Organizing a church or community event? Advertise your event to the local community with a sunny flyer with a family-friendly, mid-century style.
We’ll be using Adobe InDesign to create the flyer, which will be set up ready for printing either professionally or at home. This tutorial is a great introduction to InDesign software if you’re a beginner, and you’ll pick up essential tips on designing print layouts, formatting typography, and creating simple graphics from scratch.
Ready to get started? Great! Let’s go...
1. What You’ll Need to Create the Flyer
You’ll need to download a couple of image and font files to create the design pictured. Download the image and font, and install the font onto your system:
Now you’re ready to start designing!
2. How to Set Up the Flyer in InDesign
Open up Adobe InDesign, and go to File > New > Document.
Keep the Intent set to Print, Number of Pages to 1 and deselect Facing Pages. We want to work only on one single page for this layout.
Under Page Size, choose Flyer 8.5x11.
Towards the bottom of the New Document window, increase the Margins to 18 mm. Add a 3 mm Bleed around all the edges of the page, and click OK to create the document.
Expand the Layers panel, which is docked at the right side of the workspace (or go to Window > Layers).
Double-click on the Layer 1 name in the panel and rename the layer Paper. Click OK.
At the top-right of the Layers panel click to access the panel’s menu. Choose New Layer.
Rename the new layer Background. Then create a further two new layers, Ice Cream and finally Typography at the top of the sequence.
Click in the blank square to the left of each layer’s name and lock all the layers except Paper.
3. How to Give Your Flyer a Textured Background
With the Paper layer unlocked, select the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) from the Tools panel (docked to the left side of the workspace), and drag across the whole page, up to the edges of the bleed on all sides.
Go to File > Place, find the paper texture image you downloaded earlier, and click Open. Allow the image to fill the frame completely.
Return to the Layers panel and lock the Paper layer. Unlock the next layer up, Background.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle that extends across the whole page, as before.
Then go to the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and select New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu.
Set the CMYK levels to C=2 M=0 Y=1 K=0, and name the swatch Ivory; click Add and then OK.
Apply the Ivory swatch to the Fill of the rectangle.
Select the rectangle shape and go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Set the Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 50%. Click OK to apply the effect.
4. How to Create and Format Typography on Your Flyer
Head back over to the Layers panel and lock the Background layer. Unlock the top layer, Typography.
Take the Type Tool (T) and drag to create a text frame on the page. Type in ‘CHURCH’.
From either the Character Formatting Controls panel running along the top of your workspace or the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character), set the Font to Burtons. Up the Font Size to 75 pt and increase the Tracking (space between all letters) to 60.
From the Swatches panel, choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu.
Name the swatch Blue and set the levels to C=76 M=15 Y=22 K=1. Click Add and then OK.
Apply the Blue swatch to the ‘CHURCH’ text.
Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) onto the ‘CHURCH’ text frame and choose Transform > Rotate 90 Degrees CCW.
Maneuver the text frame up to the top left of the page, as shown below.
Create another new swatch. Call it Jade and set the levels to C=70 M=0 Y=44 K=0.
Select the ‘CHURCH’ text frame, and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste.
Edit the text to read ‘PICNIC’ and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Rotate 90 Degrees CW. Position it at the top left of the page, running below the top margin.
5. How to Create Fun Graphics for Your Flyer
Go to the Swatches panel and create nine new swatches, as listed below, by selecting New Color Swatch from the panel’s menu. We’re going to use these to give our flyer a sunny palette.
- Pink: C=7 M=42 Y=30 K=0
- Green: C=35 M=0 Y=41 K=0
- Baby Blue: C=37 M=4 Y=2 K=0
- Lemon Yellow: C=0 M=18 Y=76 K=0
- Brown: C=25 M=33 Y=66 K=11
- Red: C=0 M=76 Y=60 K=0
- Pale Yellow: C=2 M=13 Y=46 K=0
- Orange: C=35 M=51 Y=62 K=37
- Dark Brown: C=0 M=48 Y=59 K=0
Return to the Layers panel and lock the Typography layer. Unlock the layer below, Ice Cream.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a tall rectangle from just below the ‘PICNIC’ text frame to the bottom margin line. Create a second rectangle, dragging from left to right to create a cross shape. Set the Fill of both rectangles to Lemon Yellow.
Select both rectangles and go to Object > Pathfinder > Add.
This will unite the rectangles into one cross shape.
Zoom into the top right area of the page. Take the Pen Tool (P) and click onto the page, creating a simple triangle shape.
Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select individual anchor points of the triangle and shift them using the arrow keys to create a perfectly symmetrical shape.
Change the Fill of the triangle shape to Pink.
Select the triangle and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste three times, moving the triangles into a sequence along the top right of the page. Adjust the colors of each, using your new color palette.
Select all the triangles and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste. Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Rotate 90 Degrees CW.
Position it along the bottom-right side of the page. Paste a couple more triangles to fill up the area beneath the arm of the cross.
Copy and Paste three more triangles, and then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Flip Horizontal.
Move over to the left side of the page just under the ‘CHURCH’ text frame, and adjust the colors.
Copy and Paste one of the triangle shapes and then scale it up and extend its length. Position it to the bottom-left of the cross, and set the Fill to Brown.
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and, holding Shift, drag to create a small circle above the top of the triangle. Set the Fill to Blue. This will be your first scoop of ice cream!
Copy and Paste the circle twice, and arrange it into a pyramid shape, adjusting the colors of the other two scoops to Jade and Red.
You can create an optional cross hatch pattern for the cone of your ice cream cone using Adobe Illustrator. If you have access to the software you can follow this step. If not, simply move on to Step 9.
In InDesign, select the Dark Brown swatch with your cursor in the Swatches panel. Choose Save Swatches from the panel’s menu.
Name the Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) file as Church Flyer Brown and click Save.
Open up Adobe Illustrator and create a new document at any size. Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and from the panel’s menu choose Open Swatch Library > Other Library.
Navigate to your ASE file and open it up.
Create a diagonal line using the Line Segment Tool (\) and set the Stroke Color to your Dark Brown swatch.
Copy and Paste the line repeatedly, creating a sequence of evenly spaced diagonal lines.
When you’ve filled up the canvas, select all the lines and Copy and Paste. Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Rotate, rotating them 90 Degrees. Position them over the top to create a cross-hatch pattern.
Drag your mouse across the whole page, selecting all the lines, and Edit > Copy. Minimize the Illustrator window.
Head back to your InDesign document, and select the brown ice cream cone triangle. Edit > Copy, and then Edit > Paste in Place. Remove the color fill, setting it to [None], and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Content > Graphic.
Then head up to Edit > Paste Into to drop the cross-hatch image into the pasted triangle.
Scale the image up, making the pattern nice and bold.
Everybody loves pizza, right? OK, let’s make a slice!
Select the brown triangle that makes up the back of the ice-cream cone, and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste. Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Flip Vertical. Move over to the left side of the ice-cream cone, at the same alignment on the page, and adjust the Fill to Lemon Yellow.
Select the yellow triangle and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste in Place, adjusting the Fill to Dark Brown.
Take the Scissors Tool (C) and snip the triangle in two places, to divide the main body of the triangle from a narrow pizza crust at the bottom of the slice. Delete the top part of the triangle.
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create three circles for the pepperoni, setting the Fill to Red.
Use the Scissors Tool (C) to cut away and then delete the parts of the circles that extend past the edges of the triangle shape.
Select all the graphics on the Ice Cream layer by dragging your mouse across the whole page, and then head up to Object > Effects > Transparency.
Set the Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 95%.
Awesome—we’re almost finished! We just need to add a few more details about the event, and we’ve left a bit of space for that, so let’s go back to editing the typography.
6. How to Add the Finishing Touches to Your Flyer
Return to the Layers panel and unlock the Typography layer.
Use the Type Tool (T) to create text frames in the gap beneath the ‘PICNIC’ text frame. Fill the frames with text about the day and date of the event.
Set the Font to Burtons, Fill to Jade, and vary the Font Size and Tracking to create a neat block of text.
Create another text frame to the top-right of the cross, typing in something like ‘FOR A DAY OF GAMES, GREAT FOOD, FRIENDS & READINGS’, setting the text in Burtons as before, and varying the color throughout the sentence.
Create a final text frame listing the location of the event, set in Burtons as before. Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Rotate 90 Degrees CW, and position it on the bottom-right side of the cross.
Fantastic work—your flyer artwork is finished! All that’s left to do is to export it ready for printing. Whether you’re printing at home or sending it off to a printshop, the process is very similar, so read on to find out how...
7. How to Export Your Flyer for Print
First up, File > Save your artwork. Then go to File > Export. Give the file a suitable name, and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format drop-down menu. Click Save.
In the Export to Adobe PDF window that opens, choose [Press Quality] from the Preset menu at the top.
If you’re printing from home, you can simply click Export. If you’re sending your flyer off to be printed professionally, read on to Step 2...
Click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu.
Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings. Then you’re ready to click Export.
Conclusion: Your Finished Flyer
All that’s left to do now is to distribute your flyer locally, and start preparing for your event! In this tutorial we’ve covered a number of key skills for creating layouts for print. You now know how to:
- Set up a flyer template in Adobe InDesign.
- Add texture and color to the background of print documents.
- Format typography professionally in InDesign to a very high standard.
- Create simple graphics and shapes from scratch directly in InDesign.
- Create a complete color palette in print-friendly CMYK format to use across your flyer.
- Export your flyer to a print-compatible PDF format.
Great work! I’d love to see your flyer designs, so please do leave snaps of your artwork in the comments below.
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