Flyer designers are like chefs. We use a variety of individual elements to produce our final works.
A chef uses raw ingredients, heats them and cooks a meal. We use design elements (such as 3D objects, model stock and fonts), apply effects in Photoshop and produce flyers.
Just like chefs, if we use low quality raw ingredients, we’ll end up producing low quality work.
If a chef uses rotten eggs, his final work – the dish – is going to taste pretty rotten.
If you choose to use bad fonts, bad model stock or low resolution resources, your flyers are going to turn out rotten too.
So how can you get a head start with your flyer designs and produce quality work from the get-go? Here are some of my top tips:
1. Use premium stock photos
This is the most common trap I see both new and old designers falling into.
It’s an easy pitfall to avoid. When you look at our flyers, you’ll notice the model images are sharp and crisp. You’ll notice that none of the photos we use are blurry or pixelated. There’s a reason for that.
Download your photography (e.g models) from high quality stock photo websites. Not only does this mean you’ll correctly license the images you use, but it also means they’ll be detailed images in high resolution, taken by a professional photographer.
High quality resources add to the quality of your work, making it shine professionally.
Low quality resources detract from your work, making it look cheap and amateur.
Bonus tip: Invoice your client for any stock photos you need to purchase so it doesn’t cost you a penny.
2. Learn to cut out images properly
Ok, so you’ve invested in some high quality images. Now you need to cut them out.
Badly removing the background from an image is an easy way to show the client you’re an inexperienced amateur. Spend 5 minutes correctly cutting out images with a clean and faultless edge.
Cutting out images in Photoshop is easy. Really easy.
There are dozens of decent tutorials available on the web and YouTube that’ll teach you how to cut out models correctly.
Cutting out images properly with the pen tool can be a slightly long and boring process, however the results of a well-cut image are worth the time investment.
Side tip: The Magic Wand is not your friend. Use the Pen Tool.
3. Use better, premium fonts
In pretty much all of our templates we need to use free fonts, so I’m not going to say there are no good free fonts. There are dozens.
Here are some of my favourites:
- Bree Serif
However, investing in a few quality premium fonts will reap dividends in your work. Take a look at Regal Flyer Template:
I accidentally used a premium font by Nicky Laatz because it looked so good.
Only when I’d finished the template and was putting together the documentation did I realise and provide a free font alternative.
I’m sure you’ll agree that the premium font version looks 10x better too. Spending a few bucks on good quality fonts can really take your work to the next level.
4. Post process your flyers
This is something I learned from my buddy, Industrykidz. His work is always finished with a beautiful filtered effect.
The same way you’d take a photo and run it through some FilterGrade or Instragram filters and give that extra boost, you can do the same with your flyers.
You’ll see we already do this with our templates in the “Elements” and “Adjustments” folders, but running your final JPEGs through some Photoshop filters can make a world of difference.
Obviously if you’ve got a PRO account, you can have a look through our premium items and see this in action for yourself. Otherwise I’d recommend downloading some of our free templates.
5. Keep an arsenal of high resolution resources
The same way that low resolution stock photos will make your work look amateurish, low quality design resources will too.
Low resolution Photoshop brushes and patterns, cheap layer styles and low-res 3D elements will RUIN your work.
This is one of the reasons I created DesignerCandies and resources like the Foliage Pack, Falling Money, Diamons Renders and Boombox packs.
i was tired of using low quality 3D resources. They make your flyers look terrible.
Popular sources with young designerss for these resources are sites like OfficialPSDs which are nothing more than cheap Google Image cut-outs which are damaging the quality of your work.
Using sites like CreativeMarket, DesignerCandies and DepositPhotos you can invest in some high quality design resources. If you want to reach the levels of 3D work created by designers such as Industrykidz and Lomell from DesignerCandies, you’ll need to teach yourself some 3D software.
Join the DesignerCandies Email Newsletter and I’ll send you my favourite high quality resources every week :) (yeah, for those of you who don’t know I also created DesignerCandies)
The sceptics amongst us are thinking “You’re just telling people to buy fonts and stocks!”. But that is exactly what I’m doing.
“When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is a common phrase in the business world. If you want to establish yourself amongst the amateurs, you need to take heed of what it is saying. When you’re not prepared to invest in your own business, you’re not going to reap the same benefits of those who are. Position yourself amongst the competition by investing in the fundamental tools required to make your business a success.