Everyone has seen flyers before, whether they wanted to or not. They’re those sheets of paper that are stapled onto lampposts or plastered onto building walls that advertise different products, events, or other things you might not particularly care about. One thing you might now know about flyers is their size.
The typical flyer will be made with standard letter-size paper, which measures 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long. Other common flyer sizes include half sheet (8.5 × 5.5 inches), large format sheets (11 × 17 inches), and A4 paper (210 × 297 millimeters or 8.27 × 11.69 inches).
In this guide, I’ll go over what a flyer is, the various paper sizes of flyers, and how flyers differ from other print advertisement forms.
What Is a Flyer?
The last time you visited the city, you probably saw hundreds, if not thousands, of colorful sheets of paper stuck onto walls, lampposts, and every other surface in between. If those sheets of paper were advertising products, services, concerts, or anything else, there’s a good chance that it was a flyer.
As a marketing tool, flyers have a set of advantages and disadvantages that marketers and businessfolk might want to consider.
- Inexpensive—Designing and printing flyers is pretty inexpensive. Plus, the more you print, the more of a discount you’ll get, depending on what printing service you hire. If you supply your own paper, you can further reduce the cost of printing flyers!
- Conveys a lot of information—Believe it or not, you can include a ton of information on an 8.5 × 11-inch sheet of paper. Plus, the sheet is large enough to accommodate moderately sized images and text, so you don’t end up with a block of indistinguishable text.
- Visually appealing—Some flyer makers forego adding text and instead print one large image. You can make the flyer as detailed as you want if you’re handy with image-editing software (or if you decide to hire a graphic designer to do the deed for you).
- Easy to use—There are many different ways of hanging a flyer. You can staple them onto round wooden lampposts, tack them onto corkboards, or glue them onto concrete walls. As long as people pass through the area, you’ll extend the reach of your brand by at least a little.
- Relatively small—Although you can fit a ton of information on letter-size sheets of paper, let’s not kid ourselves. Flyers are incredibly small, especially when viewed from a distance. You would have to walk right up to a flyer to see what it’s all about. Sadly, the majority of people just continue to walk by flyers without giving them a second glance.
- Short-term impact—Most people won’t give flyers a second glance, and it’s not like you can shove flyers in peoples’ faces to get them to see what they’re all about. Also, unlike radio and TV ads, you can’t add catchy music or jingles to flyers, so there’s a great likelihood that people will forget what your flyer said before long.
Since flayers are simply sheets of paper with printed text and images, you can make them on any sheet of paper you want. However, the majority of flyers in the US use letter-size paper, which measures 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long.
There are variations in flyer sizes. Some flyers may also be printed on legal-size paper (8.5 × 14 inches). Others may use smaller sheets of paper, such as half sheets (8.5 × 5.5 inches), to print twice as many flyers per sheet of letter paper. It’s not uncommon to come across larger flyers that use large format paper (11 × 17 inches, which is equivalent to 4 sheets of letter paper).
Flyers vs. Other Forms of Print Advertisement
Below, I’ll compare and contrast flyers against other print advertisement types for your consideration.
The great thing about newspapers is that people tend to trust them. However, the decline of printed press means that more people consume digital news. That said, it might still be worth printing an ad in a newspaper, especially if your business is still local.
Still, newspapers have a much farther reach than flyers. Plus, you can pick how big or small you want to print your ad. The colors might not be as crisp as in flyers, but there’s plenty of space to add as many details as you want.
The only people who read magazines are those in hospital waiting rooms and hotel lobbies. Still, that’s quite a lot of people, especially when you take into account how packed those places can get.
Like newspapers, magazines have a much farther reach than newspapers. And depending on which magazine you contact, your reach can span across the entire country!
Tent cards are folded sheets of cardstock with an average size of 5.8 × 8.3. They are usually placed on café and restaurant tables. As such, their reach is limited to just the patrons of such establishments, but seeing as how the turnover of these places is much higher than hospitals and hotels, that could mean your ad will be seen by hundreds of people a day.
Not only that but the restaurant and café customers will also be in close quarters with your ad. Flyers, on the other hand, rely on grabbing people’s attention from a distance, and there’s only a small chance that people will actually come closer to see what your flyer is about.
Promoting via stickers by sticking them on car windows is a great way to reach a local audience. Of course, you can’t go driving too fast, or people won’t actually see what the sticker says. Also, driving while trying to jot down the number on your sticker can be dangerous, and not many people are willing (or should) to take the risk.
Compared to car stickers, flyers can be more promising since you can place them at strategic locations. Also, you would need to convince your friends and neighbors to stick stickers on their car windows to reach the same number of people as you would with a handful of flyers.