Want an easy and professional program for creating a brochure? Try Adobe InDesign!
In this brief tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a simple brochure, from how to prepare the document and add color, to putting pictures and text in it.
Step 1. Setting up the document.
Open InDesign and start a new document (File>New>Document). I will create a tri-fold brochure at 11 inches by 8.5 inches, so enter these measurements into the width and height fields.
Set the number of pages to two, the number of columns to three with a .125-inch gutter and choose the landscape orientation. Margins are set to .25 inches.
I will also have a .125-inch bleed in the document. A bleed ensures that no white border will appear in the final brochure after trimming.
Nothing relevant — text or graphics — should extend to the red bleed border. Actually, you should keep the relevant elements inside the pink border.
With these settings, InDesign will create a double-sided brochure document. Since I’m making inside and outside faces for the brochure instead of two individual pages, I’m going to deselect the “Facing Pages” option.
Step 2. Shaping the outside.
Every brochure consists of three panels. In the case of the outside view, the first panel from the left is the one that will be inside, the middle one will be at the back and the third will be at the front.
I’ll create a background with the help of the Rectangle tool for all the panels by drawing rectangular shapes featuring solid color fills.
To make shapes, click and drag with the Rectangle tool to cover the desired area. You can also use gradients and photos (see Step 3) for the background, if you prefer.
Step 3. Adding the graphics.
To add a picture to your document, use the place command (File>Place>select your picture>Open). Click and drag on the area where the image should be placed. You can re-size the picture to adjust its size with the Direct Selection tool.
Step 4. Writing the content.
Grab the Type tool from the tool bar, drag a box with it over the area where the text should be and input your text.
Choose a clear, easy-to-read font for the main content of your brochure. If you want to include fancy or decorative fonts, limit their use to the headlines.
Don’t use too many fonts either. Just pick two or three and use them throughout the whole brochure.
Step 5. Wrapping text around pictures.
Once you are done typing, select your text box and right click Arrange>Send Backward. As you can see, the text is now behind your image.
Select the image in front of the text, enable the Text Wrap Window (Window>Text Wrap) and choose the “Wrap around object shape” or the “Wrap around bounding box” option.
Now your text is arranged around your picture. Adjust the image and text size until the wrapping looks neat and the type is readable.
From the Text Wrap Window, you can also adjust spacing between the text and images.
Step 6. Filling the inside of the brochure.
The techniques I’ve illustrated for the outside can also be applied to the inside face of the brochure.
Add color-filled shapes, gradients and images to create a background. Also place your pictures.
Enter and format your text so it will look clear and wrap properly around the other items.
Step 7. Save it!
When you are satisfied with the result, all the content is properly displayed in both pages and the brochure is ready, you can save the project.
If you need to print the brochure, it is recommended to export it as a PDF (File>Export>Adobe PDF Print).
The default high-quality print settings will work in most cases, but if you have special requirements, browse the options and apply the needed changes. You can also try using a professional printing service.
Isn't it easier than you thought?
Making your brochure in InDesign will seem more complicated than it actually is the first few times around. I hope this tutorial will help you with some of the basics required to lead you from the start of your project to the finish.
Images courtesy of sxc.hu/profile/dpaessler, sxc.hu/profile/jkk, sxc.hu/enriquedk, and logoopenstock.com.