posters and flyers compared

Marketing With Posters and Flyers

Print advertisements and promotions can take many different forms, but posters and flyers remain among the most popular, despite being around in their familiar forms for over two hundred years. Marketing with posters and flyers closely followed historical developments in printing and distribution methods. Their single-page format makes them simple to design and easy to adapt to a variety of different production methods. These design and production advantages make poster and flyer printing a simple, long-lasting way to promote products, events, and services on a small budget.

Size is the most obvious difference between flyers and posters. The size disparity actually  makes marketing with posters and flyers quite dissimilar. Each format lends itself to different uses and approaches to design. To make the best out of these different formats, it’s best to understand how they are used in detail.


Poster Details

The bike shop poster

Poster can be used to promote businesses, events, and services in a specific location. They do not usually need to be actively handed out, merely posted in the right place. Posters are a good match for advertisements or announcements that will be valid for a long period of time. Poster campaigns are a smart way to get a message to a large group of people. They can be an excellent tool for gathering a large number of first impressions in areas with high foot traffic. Posters are also relatively cheap and easy to switch out when it’s time to update your message.

However, they are more expensive than flyers per piece. While they can be given away as handouts, their size and relative expense makes them impractical for this purpose unless you are sure the recipients would actually appreciate them. This reduces the tactile advantage they have over their alternatives.


How to use posters:

let's save water together

  • As hanging displays to reach a large audience in high foot traffic areas
  • When you need long-term advertising in a specific location
  • As exclusive handouts to regulars and other brand-advocates


Flyer Details

art exhibit flyer example.

Like posters, flyers can be used to promote almost anything. Smaller than posters, their size lends them to a greater variety of distribution methods: left in stacks for anyone to take, handed out personally to passersby, direct mailed, and even hung or posted on bulletin boards.

While smaller than posters, they are also typically viewed from a closer distance, making it feasible to pack in more details than you might want to on a poster. Unlike most posters, you can usually use both sides of a flyer, giving designers and marketers even more space to work with.

Even when not used as a main promotional tool, flyers are the perfect complement to many popular materials — including posters. When distributed directly, flyers offer the tactile advantages of print, which are good for converting customers, making it important to consider the weight and feel of your flyer stocks before you design them.
Distributing flyers however, may require more active time from your marketing team compared to posters, if you decide to personally hand them out.


How to use flyers:

car show flyer

  • As general purpose handouts
  • Effectively convert customers first reached through other marketing channels.
  • As an affordable direct marketing insert.


Marketing with posters and flyers isn’t a one or the other proposition. Both can have their place alongside each other and other marketing materials in your campaigns. Not only are posters and flyers still effective in the digital age, they’re suited for memorable marketing campaigns that can work even with a tight budget.

How would you use posters and flyers? Comment below.


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