Tutorial: How to Make a Flyer for Your Local Stand-Up Comedy Night

Stand-up comedy flyers are complex beasts: how do you convey the level of hilarity at your show while providing the essential information?

Open a new project in Photoshop. I use PS3, but I’ve found that an effective flyer can also be made with MS Paint. Default “web” project will be in 640 x 480 (or landscape). You’ll want to invert those numbers to get a portrait layer. Nothing funny has ever been made in landscape. Or, no fatty flyers, amirite??

Next, find a suitable background. There are plenty of gradients that will give you the option of choosing two simultaneous colors. I’ve picked yellow and orange because they caught my eye first. And that’s key in creating effective marketing: catching the eye is way more important that making it look good. Like a train wreck, your eye is immediately drawn to it.

For this example, I set my stand-up night in Laughlin, NV because it had the built-in joke. You might have to stretch to find puns, word-plays in your own community, but this step is very important. Do not let people think your comedy night is bland, and for the most part, people like a good jab at their city. Off the top of my head, “San Fransciscjoke”, “Butt Lake City”, and “Salad Toss Angeles” are just a couple more examples. Feel free to use them.

“Support the Troupes” is a reference to both the patriotic slogan and the age-old comedy “troupe”. This will tell people that you’re populist and all are welcome. A credential or accolade doesn’t hurt either.

Notice that I’ve used three very hilarious fonts. The first is called “Porky’s” and manipulated into an arch shape. This tells people that I’m bending the rules. Things are going to get wacky. The next font is called “Pizzicato-Swash.” Pizza! Getting hungry already. Finally, the showtunes-looking one is “Budmo Jiggler,” which sounds like how I order a drink when I’m drunk: Hey Bud! Mo jiggler! Feel free to use that too.

General rule of thumb: if you can’t decide on one font, just use all the funny ones. People who tell you that it looks “busy” or “shitty” are idiots.

Next up is finding your “troupe”. Stand-up comedians are a wily bunch, many of whom will not return emails or send you a headshot. In that case, you raid their facebook for the best pictures you can find. I’ve added a picture of myself drinking out of a boot, which is inherently funny. Oi Oi! Give em the boot!

Sometimes you’ll have to crop pictures from larger pictures to effectively highlight your comedian. Sometimes stretching happens. I don’t know how to fix that.

It’s alright if you throw in some local inside jokes here too. I don’t know what or who The Gooch is, but it creates some intrigue. If I had a little more space, I’d add his famous catchline: “Here coma de Gooch!”

Information is key. Make sure people know when and where the thing is happening. “No cover for ladies” shows respect and lets them know that it’s not just a boys club. The string of exclamation points reinforces this fact.

Nearly done! In this case, you may notice some empty space in the upper corners, which screams amateur hour, but nothing that a couple pieces of clip art can’t fix.

And voila!

Hope this was helpful.

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