Tips for Making Flyers

Flyers are perfect for reaching large groups of people, especially those who may not be on Facebook or online frequently. They are inexpensive to make and can be used in a variety of ways. On this page, you'll learn how to make a first-class flyer. (There's more to it than meets the eye.) On the next page, you can find dozens of ideas for using them.


You need a good  head shot--one that is sharp and clear. In some cases, a larger version of year head shot from your LKDS story will be sufficient. However, depending on the original photo, it may not be suitable for  a flyer. When enlarged, a photo loses image quality and begins to look blurry. Photos printed on paper do not print sharply to begin with, so you need to start with the clearest photo possible. (Use the "contact me" tab for help if you're unsure whether your LKDS photo will work.) Anything from 4"x6" up to 5"x7" photo is a good size.     

If you don't have a good, sharp head shot, take a new photo! I can't emphasize this strongly enough. You have only one chance to make a good first impression with your flyer, and it's your photo (not the text) that will catch people's eyes. Your photo will be the determining factor in whether people decide to stop and read or pass your flyer by.                

Text                                                                                                                                  Your flyer should contain only the most basic information. Too much text will make it look cluttered and uninviting, and passersby will not stop to look at it if it appears that it will take more than a few seconds to read. For an uncluttered look, leave plenty of white space. If you've already created a business card, use it as your guide.  Here's what to include:    

  • Headline: The largest type on your flyer should be a short, attention-grabbing headline (for example, "Please Help"). Do not use the slogan "share your spare, as people outside the kidney community do not know what it means.
  • Name: It's nice to be able to attach a name to a face, but it's not essential. If you are not comfortable having your name displayed in public, you may wish to use only your first name or first initial and last name. If you prefer not to list your name at all, do not give your transplant center's contact information since a caller wouldn't know who to tell the center he/she is calling about.
  • Brief Explanation: Include a short explanation of your situation; 2 or 3 sentences at the most. Remember, people will not stop to read if it appears that it will take more than a few seconds.                A word about blood type:  If your transplant center participates in paired/chained donation,          you may not want to list your blood type. Otherwise, people of a different blood type will              read it and automatically dismiss the possibility of donating for you. If you do list it, be sure          to mention that a person of any blood type can donate! Do not use the words "paired,"                     "chain," or "exchange," as the general public does not know what they mean in relation to               kidney donation. You might use words such as "special program" or "alternate procedure.
  • Contact Information: You can list your own information, your coordinator's information, or both. Keep in mind that people will not want to copy a lot of information. If you include your transplant center's or information, be sure to include an 800-number! Not everyone has free long-distance, and having to pay for a long-distance phone call can be a barrier. You want to make it as easy as possible so that a person will decide to make the call. 

Tear-Off Tabs                                                                                                                    Every little thing you can do to make it easy for people to follow up makes it more likely that someone will volunteer. Tear-off tabs are an excellent way to do this. Leave enough room at the bottom of your flyer for tabs so that people can simply tear off off your contact information and take it with them. Include only contact information on the tab. Other information can be conveyed with your business card (see below).

Business Cards                                                                                                           

Staple a business card to the back of each tear-off tab. Doing so reduces the likelihood that the tab will be lost and allows anyone who tears off a tab to have a little more information,  and to retain a photo of you.  Your photo helps to personalize the information so that you're more than just a slip of paper. The more you can personalize anything related to your search, the more people will perceive you as a living, breathing human being--not just a picture on a computer screen or words on a flyer. It's that human touch that moves people to help one another.                             

Paper and Printing                                                                                                                 You don't have to purchase the most expensive paper, but avoid cheap multipurpose paper because it is thin, doesn't hold up well, and is not bright white. (Bright white will make your photo "pop" off the page and attract attention.)  It's best to purchase paper made for your type of printer, either inkjet or laser. The sturdier the paper, the better it will hold up. You'll want to post your flyers in high-traffic areas such as entrances and exits. It doesn't take much breeze to rip cheap paper off a bulletin board. If you could trade a package of moderately priced quality paper for a kidney, would you? Keep the answer in mind as you shop for paper.                                                                          

Color:  White paper is by far the easiest and least expensive option because color paper requires more printing and several extra step of preparation. If you print a photo on colored paper, the photo--including your face--will be tinted the color of the paper. If, however, you don't mind putting some extra work and money into your flyers, neon colored paper will definitely attract attention. If you choose this option, you will need to print your photo on white paper, cut it out, and adhere it to the neon paper.  If you do plan to use neon paper, take your photograph when you go to the store and chose a color that matches or at least comes close to a color in the photo. Remember: The more attractive your flyer, the more attention it will get.

Inkjet paper allows water-based ink to dry quickly without bleeding. It produces brighter colors and bolder text than multipurpose paper.

Laser paper is very smooth and allows toner particles to bond to the sheet. It produces crisp, straight lines and realistic colors.

Weight refers to the thickness of the sheet. On packaged reams, the weight rating appears on the end flap. Look for 22-24 lb. paper.

Brightness refers to the whiteness of the paper. Brighter paper provides more contrast between ink and paper; the brighter your paper, the better your copies will look. Copy paper brightness ranges from 80-100. Choose something higher than the low 80's.

You can print flyers yourself of have a copy service print them for you. If you choose to print them yourself, be sure to use enough ink to keep your photo from looking faded. It's neither necessary nor desirable to use the "photo" setting for printing on paper. Ideally, you would use the "best" setting just below that, however, it takes considerably more ink. If you choose to use the "fast print" ink setting, be sure you have several ink cartridges on hand. At the first hint of faded color, switch to a new cartridge. You can always go back and finishing using the fading cartridge on a less important job. The better the quality of your flyer, the more visually appealing--and eye-catching--it will be. 

                     Click here to go to the next page for dozens                                              of ideas about how to use flyers effectively.