5 Common Flyer Design Mistakes to Avoid

flyer mistakes to avoid - how to design a flyer that helps your business sell more

Business flyers are a great way to advertise your business. Whether is it a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, passing out flyers can be informative for those who receive them and drive customers to a business. But, most of them get overlooked, forgotten about or even thrown out.

The goal of every flyer is to get remembered and bring in more business – whether that is soon or later in the future. I’m a professional graphic designer and I’ve seen tons of flyers – both good and bad. I’ve also created many flyer designs myself. If you want to get the best response from your business flyers, make sure you avoid these 5 common design mistakes.


1) Making It Too Busy

The average person looks at a flyer for only a few seconds. In just those few seconds, you must be able to get your main point across. If the flyer has too many colors, fonts, or distractions, the person holding it will not be able to concentrate on (or even find) the message of the advertisement.  In order to avoid this, remember to keep it simple. Super simple. A maximum of 2-3 colors, fonts (text styles), images, backgrounds, or even font (or text) sizes is a good rule to remember. Also, keep your main message large and bold, so it the first thing that they read.


2) Including Too Much Info

When you’re designing a flyer, you’ll most likely think of tons of information to include. Unfortunately, an overload of information doesn’t work on a flyer.  In today’s world, people do not like to read  much, so many people will not read everything on the flyer. Putting more information on it makes it less likely that people will even read it at all. A flyer should be an overview of the message, not all of the details of your business or service. If you include too much information, your main message will get lost in the mix.


3) Not Including Crucial Info or a CTA

Many people get flyers without basic information. You may think it is obvious to put locations or contact information on a flyer, but sometimes it is overlooked. You should ask yourself “What do I want the person who receives this to do after they get my flyer?” and include all information needed to do so. Other crucial information includes store hours, websites, social media information, or even photos of what you’re selling/advertising. Don’t ever forget contact information or anything related to when or how you can be contacted. Think if how you want them to act, and include a call-to-action (or CTA) by adding a line like “Learn more by Calling 000-000-0000”. You can learn more about CTAs here.

Bad flyer design - what not to do

4) Making It Dull

Flyers should be able to catch and hold someone’s attention. Use different high-contrast colors or bigger text-sizes to make your main point get seen loud and clear. Don’t be afraid to make the color of the flyer itself bright and bold, such as using neon paper. Use images to your advantage and make people want to look at it.

bad flyer or advertisement design - how to design a great flyer that works

5) Spamming

One flyer on a car will get your point across. Putting a flyer every car in a crowded parking lot is overkill (and most likely a littering offense somewhere). You don’t need to force your flyers down people’s throats to get seen. Spamming cars, stores, or people with your flyers does more harm than good and might even take away business from you. Be sure to change up the location in which you hand them out or post them in. Use your best judgement to only pass them out to interested people.

Have flyers worked for your business? If you need someone to design your flyers or would like advice on your current ones, contact me and I can help! I also design affordable websites and other graphics, too.

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8 thoughts on “5 Common Flyer Design Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. Really interesting post thanks! How many colours do you usually recommend to go on a flyer? And is white paper the best idea? I’ve been discussing a flyer drop with a local business and these were some questions that came up! I’m totally going to pass on this post to them!

    1. I’m glad this info helped you, Rosie! I would say it depends where you get it printed for how many colors, since some printers charge for more ink colors used. I would recommend at least two. You could get away with just one if you use different shades of a color (i.e. Dark blue on a light blue background). The paper preference all depends on you and what you prefer! Good luck with them.

  2. Good tips…flyers & other marketing material become sooo much easier once you know it’s purpose, your audience & your brand 🙂

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