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Best Practices for Designing Flyers

Printed flyers can be a successful way of promoting an event. Use the following guidelines as a resource when designing a printed flyer. 

Make it simple and readable

Ensure that information is easily readable and presented without visual clutter. Less is more.  

Create short, effective content by considering the following: 

  • Create a visual hierarchy: a strong headline, paired with a high quality image and short supporting text if necessary. 
  • Write a headline or title that is descriptive and concise. 
  • Keep copy brief and to-the-point. Easy-to-read and digestible bullet points can be more powerful than long sentences and paragraphs. 
  • Use no more than two fonts. Fewer fonts can improve legibility. 

Consider your target audience and focus on benefits

Answer your audiences’ main question: What's in it for me? Try to find relevant and appealing ways to describe your topic.  

Use simple and high-quality images

The quality of the images is very important. Use high-quality images that are as clean and legible as possible. Bold, clear and simple images will help catch and capture attention. 

Busy, cluttered images (like busy, cluttered copy) will make it harder to connect with your desired audience.  

See guidelines for working with images

Have a clear call to action

It’s important to indicate a clear next step for your audience. What do you want them to do? A classic call to action are the phrases Sign up now or Mark your calendar.

Use brand guidelines and tools

Consistency is key to building trust and recognition. Use Northwestern’s existing branding elements—like our wordmark, our lockup system, our color palette, and our brand fonts. These tools will also help with overall quality control. 

See elements of our visual identity

Use a template

When possible, depending on the content, it may be more efficient and effective to use a pre-designed template. Please be sure to download the files before reviewing and editing them. 

Download a Flyer Template

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for designing a flyer. But with the above guidelines in mind, these branded templates can help you get started. Options include:

  • flyer for multiple events
  • flyer for multiple speakers
  • flyer with images
  • flyer without images

Access Northwestern’s flyer templates