How to design a flyer without being a designer

Whether you’re looking for your lost dog, need to advertise a new art exhibition, or are promoting a fundraising campaign at your workplace, below, we show you how to design a flyer with ease.

Social media has fast become a highly saturated marketing strategy, which makes it extremely hard to get your message across. Enter: The humble flyer. Easy to design, easy to distribute and not solely dependant on an Instagram algorithm, a flyer is a perfect way to communicate your message. And you don’t need any design experience to create a beautiful design.

Below, we show you how to easily design a flyer (like a designer) in a few simple steps.

Simply choose your template, add your personal touches, customize the colors fonts and graphics, and there you have it: Your very own flyer.

Outlining your flyer

Try this Yellow Simple Modern Corporate Advertising Flyer. The bold font and clean-cut layout will help you get your message seen and heard.

We know how tempting it can be to jump in and start designing. But first, let’s think about some important stuff: Your content strategy. Before you put your message on a flyer, you need to be sure of what your message is.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself before you begin:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What are the objectives of your flyer?
  • What do you want your audience to do after reading it?

Once you have answered these questions you can start outlining the content that will make your flyer effective.

Customize this White with Donuts Bake Sale Flyer for your next bake sale or cafe opening.

Keep your content concise

Once written, revise your content and make it as concise as possible. Audiences tend to have a short attention span. You want to make sure you aren’t using vague language that will distract them from the main purpose of your flyer.

Make your information easy to read

As well as making sure the information on your flyer is short, sharp, and snappy, you want the layout of your flyer to be easily understood by your audience. You’ve got about five seconds to capture their attention. Make use of large font sizes, clear headings, and use bullet points or breakout boxes. Emphasize who, what, where and when.

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Design by Yushan Lin

Not everything has to be communicated with words

You can also aid your message with imagery, charts, or graphs. If you’re selling a product, include an image of the product. This will not only offer your readers something visual to look at but help you convert sales.

Design by Md Mazaharul

Design by Md Mazaharul

How to design a flyer for free

Christmas Party Flyer Templates by Darko Vujic

Design by Darko Vujic

Now comes the exciting part. Putting your key messages and outlined content strategy into your design.

The style and feel of your flyer must align with your key message and content, so that your audience isn’t confused when they receive your flyer.

Highlight your brand elements

If you’re designing a flyer for your company or your own brand, it’s likely that you already have a set brand identity to begin with—this means the colors, images, fonts, and the visual style that you use regularly. Make sure you work these elements into your flyer so that people know who the flyer is coming from. Staying consistent with your style will give your brand professional brand identity.

Need a fancy new flyer for your salon? Try this Black and Yellow Icons Headline Salon Opening Flyer.

Design tip: If you have a logo but no other visual brand elements, try using the colors from your logo. This will give your flyer design a cohesive and polished finish.

Use color to change the mood of your flyer

If you’re looking for something that will stand out from the pile of other flyers, look no further. Give this Doughnut Shop Grand Opening Flyer a go.

Bright colors such as hues of yellow, orange, and vivid blues are perfect for designs such as party flyers. They will offer your design a cheery, excited feel. If you’re using bright colors in the background of your flyer, make sure that you balance this with contrasting text or imagery in the foreground—something that will easily stand out on top of these colors.

Subdued colors like black, dark yellow, gunmetal grey, or burgundy are perfect for corporate flyers. These colors will give your flyer design a professional and sleek feel.

Design by Maria Tokar

Design by Maria Tokar

Design tip: Before choosing your color scheme think about color theory and how you want to influence the mood of your audience when they see your flyer. Do you want them to feel excited and relaxed? Or do you want to show them the authority your brand or product has?

Add relevant images and visual

A picture speaks a thousand words, and when you’ve got a limited amount of space, it’s important that you make the most of it. There’s no easier way to get a message across than with an image.

If you’ve got a flyer that needs to showcase multiple images try customize this Blue Simple Photo Grid Real Estate Flyer Template.

If you’re creating a flyer for your company, use a picture of the product instead of describing it with words. If you are creating an invite, add images that indicate what kind of party or event you are hosting.

Design by Agencia Matriz

Design by Agencia Matriz

Use this White and Gray Simple Photo Grid Real Estate Flyer for your next open house.

Use grids and shapes

One of the biggest challenges you will face when designing your flyer will be the lack of space that you’ll have to play around with. This is where grids and shapes can help.

Design by Toufik Mia

Design by Toufik Mia

For corporate flyers, opt for a single-column, structured layout for your content. If you are wanting to be more unique, you may try dividing your flyer into irregular columns or sections.

This Blue and Green Buildings Corporate Flyer is the ideal look for a corporate flyer that includes flat tones and classic typography.

Grids and columns will allow you to pack in more content while still having a minimalistic look like in the template below.

Flyer by Eugenia Anselmo

Design by Eugenia Anselmo

You can also move away from horizontal thinking and add shapes that break up areas of your flyer. Try adding a triangle, or a circle, or break the rules with diagonal slashes across your flyer. Shapes in flat colors are the perfect place for a slogan or slightly transparent background image.

Design by Mockups Design

Design by Mockups Design

Before you start laying out your flyer, spend time mapping out your content and design. You’ll be surprised how much information you can fit in with the design tips we’ve shared in this article.

The size and shape of your flyer

You’ll often find that flyers come in standard shapes and sizes. If the purpose of your flyer is to inform your reader, you might want to stick to this simple style and shape. But if your flyer is marketing something more fun and or creative, why not try a die-cut style or something that will get your readers interacting, folding or unfolding, and playing with your flyer.

Vintage Flyer by Max Casarotto

An example of a die-cut design by Max Casarotto

3 common flyer sizes 

A half sheet flyer measures 5.5 x 8.5 in and is most commonly chosen due to the cheap cost of printing.

This Pale Pink with Greyscale Photo Dance Party Flyer perfectly ties together imagery and modern easy to read fonts. Try it for your next dance party.

A standard flyer size measures 8.5 x 11 in and is the industry standard for flyer sizes.

If you’re looking for something that stands out on the walls customize this Red Polka Dots Dance Party Flyer for next event.

A large format flyer measures 11 x 17 in and is good for documents that need to be folded such as restaurant menus, broadsheet inserts, and oversized leaflets, among others.

Use this customizable Red and Cream Block Party Flyer template for your next block party.

If you’re interested in learning more about design sizes, visit our Design size wiki.

Design by Amber Graphics

Design by Amber Graphics

Your distribution strategy

Now that you’ve put in all the hard yards, it’s time to do something with your flyer. This is when you have to start thinking about your distribution strategy. How you’re going to get your flyer in the hands of, or on the screens of, the people you need to get it to.

Want to get people all pumped up for your jazz concert? Show them this Red Saxophone Jazz Concert Flyer.

While mass printing is cheaper now than its ever been before, you’ll find that it's often on a card that is either too thick or on paper that's thin enough to tear in the hands of your audience.

After putting in time and effort to create a stunning design, it's important that you do this last bit right.

A well-designed flyer is more likely to be kept by a reader, and even put on their fridge under their favorite magnet if it makes them feel like they are holding something quality over something that feels like junk mail.

Design by Shiela Gamba, Koichiro Kitamoto, and Shogo Takebayashi.

Design by Shiela Gamba, Koichiro Kitamoto, and Shogo Takebayashi.

Before you start placing orders with Canva Print or are deciding what finishes you want, think about where your flyer is going and how many you will need. Are you handing it out in the street where people either have to put it in their handbag or throw them away? Are you going to put it in the letterboxes of your entire suburb where it will maybe sit in the rain? Are you wanting it to end up on a fridge of a few close friends and family?

This Yellow and Black City Photo Swiss Design Corporate Flyer is great if you’re wanting to subtly add images to your flyer without making them the focus of your design.