Here is the truth: You need to make a flier for your show.
Facebook events are great–for people that are looking for something to do that night. For people that don’t happen to actively go check their Facebook events list on the night that you happen to have a show, you need to have fliers. Your Facebook event invites are getting lost in a torrent of random notifications for everyone except the same 30 people that come to every show you put on, because you happen to be in their news feed or because they have made out with everyone you know.
For a long time I used to make fliers in Photoshop. What happened was I would learn just enough Photoshop skills to make a flier, and then by the next time I wanted to make another flier I’d have forgotten how and I’d have to re-learn it all over. For those of you that are fluent in Photoshop, this post probably isn’t for you. For people like me that suck at Photoshop or can’t afford it, here is how you make a flier (quarter-page size) without even freaking out a little bit.
Step 1: Find a photo. If you have a not-crappy-looking photo of the band, great. If not, or if you want it to look more hipster than that, search for a Creative Commons or public domain photo (for the flier above I used a photo I found by searching for “cool dog,” demonstrating that it’s not rocket science). Make sure the dimensions of the photo are at least 1500 pixels x 1125 pixels or it will look crappy when you print it. (I recommend using search.creativecommons.org and then click the button for Google Images, which you can then filter by size.)
Step 2: Use PicMonkey to lay out the flier. If you can make a Facebook event you can use PicMonkey, it takes about 2 minutes to figure it out. Click “Design” to open a new canvas. Then click the “Open” button above the canvas to upload your photo. Then, on the menu on the left of the page click the crop icon and resize the photo to 1500 x 1125 pixels. You don’t have to know anything about dpi or margins. Then click the “Tt” icon to add text in whatever font/color you want.
Step 3: Put a little attribution to the photographer in the bottom corner if you don’t want to be a jerk. (This is often a requirement for using Creative Commons content, though it varies by license.)
Step 4: Click the “Save” button above the canvas. Choose the best quality file size and save it to your computer. Don’t close the browser window until you’re sure you’re done because you’ll have to start over, unless you have a paid account.
Step 5: Send it to any print shop in town and ask them to print it four on a page and cut them. You probably don’t have to tell them you want it centered in each quadrant so that the margins are even, but do it anyway just to be sure. You can request a proof if you want. If you’re not feeling splurge-y you can print it on regular-weight paper or on 60# cardstock, which is the lightest / cheapest cardstock there is. The next step up would be 80#, 100#, etc. Do not pay substantially more than $20 for 100 fliers (25 8.5″ x 11″ sheets) on 60# cardstock. Maybe I will call around and get a list of prices from places in town? Would that be helpful?