Dreaming up a special event? When an all-important social date pops up on your calendar, there’ll be so many different things to check-off your preparation list. From catering for tricky dietary requirements to choosing the right date and location to finding the ideal venue, no detail is too minor in planning the perfect event.
Let’s zoom out to some bigger picture stuff, though: Being an excellent event host also comes with mastering the challenge of convincing people to leave their house. That’s where making things official with an event flyer can make all the difference when it comes to getting the word out.
Maybe it’s a birthday, a work party, a festival, or an event launching a brand new product or service. Regardless of the occasion, a flyer will help you communicate clearly to a large audience.
01. Make your poster easy to read
We live in a time where visual stimulation is all around us. Your ideal viewer might be looking at your flyer with their nose pressed up against a screen but that flyer could just as easily be on a wall across the street from their desk at work or glimpsed in passing while someone’s in a rush to their next appointment. So it’s important for your flyer is scannable. Your audience is more likely to consider attending an event if they can easily figure out what’s going on, and how it can fit into their schedule. Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind:
- Grab your viewer’s attention with an eye-catching image or inviting headline
- Answer the questions who, what, when, where and how
- Include other important details in the fine print
Let’s have a look at the below example, a poster to promote a new film season of Australia’s Melbourne Cinémathèque. The combination of friendly hand-drawn illustrations, playful and bold color palette and large heading choice prioritizes information. At a quick glance, we know who the organization is, what the season duration is, and which film is the main attraction.
Create a striking, visually memorable party flyer with the Retail Flash Sale A4 Flyer template and the Orange and Blue Brush Strokes and Baby Icons Male Babysitting Flyer template.
When it comes to creating your own party flyers, think of the layout as a multilayered cake. Make sure you don’t forget these three main ingredients:
Headline: Main (and largest) text element of the flyer design. Depending on your choices, it can an element in addition to the artwork, or the headline can become the artwork itself. Typefaces are best chosen for being readable and attention-grabbing.
Event details: This is the what, when and where of your event planning. These questions will need to be anticipated as your audience can’t turn up if they don’t know the answers. What are the need-to-know essentials that can fit concisely?
Fine print: The ‘terms and conditions’ section of your event flyer. Do you have sponsors you need to credit or anything that needs to be included for legal reasons? This last bit is everything else that needs to be on your flyer to take care of any additional questions that are nice-to-have. Best kept in a smaller font size so that the key art elements of the flyer aren’t overshadowed.
Another way of organizing information on your flyer is building a hierarchy according to how important the information is—with the most important information up at the top:
02. Use contrast
Party flyers are a good opportunity to experiment with color palettes and high contrast combinations that might be too ‘out there’ for your other visual communications.
Remember that you’re aiming for high contrast and high visibility.
03. Choose your flyer size and location wisely
Think about where your event flyer will end up. The ‘where’ factor will influence your flyer size and the design elements included in the final layout.
For example, if your poster is going to hang on a blue wall (or embedded in an email newsletter with a blue background), you probably want to use a contrasting color scheme so the design doesn’t disappear into the background.
04. Adapt your flyer to be multi-purpose
Whether you’re putting together a last-minute invite or building up hype to a huge once-in-a-lifetime event, there’s always room to be thinking about how you could make the most of the designs you’re creating.
Your visual assets and copy don’t need to be discarded after making an appearance on your party flyer—instead, they can be treated as key messaging ingredients that’ll easily adapt across both digital or print mediums and formats.
Think like a publicist and plan ahead: How much hype do you need to build up before the day of the actual event and where will your audience be most open to receiving information?
As New Orleans-based publicist Kelly McLure recently told The Creative Independent:
“Ideally, a publicity campaign will run for two or three months, and start PRIOR (screaming this) to the release of the thing you want publicity for.”
For example, Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party—an annual summer music festival—uses bright bold square visual assets that work like drag-and-drop Lego blocks.
Stack them next to each other in grid format, and they can collectively form an eye-catching line-up announcement on the website. You can also use them individually as Instagram Posts or Stories, Facebook event header photos, in targeted eDM campaigns, or embedded into tweet threads or Twitter header photos.
05. Use big eye-catching visuals to your advantage
Event flyers are a great opportunity to convey personality, mood and what to expect on the day (or evening) to your potential audience. Think of your flyer as a jigsaw puzzle piece that contributes to the overall experience—by choosing to be consistent across all communication channels with bold, memorable visuals, you can create a visual narrative that sinks into the mind of the ideal guest or customer.
As Andressa Hara of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party previously told Canva:
“The best tip for an unforgettable event is choosing a unique and relevant theme that carries through the party decor and food/sweets. Creating an eye-catching setup… with a story behind it will definitely give the guests something to talk about.”
06. Use negative space
Not only does negative space (sometimes also referred to as white space) help you push the limits of what you can creatively achieve within the limitations of your design constraints, negative space also:
- Supports scannability of the flyer
- Enhances visual hierarchy
- Helps the viewer focus on the most important information, distraction, and clutter-free
- Adds style and elegance to the page
Below, this flyer for a week-long design festival makes the most of negative space (and illustrations of hands) to draw attention to each event and details (such as dates, days of the week, and event highlights).
There are a few places where extra space can work wonders on a flyer:
- Between individual letters (remember that tight kerning can cause letters to blur at a distance)
- Between lines of text
- Between different elements (such as text, images, or symbols)
- Around interior margins of the canvas
- Around the most important element in the design (think, ‘what do I want people to look at first?’)
07. Use a clear call-to-action
Beautiful illustrations and typography can make your event flyer come alive. But there’s more to it: The words you use to convince your audience to show up and show support.
In the below example for an annual zine fair in Melbourne, Australia, have a look at how the ordering of the copy influences the logic for what information is most important to know first:
To make the most of your body copy and call-to-action keep these things in mind when designing your flyer:
- Include only the absolute necessary information that describes your program, service or event as well as logistical details
- Include the benefits—what’s in it for your audience?
- Steer clear of jargon or acronyms (you don’t want to lose your audience due to a lack of clarity or ‘inside jokes’ they won’t get)
- Keep your body copy concise (word count will depend on the size and design of your poster) and break it up into bullet points if possible
- Make sure this copy relates clearly to your selected headline
Call-to-actions exist to encourage your audience to do something. Keep this description down to one clear thing. For example, call to book an appointment or buy tickets, register online, or mark a date on a calendar.
08. Be creative with your font choice
It’s a good idea to keep your typography choices to a minimum when designing your party flyer—stick to around two to three.
For example, the below flyer for Sydney Writers’ Festival in Australia makes the most of handwritten typography. This injects personality and intimacy into the design while maintaining a clean, uncluttered aesthetic due to the deliberate choice of minimal copy.