A few years ago I was asked to create a flyer advertising our electronic resources that were added in the past year or so. Sounds simple. Actually, deciding on content may be the easiest part. Here are some steps in the process, if you’re new to “desktop publishing.”
1) Investigate your printing options.
Can you use the college/university print shop? A copy shop? An in-house printer? Is cost a consideration? Paper type? Color or B&W? Figure this out first before proceeding any further since the options may have a great impact on the finished product.
2) Determine your audience
Is it “all the patrons”? In that case you’re going to need to simplify jargon. A student-targeted publication might be a little breezier and more light-hearted than something aimed at just faculty.
3) Decide what software to use
Ask your printing crew for advice on what to use. In my case, the college print shop advised using MS PowerPoint to create the publication and then convert to PDF so the print shop could print without accidentally changing anything.
4) Determine layout and style
I used the style of our library web page as a guide, incorporating similar fonts and colors. Then I used text boxes to divvy up spaces for electronic resources.
5) Add some zazz
Here you can get really creative with images and color. PowerPoint allows you to fiddle-faddle around with graphics. You can use screen grabs (PrtScrn button, then paste into a graphics editors) to supply images, or simply copy images from vendor web pages. * Yes I have used many vendor graphics in my flyers. Is it abuse of copyright or trademark? Since I’m not trying to make money off their products, rather I’m promoting them, I’m unlikely to get sued. I’m not a lawyer; Your Mileage May Vary.
6) Print out a draft and have it proof-read
After you’ve been working on something for hours, it’s easy to miss typos or other problems. You don’t want to send it off for 300 copies and have them come back looking wonky.
7) Deliver to the print shop, and check the resulting product before distributing
If this is your first time, you may want to ask for a sample before requesting a big order. It will give you confidence in the final product. Thoroughly check the finished product “just in case”. Once I found a word had disappeared from the end of a text box. Since it was a one-sheet deal, I was able to run them through an office printer to replace the word (after a lot of adjustment to get the word looking like it was the same font, in the correct place).
7) Create a blank template for future use
Supposing you have designed a flyer that people like and want you to do more of, it will be helpful to make a blank or template for future “editions.” Colleagues may want to borrow your design and you can quickly email the blank to them.