Flyers are aptly named, if you think about it: They’re quick and direct. In two words, they fly. Easy to hand out, easy to store in a pocket or purse, and if it’s a good-looking flyer, chances are the reader will do more than just glance at the content.
You want to be able to draw your potential attendee quickly and keep them intrigued long enough to get them to soak in the information and want to know more.
This tutorial will give you some tips to make a sleek and professional-looking party flyer. I used Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Step 1. Start with the background.
I will start to make the flyer by creating its background. The background is a crucial element in a flyer, but it should really be used mainly to emphasize the rest of the design. I selected two different images–a close-up of clouds and a starry sky–and blended them together by changing the upper layer’s mode to Overlay and by lowering its opacity.
I then added a dark blue gradient on top of both layers to darken a little the area where our other design elements will be.
Like I said, the background images–and the images you select, in general–are very important. Select images that will look good together.
Step 2. Plug in your information.
Now add the information. Include the place and time of the event, as well as the name of the sponsor. I added fragments of text of various sizes and rotated them, making sure I rotated all of them at the same angle.
Then I changed the opacity of the text layers and their blend mode to something that will bring back some tone and detail from the background. All the relevant information is positioned across the center of the flyer, while the names of the sponsors are placed at the bottom.
In this particular case, I used variations of the same sans serif typeface. Alternating bold and regular weight, together with rotating it and changing its blend mode, will spice up the general look of the text.
Instead of alternating different weights, I could have used more fonts, but keep in mind, consistency is key. I typically would not recommend using more than two or three fonts in the same design, unless the concept specifically calls for it.
Step 3. Fill the gaps with simple graphics.
With the Selection tool, I drew a few basic shapes and filled them with the same color I used for the text. I also applied the same opacity to them as before so the components of the design will match throughout the flyer.
I then resized and rotated the shapes with the aid of the Transform tools in order to fit them in the areas I initially left blank between the textual elements of the design.
Step 4. Some more styling.
At this point, I’d say there isn’t enough contrast between the various shapes and text of the flyer and the background. To solve this problem, I added a soft drop shadow effect to one of the above layers and then copied and pasted the effect to all layers containing shapes and text.
Make sure to keep the shadow effect as subtle as possible so it doesn’t become distracting.
Step 5. A final touch.
To brighten up the design, I added a few highlights. With a soft brush and a light tone picked directly from the background using the Eyedropper tool, I drew spots of various sizes all over the flyer. Duplicate the layer and change its blend mode to Screen to give it a bit more punch.
And here is the final version of our party flyer.
Simplicity, balance, and consistency.
With just a few design elements and typography, I’ve created a cool-looking flyer for an event. Keep in mind the basics I covered in this tutorial: Keep your design simple, punch it up with a few accents, and maintain consistency throughout.