Offline marketing can be a powerful channel for growing a business, but how do you get it right?
If you’ve ever had to advertise anything offline, you know how difficult it is to maximize your marketing efforts to get your name out to as many people as you can, and to bring in as many new customers as you can.
In this article, we hone in on a solution to the effort-for-reward dilemma when it comes to offline marketing. We identified a trend in offline marketing that a lot of businesses seem to have caught onto — big color flyers get big attention.
The crux of it? You can stand out significantly more offline if the flyers you use to advertise your business, event or product do the work for you. So, we’ve curated 20 big-color flyers to inspire you to make your own.
Bonus Free Templates
As an added bonus, we’ve also included some of the best Canva layouts applying the principles in here.
Clicking on images with the caption “Edit this design in Canva”, opens up the design your account for you to customize and print out. (Find out more about how to use our articles here.) Pick you favourites from our article below and have fun designing your very own big-color flyer.
01. Go Triadic
Triadic color schemes are built using any 3 colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. I enjoy working with them because I can quickly build rich color palettes that offer strong visual contrast and are not difficult to balance.
See the approach in action on Goooood Company’s Fred Events flyers. The coral color is dominant, the yellow is supporting, and purple is an accent.
If you are thinking about going triadic, use one color as a dominant color, another a supporting color, and the third as an accent. This approach will ensure that you land compositions that remain balanced and harmonious. Go nuts on triadic using the Canva templates we’ve included above.
02. Use a Bright Color as an Accent
Overly bright colors can be tough on our eyes, especially in large quantities. If you have your heart set on a flashy hue, use it in small quantities as showcased in the flyer above by Pia Alive. She has chosen to set the event title in a fluorescent green over monoton photography, letting the audience see it first. The text is also broken up strategically, helping the viewers navigate the flyers.
Apply it to important elements within your flyer, like dates or titles. Not only will this ensure your audience won’t miss any important details, it will help you create an exciting flyer sans the watery eyes.
Try accentuating with a bright color using the Canva template featured above.
03. Create Colorful Illustrations
Creating a flyer for a concert or crazy opening? Design an illustration that speaks to your audience and use a bright palette to bring it to life.
To make sure important copy on your flyer doesn’t get lost in a sea of beautiful colors, reserve white or your darkest hues for copy or highlights — similar to what you can do with the Canva templates featured above.
04. Add Black and White
Big, bright, and bold color palettes do not have to be made solely of vibrant colors. Adding black and white to them can help you build balance and harmony.
Pair your vibrant palette with a killer pattern, just as designer Claudia Alexandrino did for the Mondopolitani Art Fest. You’ll design a flyer nobody will toss in the bin.
As you design your flyer, use all the colors in your palette, including black and white, in equal proportions. Check it out in action on the Canva template above.
05. Try Monochromatic Photography
I love the simplicity of the flyer above for the Lolly Club by Boaz Stroobach. By combining beautiful white type with monochromatic photography, the designer created an eye-catching piece packed with a color punch.
This approach also offers a great way to work around not-so-great photography. In the past, whenever I’ve received low-quality photographs to work with, I’ve used a filter or two to turn them into monochromatic shots and created solid visuals.
Because Canva offers only the highest quality photography, you probably won’t be using the trick!
06. Go Neon
Want to make sure your flyer doesn’t go unnoticed? Try a neon color palette, like the one used in the identity for the Latin American Design Festival.
My favorite aspect of the Latin American Design Festival flyer is its simplicity. I love the single graphic floating in a sea of rich color. I’ve envisioned millions of variations with a single line of type or a URL set in big, bold type.
If you have more information to share with your audience on your flyer, you can do it on the reverse side of the paper. Just add another page in the Canva editor when customizing the designs above and paste in your text there.
07. If You Can’t Make it Big, Make it Red
Talk about lively! Red is hard to miss and one of the colors we are most drawn to. Whenever appropriate, give using red as a solid color background a shot. Play with elements that seem to jump out of the page, just like the figures in the example above. You’ll produce a flyer with a life of its own.
What if red isn’t one of your brand colors? Use the brightest color in your palette as a background. You can easily change the background color on the design above in the Canva editor.
08. Combine a Bold Hue With Muted Hues
Balancing a palette made up entirely of bold colors can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting started with color. Select one beautiful, bright color and a couple less flashy shades to create your flyer.
Add visual interest to bold color fields by using textured elements, just like Kärt Einasto did for Mailaul 2016.
Add dimension to your flyers by layering design elements over and behind your content, just like in the customizable Canva template featured here.
09. Draw Color Inspiration From a Decade
The first time I saw the flyer above, I immediate thought of the 80’s. Granted, the flyer isn’t decked with palm trees and glossy gradients. Yet something about the purple hues in the gradient immediately took me back to the era of Miami Vice.
If you’re ever starving for color inspiration and can’t seem to find anything on color galleries online, venture into old magazines and books. The past often offers up excellent ideas that can be remixed to fit design needs today.
10. Back to Basics: Use Primary Colors
Red, blue, and yellow offer a tried and true color palette you can easily use to design your flyer. They are easy to balance and vibe well in a variety of shades and tints.
It is worth mentioning that we tend to associate primary colors with children and play. We are introduced to them early on and see loads of kids toys fashioned using the hues. However, you can easily steer clear of said associations by being mindful of your type and design element choices.
11. Combine Bright Color with Black Type
Black typography over color will give your flyer a modern feel. You’ll also be able to achieve high contrast within your piece, making it an attention-grabber.
New York City isn’t the kind of place where you’d want to pick up anything off the street. Its busy sidewalks are covered with grit and grime. However, one more than one occasion, I’ve been guilty of picking up flyers with interesting graphics on them.
If you’re feeling adventurous, create an unconventional face for your flyer, like the one above by de_form.
We tend to gloss over anything that feels “normal.” A beautiful abstract face on your flyer can prompt your audience to pick it up for further inspection.
12. Breakup Bright Color With Patterns
I love the colored characters on this flyer for WEIWUYIN 2016, straight out of the heart of Taiwan. The dotted pattern used as a fill for each offers a great way to break up bold color that could otherwise be overwhelming.
If you are working with neon colors that feel over the top, consider breaking them up using a dotted pattern or texture. You’ll be able to get away with using even the most fluorescent ink out there.
13. Draw Inspiration From Nature
Let’s be honest–when it comes to color, nature is by far the greatest maestro of them all. Take advantage of your surroundings and draw inspiration from nature. A sunset, beautiful bouquet of flowers, and even this brightly colored guy can serve up a color palette you can easily use on your flyer.
Keep in mind that you don’t always have to print full bleed when it comes to flyers. Color heavy pieces can be made to feel refined and elegant, like the flyer above by Alkemia Studio, by simply adding a white border.
14. Use Color Gradients
You’re not restricted to solids when it comes to bold color–spice up your flyer using playful gradients.
Consider the example above, a flyer for a tasty gastronomy festival in Mexico. The designer chose to create illustrations revolving around food and styled them using bright gradients. Not only does it add an element of fun to the piece, it helps create a focal point directing the audience’s attention to the name of the festival.
In the same way, be mindful of how you arrange colorful design elements on your flyer. Bright colors will inevitably draw attention. Make sure that your audience is looking towards where you wish them to.
15. Use Complementary Colors
Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel. Common examples are green and red and blue and orange, all used in the flyer above.
Complementary color schemes offer the highest contrast of all color schemes, making them the most eye-grabbing. However, they can be tough to balance and be used to create harmonious compositions.
To make sure you’re nailing the use of complementary colors, select one color to be dominant and the second to be used as an accent. In the featured example, Summer Camp design by Maria Vittoria Benatt, and the Canva template just above, green is used as the primary, dominant color. Red, along with the blue and orange, are used in much smaller quantities and are applied only to detail.
16. Include Colorful Bits of Icons or Illustrations
Using bold color doesn’t mean you have to give up all your information up front. Grab your audience’s attention by providing color clues in the shape of playful illustrations in the same way Ludlow Kingsley did in the flyer above.
If you’re going this way, be sure to build out all your vector artwork using the same set of shapes. In other words, if you’ve decided you’ll build all your illustrations with basic shapes, be sure you see it through. This will help you build a cohesive set of illustrations that feel related and professional.
17. Combine Bright Color with Bold, White Type
Give your bright flyer a modern feel by using crisp, white type as a design element. Increase visual contrast by setting it at a large point size and stylize an otherwise bland composition.
Can’t think of a phrase or word to use? Try setting an important date in different formats, mixing words with numbers. Joshua Benedikt set the phrase “Disco is for Dancing” in the poster above creatively to arrive at a stunning visual.
18. Go Analogous
Analogous color palettes feature colors that sit side by side on the color wheel. Because they are normally found in nature, we tend to find them familiar and pleasing. Analogous color palettes are also easy to work with as color directly next to each other usually work well.
Analogous color schemes can lack contrast. If your palette is lacking visual contrast, play with different tints and shades of each color in it. If you wish to stick to two colors, play with opacity in the same way Alexandra Turban did above.
You’d be surprised by how many interesting patterns and visuals you can create with basic geometric shapes. If you don’t have photographs or design elements to work with, create a simple, fun pattern using shapes of different opacity and make them a bright color.
19. Work With Accent Colors
Instead of amping up the brightness of every hue in your palette, give center stage to only one color in it. Accent colors are powerful tools that can help you direct the eye, create hierarchy, and, of course, add visual interest to any piece.
Above, the bright yellow birds guide a viewer’s eye around the flyer. They were thoughtfully distributed throughout the flyer, highlighting important bits of copy, like the date and venue.
In the same way, use an accent color to help your audience navigate your flyer — just like in the Canva design featured here.
20. Feature Colorful Type
Is there a word or phrase that perfectly describes what you flyer is all about? Set it in big, colorful type, like the word “Carnaval” above.
Not only will this turn it into a design element within your flyer, it will make it easy for your audience to quickly glean information from your flyer.
Ready to Go Big, Bold, and Beautiful?
As we said in the introduction, striking the perfect proportions of effort and impact in the offline marketing world is not easy, but there are little things you can do that build up and give way to great ROI impact.
And as emphasised throughout this article, one of those things is to go big on color. We’ve previously gone into the psychology of color and how it’s deeply related to the science of persuasion, but hopefully we just showed you how to do the same thing on the surface level, at the outset. You can drive people to pay attention by using colors that exert influence on their eyes first, and then their mind.
Remember: this is especially crucial for a medium that’s competing in a 3D environment — the offline world — where you have very limited control on how people encounter your material. If there’s one thing you can do to make them turn their heads, it’s by going big.
Getting yourself up in the top-of-mind shelf of your audience’s mind doesn’t seem so hard now, does it?