by Robert Earl Houston
OK – we’ve all seen them. Church flyers. Whether they are advertisement of an event or celebration or anniversary or a billboard in the sky, if you live long enough in your church, you will either receive or help pass them out. Nowadays with a greater emphasis on graphic artistry, people are creating eye-catching flyers with “bells and whistles.” I want to review a few basics on church flyers, especially for pastors and graphic artists.
1. Remember your audience. Putting information in 6 or 8 pt. type font is really difficult to read. Especially if the most important information is found in that section. Remember that your flyer has the potential to be read or seen by children as young as five and adults as old at 100 plus.
2. Too much information is too much. Remember that you only are going to get a casual glance at best at a flyer. It may be necessary to drop some superlatives (“This is going to be epic” or “This is your hour” or “Holy-Ghost Filled”). We already have that implied because it’s at your church and every program is not “epic.”
3. Have your flyer spell-checked. If I see one more flyer that spells church “c-h-r-u-c-h” I’m going to scream! I frequently use a spell-checker and even a sermon proof reader (my wife) because what may be right to my eyeballs may be completely wrong. Make sure that everything looks perfect in spelling.
4. Don’t forget the basics. On every church flyer the following information should be there: (a) The name and address of the Church; (b) The Pastor’s Name (who would want to accept a dinner invitation if you didn’t know who’s inviting you?); (c) The title of the event; (d) The date, location and time of the event (especially if it’s off-site).
5. No picture is better than a horrible picture. Make sure to use photographs that look good. Also CROP THEM, especially of a speaker so that their head and just a little portion of the upper body shows. Take out distracting backgrounds as well. But if you don’t have a suitable picture get a graphic (more about that next) and use in it’s place.
6. Someone asked me where do I get those fancy photos from? Simple – go to http://images.google.com and there is a plethora of FREE graphics there. Just be judicious when it comes to size and (big no-no) never use a graphic that is watermarked. It means that you didn’t gain copyright of it but there are more than enough out there.
7. For the internet (especially Facebook) I use (on Photoshop) a photo size of 4″ x 6″ which works great on Facebook. But after I have composed it, I save it using Photoshop’s “Save For Web” future and I cut the size down to 800 picas width and 533 picas tall (which should automatically set).
8. I recommend (if you refer this project out to a graphic designer) never allowing the graphic designer to put their contact information on your flyer unless you are getting a substantial cut in the costs. I design 95% of everything that we have at our church and I never put “Designed By” on the flyer. It’s a waste of time and space.
9. I want to say that Photoshop is the bomb. So is InDesign. If you don’t have the money for either of those programs, Photoshop Elements does just as well (minus some of the bells and whistles).
10. Be careful of putting black or dark print on a dark or black background. If you do so, you want to make sure that you make the original fonts with a stroke (highlighter) that encompasses the entire word or phrase.
11. Borrow ideas. Nothing is original. Go to http://www.google.com and place a search for “church flyers” or “event flyers” and see what’s out there.
12. Always use your logo. It’s like the stamp of approval for your ministry. People will begin to identify the logo with the ministry. Don’t have a logo? Get someone to design one for you. I’ve used graphic artists to produce my first basic one and our newer logo.
13. Less is more. I was in Georgia and saw a billboard for a ministry and they had at least 15 lines of text on the billboard. I was driving 80 and may have finished one line. Make it bold. Make it pop. Make it fast.
14. Need flyers printed and in a hurry. Here’s my secret: Once you save your completed file, go to http://www.walgreens.com. Check on their photo section. You can upload the photo and have them print the copies on photo paper (glossy pop!) and they do it within 1-2 hours, no matter the size. And they often have sales. So your 4 x 6 photo can be done with 300 copies at a very minimal cost.
Those are just a few helpful hints. I want to share with you some of the flyers that I have designed in the past: