Upcoming event flyer

Apologies, I posted this then removed it because I realized a while after that it posted in General category and I thought I selected the Crit Pit Category. Reposting in The Crit Pit category because it wouldnt let me change the category to post to.

Here is the 3rd draft for the event coming up.
The original one was posted in the topic titled: Flyer ideas for upcoming event

I didn’t have a chance to work on the flyer since my original post mentioned above, until yesterday, so it’s been a while. Two attached. The first one was in the afternoon, the second one was later on, (not that it matters).

For the first one on this post, please ignore the black lines above the people I didn’t get that part erased well.

The second one attached is actually the 3rd draft out of the 3 (from the original post mentioned above being the 1st draft).

Please feel free to critique these. I post all the content I do because I want to get better. This community has been great so far. Hopefully it is okay, to post all the content I do as I go because I’d rather share progress as I go and learn.

I think your work has plateaued since your last versions. I’m not sure these are better; you’ve mostly just moved a few things around. At this point, I could mention various small problems, but I think there’s the larger problem of you not knowing quite what to do or where to go from here to make them more visually compelling.

If I remember correctly, I might have previously suggested this, but try looking around at various sources for layouts you like — not with the objective of copying them, but with the goal of trying to figure out why you like them. For example, is there a good hierarchy of information? Does the negative space work well with the positive space? What subtle emotions do those layouts evoke when you see them? Do the layouts effectively communicate the message to the audience?

Conversely, do the same with the layouts you find that aren’t working. Are they too cluttered? Do they not fit the subject matter? Are they unappealing? Are they confusing?

Here’s a link to a random assortment of church festival design layouts. Some might be good and others not so good. Some might work elsewhere, but not in your situation. Some might not work well at all. The point is to learn to understand why and use what you learn when making decisions in your own work.

I would also be interested to hear your critique of your own work. What do you think is working or not working, and why do you feel that way? Where are you stuck, where do you feel you’re making progress, and what are the reasons?

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I’m not going to go into as much detail.

Same story as all the others - lack of hierarchy and general design skills.

Study more, train more. Plenty of online resources.
LinkedIn Learning has a free 30 day trial.

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Still just unjustified decorating, I’m afraid.

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Not knowing your skill level, it’s a good (not great) job. I do like the three color one vs the two color treatment. Both are a little busy.

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@PopsD Thank you for the reply. I do not have any skill level in this except maybe a few basic graphic/web design classes in college over 8 yrs ago. I agree they are a little busy but unfortunately, the info that is on there is all required to be on there, including the picture. I’ve tried to remove some and was informed it put it back on the flyer.

I wish you the best of success with your project and efforts.

@Just-B Sorry, I originally posted a reply to yours, a day or so ago. Then wanted to edit my post because today I just got some info regarding the flyer they want to go with. So I wanted to include that in my reply to you but had to delete the previous comment and add content because it doesn’t let me edit posts.

Today, they said they want to go w/the 3rd flyer (the most recent one w/the gold line towards the bottom of the flyer). That being said, specifically, they requested: The picture should be larger and blend into the flyer.

Okay, so i’ll make the picture of the people larger but I don’t understand how they mean blend into the flyer. This flyer is as flat and boring as it can be (unfortunately) I don’t know how they want it to blend into it. What comes to mind is like maybe they faded out (like a ghost or making it fade out into the distance/background but i would think that would be the opposite of what they want if they want the picture to be bigger you wouldn’t want to make it ‘fade away’/disappear type thing). This brings to mind one thing, I feel like if i make the picture bigger (i’ll make it slightly bigger) but it seems like the picture is fighting the theme as far as big and whats more important. If that makes sense.

I was curious after I got that request if you had any idea on what they were talking about.

Below is my original response, to you before the updated/edited info. above.

Thank you for your reply. I looked at the site you shared and the questions you asked and I always look at the info you provide usually 3-4 times when I work on this. The detail and advice you put into all of the replies is greatly appreciated. I do agree with you. You hit the nail on the head of not knowing quite what to do or where to go to make them more visually compelling.

My critique for this theme Grace & Glory is below.

The first thought, when I took this one on, was, okay; what is related or tied to these 2 words since that is the theme?

And what do we want to get to draw people to this Dominion Word Festival?

I try to always see if there is a color or symbol tied to the theme to give me something to include on the flyer. This time, I first looked up the word Glory to see if a color or symbol was tied to it. Same with Grace. Amber is the color associated w/Glory in the Bible so I found a color I liked (from the Canva color wheel) that I wanted to incorporate. Grace didn’t seem to have a color tied to it. Then I start to look up designs that have those words included in it for inspiration. That is when I start to get stuck. I don’t know how/what to do to make it visually compelling.

The other part of being stuck with that is, if I saw something cool online say a star or a beam of light, (something that might not be mirrored by a brush), what is the line of, I can use that but I have to alter it in some way (add color, add a filter, incorporate it w/another design or background), so it’s not considered illegal where you could get in trouble for it.

In one of the videos you shared, the guy seemed to use a beam of light and I know he was just using it as an example for everyone but it made me think, I know you can’t just take pictures off the internet and use them willy nilly on designs unless it’s altered to some extent where they couldn’t tell yep that’s exactly my drawing or my star. I even though of using Canva personal free account for part of a design but then I thought, no because if its for a non-profit, then i have to have them sign up for a non-profit account and could maybe use that then but if Im being honest, I feel like using Canva to create stuff while cool is, in a sense cheating. Its not something you really created on your own, you just used someone elses design for it. That might seem silly but thats just my opinion.

In regard to effectively communicating the message to the audience, I think okay, what is the call to action (maybe im using that phrase wrong in this sentence), why would people want to come to this event what is going to draw them…then I just get stuck because its not like I can put an explosion or fire or something on there to draw people because that has nothing to do w/the theme. I feel like that kind of ties into me being stuck on how to draw them in/visually compelling.

I don’t like the fact that we have to have a picture of the speaker for every flyer, I feel like that makes it harder to design around at times, but that could just be me. I do think some of the info we have on there makes it cluttered but it’s required to be on there as well as a picture of the speaker.

I think the only thing I have down is the hierarchy. Though I got bored with it because, in every flyer I do, the info is relatively always in the same spot. It all needs to be there though, so I either keep moving it to different spots or keep it all the same but it still needs to look good hierarchy-wise and flow, not have random info scattered throughout.

When I look at the flyer, I think okay, the first thing I want people to know is the name of the festival, so I would think that should go at the top, then next would be the theme of the festival. At least, in my opinion, I would think that would make sense, but maybe the first thing could be the theme of the festival, then the name of the festival, or am I correct in my thinking about the name of the festival first?

As I am writing this, I think I could do the theme and then put the festival part smaller underneath the theme somewhere, but that’s just moving one small piece down a way, which is not much of a huge change.

I really do appreciate the questions you asked me about my own critique and that you are willing to have an actual discussion about it. Its nice to converse about it, it helps. This is the spot where I can talk/discuss the progress or lack there of which I am so grateful for and need because I don’t have that outside of this forum.

I did look at actual classes at a community college or university and everything is signed up already for the semesters, i’ll take a peek back again towards the fall and see.

I needed to find time to respond, so I’m a couple of days late.

Only they know for sure what they meant, but if I had to guess they’re simply saying they want the speakers’ photos to be more prominent since they’re arguably, the main reason people will attend. Of course, this puts you at the mercy of the photo’s quality and how it can be cropped or silhouetted.

Despite the problems with the random photos you get, I agree that highlighting the speakers is important. I would probably even go a step further and include information about them.

The self-critique was mostly for your benefit. I’ve always found it important to fully consider everything I’ve done and why this might be better or worse than that. I work differently than what you’ve described, however. My process might be a little more holistic in the sense that I tend to think in terms of the function and what general emotional quality the design should evoke to best complement that function. From there, it’s usually a matter of intuition for me, but I always make sure that I can explain those intuitive decisions to myself and to my clients.

OK, you’re heading in the right direction, but you might have gotten a little lost on a side trail. You’re using color to evoke an emotion, but you’re trying to determine that color analytically instead of emotionally. When you need to look up what color or symbol is tied to the word Glory, even if you find a reference, most people won’t make a connection to that reference. Sometimes, you need to rely on your gut instincts. For example, what color would you associate with the word?

You shouldn’t copy or use someone else’s work, but no one has a copyright on the idea of using a beam of light or a star. When you see something that you like, figure out why you like it, then use that information to create your own rendition of it.

I don’t use Canva, but my reasons are different (Canva places too many constraints on what I might want to do). However, I don’t feel it’s cheating to legally incorporate other people’s work into a design for a client. Designers don’t typically shoot their own photos or design their own typefaces, or write their own copy. Instead, designers are more like movie directors in that part of the job involves coordinating the work of others to achieve something larger than the sum of the component parts.

In art or design school, the instructors frown on incorporating other people’s work into the assignments because students need to learn to become proficient in a number of skills instead of taking shortcuts.
In the real world, where budgets are limited, deadlines loom, and clients are asking for the impossible, time- and money-saving shortcuts are often needed. For example, if a client doesn’t have money in her budget for a custom illustration, there’s nothing wrong with paying a few dollars for one from a stock site when doing so serves the client by making the solution more effective.

A call-to-action can be thought of as the next logical step you want to reader to take. For example, if it’s to visit a website or buy a can of peaches, the call to action would be to figure out how best to facilitate that.

If the website listed on your flyer provides additional information or enables people to register, maybe that should be the call to action. If neither of these things applies and if all the flyer is meant to do is advertise an upcoming event, maybe the call to action is a little different. Maybe it is just a matter of designing such a compelling flyer that people remember the date and make a personal decision to attend.

Yes, that’s true, but the speaker and what the speaker will speak about are the reasons people will attend. I’m not suggesting that the photo be the largest thing on the flyer, but I am saying that the speakers are important and that you shouldn’t minimize their importance.

There’s nothing wrong with establishing a theme that carries over from one flyer to the next. For that matter, doing so is a good idea. Not only does it eliminate having to create something new each time, but it also helps provide branding continuity and recognition from one flyer and festival to the next.

Just a quick 5 minute effort for the people situation - it’s always annoying me

As a suggestion and hard to explain with words


(by the way there’s a typo on the flyer it’s Sunday July 30th (not 20th))

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@Smurf2 Wow. Thank you. That is so cool you came up w/that in 5 min. Thank you for creating the visual vs trying to explain it. I am a visual person, so I appreciate that.

The people situation, do you mean when you get asked to put it on flyers it always annoys you or in every post I share it annoys you? LOL.

The people illustration you shared is a really good idea. The pic on mine is a married couple and they are right next to each other in the pic so I don’t think they would like me to separate them but it’s def a good idea if they were to have other people. Also, thank you for pointing out the typo on the flyer!! I didn’t even realize it. I fixed it now. Thanks.

I know I said this above a little bit but it really means a lot you would take the time to come up w/something to share/show me as a suggestion. I see that and think okay wow thats automatically better than anything i’ve done.

I want to ask, if I may, the background did you come up w/it on your own?

Or is it a picture you took or pulled offline and then added filters and layers etc to it?

That is one thing I am always curious about is how people come up w/the backgrounds. I would imagine it would take a lot of time and hours to come up w/a background.

It honestly takes me a few hrs to try and come up w/the stuff I share on here. That is stuff that I am at least somewhat okay with. Theres been times when I will put hours into a design and realize okay its not going to work how I planned or it’s gonna be a pain to continue this and try to make it look great so I end up scrapping it. I can only imagine it takes you guys hours to come up w/different designs to share w/your clients/customers. Let alone just brainstorm through different ideas putting in effort in a design only to realize it won’t work how you thought it would and start over.
I dont mind it, I enjoy coming up with this stuff but my goal is to get better. If I’m being honest, I feel bad they have to use these designs but I like the opportunity give me because they could just pay a company to do designs for them.

I have a long way to go in learning and getting better but I appreciate the information and advice shared.

Is that what you took out of it?

@Smurf2 yes the black silhouette is just that, I removed the actual picture of the people and kept the silhouette to represent their actual picture. Just a privacy thing, I am not fond of putting people’s pictures up online unless its specifically meant to be there like on a website or something. Kind of how i have everything as a fake name/fake address fake website. it’s just a placeholder to represent the actual info.

@Just-B No worries, I needed a moment to reply to yours as well. I asked them what they meant today, and it was what I was thinking, they want the pic even bigger and faded out/into the background. So, I’ll work on that and that will be my final one. That is a good point about providing info about them. I will keep that in mind for future reference.

Your process ’ in terms of the function and what general emotional quality the design should evoke to best complement that function.’ specifically the emotional quality the design should evoke to be the best compliment that function, I have a lot of work before I can get to that point.

Great explanation of what a designer is as you described it a movie director.

The site on the flyer doesn’t provide any more info than the flyer does nor does it enable people to register. Its only on there to have people look at the site about the facility as a whole/views, etc but it doesnt give any more info about the event than what the flyer holds.

Good idea on establishing a theme that carries over from one flyer to the next.
When you say establishing a theme that carries over from flyer to flyer, do you mean
the same layout/design for each event or maybe the same color scheme for each flyer
just in a different design?

There are many ways. It’s mostly a matter of consistent elements that repeat from one to the next.

For example, if it were me, I’d treat the words Glory & Grace as a wordmark. I would spend some time designing a nice-looking, customized version of those words and use it as a logo from one flyer to the next. I’d also use that wordmark on the website and all related materials, such as programs or handouts.

I would also choose a typeface to use on every flyer.

You might design a consistent layout that may vary from one flyer to the next to accommodate the photograph. Perhaps the backgrounds could change depending on the nature of the program/service or the season of the year.

Consistency not only makes the job easier, but it also helps establish brand identity and recognizability.

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So you don’t have a better picture of them?

You’re just going to have them floating around in the image?
I didn’t mean for my silhouette to replace what you have - just to show a better way to place floating heads/bodies.

I don’t think you fully grasp the ideas being given to you here, even-handed on a plate - it’s quite difficult to direct you.

It’s time to replace the silhouette placeholder with a photo.

@Just-B That makes sense. For clarification purposes, the only thing is, the themes change with every flyer, so the words Glory & Grace, would be only for this flyers theme. The only thing that would stay the same is the address the event takes place. Generally, its different dates unless its this specific festival is always at the end of july. The flyers vary between 2-3 different events w/different themes each yr. Once I get the theme, I try to design a flyer based on that theme/season and match colors depending. I just want to make sure Im understanding you clearly. The way I am understanding what you are saying is, to come up w/a template I’d use, keep the same typeface and just replace the background and positioning of the info on the flyer for all the events. If that is what you are saying, I could try that and see how it goes, though I have a feeling after 2 times they’d be like okay come up w/something different.

That is a good point to have consistency and do the same typeface on every flyer as well as make a design layout that is consistent. I have some information saved in a draft for when I need to create a flyer, like the dates, address times, food, etc. for some of the ones we use because I know it will always be the same time/dates/info.

Honestly, we don’t have handouts. We have a website then whatever flyers I create for the events (that I share here). There was talk about doing a tri-fold or bi-fold type of flyer with more info but I have NO CLUE what info to put in that or even how to go about that. Let alone, it hasn’t been brought up yet and I don’t want to bring it up. Besides, if my flyer designs are not good to put it nicely, then I don’t even want to think about doing a single, or bi-tri fold flyer/program w/more info until I get better at just creating flyers in general.

Again, I appreciate your feedback.

@Smurf2 Thank you for the feedback. It is appreciated. Afterward, I realized, I probably didn’t respond the best. I understood you meant, you were showing a better way of placing the speakers heads/bodies but immediately after reading it I took it a certain way. It wasn’t till later on I was like wait no, thats not what they meant.

and @Mojo Apologies, if I was unclear, I do have a picture of them, the black silhouette is just a placeholder because I don’t want to put their actual picture on the flyer and upload it here.

The final flyer, the picture they wanted is bigger. It actually takes up the whole right top corner with the Y from Glory, overlapping slightly on the picture of them and right above the Thursday timeslot. Worst example ever but the red outline in the below, is where there picture is now in reference to placement/size.

Thank you for your honesty and feedback.