.
  • Visuals

How Do I Design My Flier?

There is no one correct way to design an effective flier. However, we do have some basics that you should follow when designing a flier:

  • Keep it simple: You don’t want to overwhelm someone who is looking at your flier with difficult to see or interpret visuals or large chunks of text. Keep the information and visuals simple and relevant.
  • Use visuals: Visuals make your flier more interesting to look at. They also can help to explain what you are advertising. Try to avoid clichéd and cheesy images like clip art though. Take or create visuals yourself, or use some stock images.
  • Use headings, bold print, and bullet points: Making use of these elements for emphasis will allow your flier to be read more easily, and make the key information easier to find.
  • Make it attention grabbing: Whether using interesting headings, color, or eye-catching visuals, make your flier stand out. It will help to make sure that people either go look at your flier on a bulletin board, or actually hold on to it if you’re handing them out.
  • Consider how it will be printed: This is extremely important to making a good flier. Will you be printing this on your company’s copier right before an event? Will you be sending it out to a printing shop where you can specify bleeds?  Many types of printers don’t allow for things to be printed without a margin, so you want to consider how your flier will look after printing when designing and deciding where to print.

If you happen to see a flier you like on a bulletin board somewhere, don’t be afraid to take some inspiration from it. Starting with ideas from other fliers, noting what you like and don’t like about them can help you to decide how to design a flier. Taking bits that stand out to you can help inspire your design and help to make it eye-catching. Just make sure not to copy a flier too closely. You don’t want it to turn in to plagiarism.


Which of the fliers on this community bulletin board stand out most? Why? Looking at other fliers and determining what makes them effective can be a useful tool for deciding how to design your own flier.

Local Bulletin Board with Fliers--How to Design a Flier


*The spelling “flier” is used here, as it is the accurate spelling for this type of handout as used by the Associated Press.

Alisa Scott

I’m Alisa Scott, a digital content developer intern for The Visual Communication Guy. I am a communication major with a minor in English. I enjoy visual communication, design, writing, social media, advertising and public relations. Although I'm still undecided on what I want to be when I grow up, I am currently aspiring to work in public relations.