How to Create a Flyer With Illustrator
By Paul Kemp
Adobe Illustrator is one of the best programs available when making flyers for an event. Its vector-based art is easily scalable to any size flyer, and the graphic art possible in Illustrator is of professional quality. The program is also able to integrate photos and even allows users to make vector art with special effects from their photos. There are a few fundamental things to know about Illustrator when creating a flyer.
Open Illustrator and click “Print Document” under the “Create New” heading on the welcome screen. If your preferences are set to skip the welcome screen select “File" then "New” from the application menu and select “Print” from the “New Document Profile” drop-down menu.
Set the size of your flyer in the “New Document” dialog box. You can create your own dimensions, but the “Letter” setting is preset for a standard 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper which is recommended for most people printing from home.
Select the “Type Tool” from the Tools panel to the left of the workspace and add text to your flyer. You can create point text, which has no bounding box, by clicking anywhere on the artboard and typing. You can reposition this text or any object in an Illustrator document by selecting the “Selection Tool” from the Tools panel and clicking and dragging inside the text box. Adjust the character settings of the text by highlighting it with the “Type Tool” selected and adjusting the figures and settings in the “Characters” Tool Options bar above your workspace. You can create text that follows a shape or path you create by selecting the “Type on a Path Tool” nested beneath the “Type Tool.”
Add images to your flyer. You can import photos or other graphics by selecting “File" then "Place” from the application menu, or you can create your own with Illustrator’s many drawing and shape tools. Select one of the shapes nested beneath the “Rectangle Tool” in the Tools panel and click and drag to create a shape. You can make stars, polygons or circles of all sorts. You can alter the appearance of a shape or add a stroke by adjusting the settings in the “Path” Tool Options bar above the workspace or by adjusting settings in the “Appearance” palette to the right of the workspace.
Apply effects to the text and images. Visit the “Effect” menu in the application menu and try various effects until you find something that fits the mood of your flyer. You can make a shape into a series of scribbles by selecting “Effect," "Stylize" then "Scribble” and tinkering with the settings in the “Scribble Options” dialog box. This effect can be very interesting if used correctly.
Select “File" then "Save As” from the application menu. Depending on how you are going to use and print the flyer, you may want to save it in any of several formats. Save it first as an .AI file by selecting “Adobe Illustrator (.ai)” from the “Format” drop-down menu in the “Save As” dialog box. This format will keep your flyer in vector format so it can be adjusted and resized later if necessary, and can also be printed at home. If the flyer will be sent to a printer for mass production, select “Adobe PDF” from the “Format” menu. Click “Save” when you’re finished.
Paul Kemp is a writer and former political junkie. He has written copy for university publications and professional organizations. He is currently working on a book and screenplay about his time on the campaign trail during the 2008 election and teaches test prep classes.