How to keep your flyer out of the bin

on Monday, 23 May 2011. Posted in N21 Experts


A flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way to grab attention in a very busy marketplace. But how do you make your flyer stand out in the crowd?


For a flyer to work effectively it needs to be clear, to the point, eye catching and communicate your message instantly or it will simply get binned.


So what are the prime goals when putting together an effective and visually stimulating flyer that will drive customers to your business?  Clearly not all businesses are the same but here are some considerations to help you achieve impact and that all important response to your flyer.


You have to make your business stand out. The first consideration here is your logo. If you donʼt have one then get one. You have to be remembered. A logo is simply a device or a visual cue by which a potential or existing customer can immediately distinguish your company from your competitors and to help remember you, most peopleʼs brains work on visual cues over text in their memory. A logo can take many forms however and typographical elements can become a graphic element in their own right when used correctly, what is important is to make it distinctive and stand out from what is around it. If you donʼt have a logo or the one you have is not inspirational then consider getting one before you move on or even a great message may get lost.


Here are examples of good logos for brands for well known brands, to illustrate these guidelines. These logos have made a massive contribution to embedding these products into popular culture.  If you are a sole trader, where people are buiying goods or service from you, using your name could be a good way of starting to create a logo, as well as a simple representation of the kinds of service you provide.




Is this a good logo?  Opinions are divided!



Is this one better?




It is vital that you think clearly about what the message to your potential customer is and WHO your potential customer is likely to be.  The customer will want to know whatʼs in it for them so concentrate on answering that question and focusing on the benefits of what you are offering.  Think what your core product or service is and then determine what is better about your product than the opposition, or what factors will best impress customers. Be clear in your conclusions or your message wonʼt be. As with a logo, keep it simple. Make a list of the points you need to make, in order of importance and only put in what is absolutely necessary. Too much detail is counter productive. 


If you intend to design the flyer yourself make sure you lay out your content logically and to a grid. Make sure when you designing it that make sure that you allow sufficient space and margins for printing. If youʼre not sure, again get advice. Layout should be crisp, precise and clear with your opening message and the support information distinct and easy to read and understand.


Decide the size of the flyer which will usually, but not necessarily be A5 or A4 gatefold. The choice will usually be dictated by the type and amount of information you wish to include and how the flyers are to be delivered. Consider what quality of paper and finish you require, a gloss finish and heavier paper will give a classier look but will have cost implications. Again your service and personal preference will dictate the choice here.


Think about the objectives - for example, you want people to come to your event, your restaurant or shop or to contact you.


Write a snappy headline. Usually you will then want to clarify this with supporting sub text. This will usually be one brief sentence or statement supporting the headline that tells the reader instantly what you do and why they should expect you to do it better than your competitors. That may sound difficult but it is important that whatever form it takes, be it a short sharp introduction or a witty slogan, that it catches the eye and through that the brain. The rest of what you write will be lost if this first barrier to binning isnʼt successfully breached.Consider offering a coupon or price reduction to the customer on presentation of the flyer. That will help ensure that it wonʼt get instantly binned and will get viewed more than once even if the coupon is never used.


If you intend for the flyer to act as a poster, make sure the headline can be read from around 5 paces away, you want to draw the person closer to read more.


Beware of mixing too many typestyles which can confuse and devalue your company. Unusual fonts should only be used when and where they are relevant to the message and/or company. Donʼt overdo the caps.

Remember the adage "a picture speaks a thousand words" but it has to be the right image. Usually a visual stimulus should be used in combination with this text, it is when a headline and imagery are used together successfully that you are most likely to get that instant attention you desire. The graphic element, where appropriate can be striking but should always have relevance to your service or business, though this may be abstract by nature. The image will become the focal point, so use it wisely and donʼt use too many conflicting images which will only confuse and negate the purpose of drawing in the reader. Donʼt use imagery purely for its own sake, try to make it selective and on message.  Check that you have the legal right to use any imagery you wish to use.  I-stock is a good resource, with thousands of images, which are inexpensive to buy.


Think about colour, should it be striking or subtle, think about how it will work with your headline, the remaining text and with your required business image. There is no specific right and wrong here but be very careful about simply using generic art that says little different about your business than your competitors. Consider borders and boxes to accentuate elements like these but donʼt overdo them.

Think about using testimonials and case studies where appropriate and compelling but keep them brief and relevant.


Proof read. Mistakes will damage your business and how it is perceived, so donʼt simply rely on others to do it. Make sure that more than one person does it, the same person can miss the same error no matter how hard they look. Double check that nothing important has been left off


A badly designed flyer with an obscure message will not only fail to sell your business, it may even have a negative effect. If this is difficult for you to do a good job, get professional advice. When you are ready to proceed and intend to seek professional help, make sure you work with a designer and printer with whom you can work and who will listen to you as much as you should listen to their advice. Talk to that supplier about what you are looking for, using the above as a check list.  


Start to look at the printed material that comes your way afresh and decide for yourself whether it has been well designed.


Take on board the suggestions the designer gives you but donʼt simply let him/her dictate the process, make sure it is a cooperative relationship, with give and take. Remember though that while cooperation is beneficial, ʻdesign by committeeʼ potentially diffuses your prime message so donʼt let a bad compromise marginalise, or confuse that message during the production process.





Take all these factors into consideration and you should now be prepared to produce a flyer that will generate impact to your marketing efforts and bring business into your company.


Sturat Willard

www.stuartwillard.com0208 373 8126
07702 756240 


A flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way to grab attention in a very busy marketplace. But how do you make your flyer stand out in the crowd?

A flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way to grab attention in a very busy marketplace. But how do you make your flyer stand out in the crowd?

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