Tool & Tips

How To Create an Effective Poster or Flyer for Your Event

A detailed guide on to create an effective poster or flyer.

Despite all of the online tools at our fingertips, sometimes a poster or flyer can be the most noticeable and effective way to promote your event or fundraiser. After all, there’s no technology that can beat talking to your peers in person and inviting them with a flyer! In this quick article, we’re going to show you how to create an effective poster or flyer for your event.



The first thing we all want to do when creating a poster or flyer is get right to the cool and fun imagery. We don’t blame you, that’s the creative part – and we will get there! However, the first part you’ll want to focus on is creating an effective message. Be sure to answer all of the most important questions:

  • What? – what is the name of your event?
  • Why? – why should anyone attend this event?
  • Where? – where is this event taking place?
  • When? – what time should everyone get there?
  • Who? – who is putting on the event and how to contact them for more information?



Remember that while you are very familiar with your event, others are most likely not. When presenting your message, consider who your audience is and if they will understand your message. If you are targeting people who are likeminded and familiar with the topic of your event, you may want to make sure you have enough detail in your message to interest them. On the other hand, if you are reaching a more casual audience, keep things simple and to the point!



This is the fun part! Plan out some ideas, but don’t get caught up in making it look perfect. Play around with catchy wording and think about what is the most important point you need to get across.



In today’s social media-driven universe. The graphics and visuals on your poster or flyer will be the first thing a person pays attention to. In fact, according to Adbusters, a magazine run by a media activist organization called The Media Foundation, 70% of people only look at the graphic when viewing a print ad or poster, while 30% only read the headline.

Remember to see how your designs look on the paper you are printing. What looks good on the screen may not always translate on other materials.

Designer tip: less is more. Put just the information that is necessary to your message. Too much clutter will make your poster or flyer hard to follow, and thus, less effective.

Need inspiration and technical guidance for tools like Photoshop? Here’s a great resource, filled with tutorials.


Additional Resources

The Community Tool Box Guide to Posters is a great resource for additional details found in this article, which was directly inspired by this post.

Adbusters is an organization working to change the way information flows, making it more democratic and less directed by corporate and other powerful interests.

Flyer/Poster Guidelines, by Three Rivers College, helps you keep track of the dos and don’ts when creating your own flyer/poster. It has a number of specific positive and negative layout examples.

Microsoft Design Gallery

Tips for creating posters, fliers, and stickers from the Rainforest Action Network