Things You'll Need
- Word processor
- Photo manipulation software
- Desktop publishing software
Despite the Internet, flyers are still a good way to promote businesses and special events. They can be as simple as a single sheet of paper to hand out or tack onto a telephone pole, or they can be elaborate, three-fold, full-color flyers that showcase a business. They aren’t hard to make, but they take some thought.
Decide what kind of flyer you need. If you need a single sheet, it’s easy. If you need a tri-fold, it takes a bit more work. The subject will dictate the design. For example, if you’re promoting a band at a club, a single sheet will be best. You can include a photo of the band, a headline, the who, what, where, when and the admission cost all on one sheet in a simple design that can be read quickly. If you are promoting your in-home gift basket business, a tri-fold design will be better so you can add more details about your products.
Take the photos you need for the flyer and upload them to the computer. Tone and size them in Photoshop or some other photo manipulation software package. If the flyer is to be black and white—even on some other colored paper—convert the photos to grayscale. Put them all in one place on your computer where you can find them easily. Use a resolution of 200 dpi (dots per inch) or 300 dpi for best photo quality.
Write your flyer content in a word processor. Don’t be long-winded. Use short, concise sentences. Compose short paragraphs of no more than one sentence each. Make sure you include contact information or the place an event will take place along with pricing. Pricing isn’t necessary on a product information flyer because you are trying to entice people to contact you, but it is necessary for an event.
Begin your layout in whatever desktop publishing (DTP) program you use. This can be as simple as Microsoft Word or Pages, but either of these will limit your design. A good low-end, low-cost DTP program is Swift Publisher. For the best design capability, a program such as QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign is necessary, but these programs are expensive. If you’re going to make a lot of flyers and other designed publications, they may be worth the investment.
Place the images and text where you want them. Don’t use too many fonts or too many colors. Simple is better. Print a sample and check it for typos and to see how it looks. Does it have all the information you need? Does the design catch the eye? Ask other people what they think of it and make any changes necessary.
Print the final version on your home printer.
If you only need 25 or so flyers, you can print them yourself. If you need more than 25 flyers, consider going to a print shop and pay to get the flyers printed. This will be less costly in the long run because you'll have to buy more paper and more ink to refill your printer.
Shawn M. Tomlinson has been a newspaper and magazine writer for more than 28 years. He has written for a variety of publications, from "MacWEEK" and "Macintosh-Aided Design" to "Boys' Life," "Antique Week" and numerous websites. He attended several colleges, majoring in English, writing and theater, and has taught college classes about writing.