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A flyer (also spelled flier or called a handbill or leaflet) is a single page leaflet advertising a nightclub, event, service, or other activity. Flyers are typically used by individuals or businesses to promote their products or services. They are a form of mass marketing or small scale, community communication.

Flyers are handed out on the street (known as 'flyering'), posted on bulletin boards, or given away at events. Bulletin boards are found on college campuses, in cafes, community meeting houses, laundromats, and small markets.

Flyers, along with postcards, pamphlets and small posters, are vital and free forms of communication for people who want to engage the public but do not have the money or desire to advertise over the internet, in telephone directories, or classified or display advertising in newspapers or other periodicals. However, as marketing became more direct in the late 1980s and 1990's, flyers have evolved and currently there are many formats to be found. Some examples are:

  • A4 (roughly letterhead size)
  • A5 (roughly half letterhead size)
  • DL (compslip size)
  • A6 (postcard size)
  • CC (credit card size)


Flyers are inexpensive to produce and are regarded as a very effective form of direct marketing. Their widespread use intensified with the spread of desktop publishing systems. In recent years, the production of flyers through traditional printing services has been supplanted by Internet services; customers may send designs and receive final products by mail. Flyers range in tone from humorous to irreverent or absurd.

Recently, flyposting (pasting flyers to walls) has been banned in many places, causing concern among media activists and ordinary citizens. However, citizens concerned with the appearance of urban neighborhoods support the ban.

San Franciscomarker has a long history of flyering. The first flyer company was The Thumbtack Bugle which has been around for over twenty five years. Haight Street is very popular for postering on telephone poles.

Flyers have become an integral aspect to the Edinburgh Fringe, where flyers are handed to people on the Royal Mile.

Brightonmarker, in England, has recently outlawed 'flyering' - making it necessary to acquire a license from the local council if a person or organisation wishes to distribute flyers.

In Seattlemarker, Washington leaflets and flyers are a common sight. There has been some action to outlaw them but most of it lacked support. Flyers are most common on Capitol Hill but are still abundant elsewhere in the city.

During the War of American Independence Americans were outraged with the Stamp Act and therefore made anti-stamp act congresses. In these congresses they had to win support and so issued handbills, leaflets, pamphlets, badges, buttons, ribbons, mug, posters, notices around town and other things to win support against the Stamp Act.

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