It is 2008 and the day of your 10th birthday party has arrived. There are balloons everywhere and the Cheetah Girls soundtrack is blasting through the speaker of your static computer. The pizza is ordered and you are all set to start a brand new decade with your fellow 5th graders. The only thing is, one hour goes by and no one arrives. Soon enough, you have cycled through all of the Disney Channel Original Movie soundtracks until you come to the conclusion that the birthday party is just a pizza binge with your parents.
10 years later, you are still subconsciously afraid of that 10-year-old memory where no one came to your birthday party. And so, to redeem your self-worth in getting others to participate in your event, you decide to intensely advertise.
The cutthroat atmosphere of flyer posting around campus is no pleasant game. It takes strategy, creativity and logic in order to make sure your piece of paper stands out from the crowd. Whether you have been posting flyers for your comedy group since freshman year, or just want to find your lost dog, let me take you through the basics of what it takes for a flyer to be heard seen on this campus.
The first step of mastering flyers sounds simple, but is the most time consuming and crucial aspect: design. Do you want the flyer to be funny? Serious? How many royalty-free images can you copy and paste without seeming unoriginal? All of these questions plague the mind and cause serious self-denial until eventually you write some words down in pen on a blank piece of paper that you put in the copy machine. Once the afternoon has been wasted on searching through fonts, you are finally ready to proceed to the next stage of flyer making: printing.
Printing the flyer involves a stingy and eco-friendly mind. If you ask for a grant from the university, you may be able to afford the glossy vibrant paper from the print shop. The average student simply resorts to the black and white printer paper from the Swem first-floor computers. The number of flyers you print depends on the scale of the event; personally, I have found that 10 flyers are more than enough to spread around campus. After the flyers are nice and warm and printed, the next step is the grand, aimless walk around campus: posting.
Whether there is a group involved with the posting process or it is a solo mission, time management is key. A master flyer exporter must know all of the prime locations on campus in order to disperse information. It is also good to have a mapped route so that you can hit all of the spots in a way that is time efficient. Places such as Campus Center, Tucker Hall, Sadler Center and Swemromas are great spots. Even dorm rooms, unsuspecting academic buildings and Colonial Williamsburg get a lot of foot traffic. Once your route is planned and you have a handful of thumbtacks, all that is left to do is physically post the flyers, which is harder than it sounds.
As you physically post the flyers, you realize just how cutthroat this all is. It is a dog-eat-dog world on these bulletin boards, with little to no consideration of any other flyers sharing the space. Try and search out what events already expired and take that spot. If anything, leave all of the gloss flyers untouched because those are the people that went the most hardcore.
Finally, you decide to post flyers and turn away, without looking back. It is done now and there is nothing more to be done. Walking away from posting a flyer is a great sign of victory as if you are patting your 10-year-old self on the back, making sure they never spend another birthday alone.
Although all of this could have been avoided by simply creating a Facebook event, the art of flyer making is still a relevant part of our campus culture. By utilizing a shared space for all of our interests or events, it connects our campus community and sparks new interests and thoughts. And so, by simply taking the time to look at the flyers around campus, we are not only paying respect to the students that took time out of their day to create such art, but also supporting an open-minded interest in student happenings around campus.
Ellie Moonan is a Confusion Corner columnist who wants your flyers to stand out.