Basic Graphic Elements Of A Flyer

When designing a flyer, there are some basic principles that should be followed whether you are an experienced professional or a new designer. The following elements are the heart of designing and printing a flyer.

To create a design success you will need these elements:


This may sound elementary. However, some people are afraid of colour. Vivid colours make or break the product in graphic design. It gives your product a professional look.

The amount of colour on a flyer will depend on the mood and feeling you are trying to depict. An example of this is, if you are describing a product that has excitement and drama and great emotions, then you will need to have bright colours that excite the senses. If your product deals with water, blue is the colour of choice.

When adding colour to the design, be careful to not over do it. The colours must be easy one the eyes and also pleasing to the eyes. If you can see that the colours are visually annoying to you, then toss it or revise it.

Remember this, colour copies are more costly. This will decrease your bottom line, the profit. If you want colour and want to keep the cost down, try adding the colour by using coloured paper.

The Lines and Movement

The jargon in the design world for line refers to the rows and columns that are included in the flyer. The lines are not referring to hard visual lines but the imaginary lines that make the flyer flow.

The message should start at the top of the flyer and proceed down the page. It should be obvious where the eyes are supposed to go next. That is the natural flow. It should be a seemingly seamless effort.

Imagine a Z pattern on the page. The eyes naturally want to read the page top to bottom and left to right. That forms the Z pattern. There should not be a lot of Zs on the page but one main Z pattern. A good way to test this is to stand about eight or ten feet away and look to see if you see the Z pattern.

If you see any deviation from the Z pattern, anything that is confusing to the eyes, then that is where changes will need to be made.


The shapes within the flyer are very important. The graphics and the text all are forming shapes of rectangles, squares or circles. Perhaps a few other shapes also. These shapes interact with the other shapes on the page. These forms will also need to follow the proper movement, from top to bottom.

When the layout is planned well and the shapes are not in competition then there is a seamless flow of the page. You want to get the readers attention but you want to maintain the flow and proportion to keep visual interest.

A key element is simplicity. It is very tempting to add too much. Remember that less can be more. This principle keeps the design from being too busy and unreadable. This also keeps them wanting more information.

Simple Ten

A good flyer will convey the message in ten words or less. This forces us to focus on the real needs and points that we want to get across. You simply cannot tell everything on one flyer. This is where we decide to tell the basic facts.

Don’t add too much information or non-text design elements such as symbols. To qualify as a flyer the finished design needs to be one page.

10/11/09 - Portfolio updated

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