A brochure is an ideal way to advertise a business to potential clients, packing a good volume of information in a very accessible format. Different from flyers (whose purpose is mainly to be attractive while delivering only basic information), brochures offer something valuable to the customers and, ultimately, call them to action.
Below you’ll find a few tips to help you design a winning brochure intended for either digital or print distribution.
1. Planning Your Brochure
Outlining your project can help you save a lot of time and money. Here are a few things to consider including in your brochure’s content:
- What is your message?
- What kind of audience do you want to attract?
- Do you want to impress or inform your readers?
- Are you going for an image- or a text-driven brochure?
- How much information do you need to accommodate?
These are just a few aspects to think about before even starting to create your brochure. They will help you to shape your final product.
2. Picking the Right Format
Brochures come in a range of types and sizes. Depending on your business and purpose, you can go for something as simple as a single sheet leaflet or a bulkier booklet. But let’s not forget there are many other options in between those extremes.
For example, multiple sheets are great if you want to load the brochure with lots of informative material, while folded brochures are the best if you want to include beautiful photo spreads. Choosing a format can be hard at first, but it shouldn’t give you a headache, especially if you have been doing some careful planning beforehand (see tip #1).
3. Choose a Software or Program
Some of the most popular choices for creating page layouts for publishing are Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress and Microsoft Publisher. Their free equivalent is Scribus. However, these programs require some skills and are recommended either to users with at least a little experience or to those with patience and will to learn. Beginners with basic needs can rely either on Microsoft Word or on OpenOffice Writer.
4. Using Brochure Templates
To speed up the designing stage, you should consider the aid of templates. The same template can be used countless times for several different publications. There are also online suppliers of templates that you should visit if you are just starting out.
Here are some sites to get free and paid for templates: Smiletemplates, Printninja, Stocklayouts, Printplace, HP, Printingforless, Brochuremonster, Graphicriver.
5. Balancing the Brochure’s Elements
A brochure that not only will get noticed but that will also arouse interest in a potential customer is a balanced fusion of visuals and vitals. Try to be objective:
- Is the brochure attractive enough?
- Does it succeed in delivering the required information?
- Is its content valuable in the long run?
- Will customers want to hold onto it?
If the answer to all of these is yes, then you have a keeper. If you’re not sure, perhaps a project revision is necessary.
The attention span of the reader only goes so far: If your advertising material is captivating but the reader has to fish for information, you have lost a business opportunity. Likewise, a very informative brochure that is not visually engaging will not bring you closer to your audience.
6. Be Cohesive
The arrangement and flow of content is crucial. Many brochures suffer from a lack of focus and end up reading like a collection of random information thrown at the customer. If the eye gets lost trying to pick up the relevant details, your customer’s interest will drift away.
A cohesive theme leads the eye through the page. Choosing a limited palette creates flow, as does using only a few distinct typefaces. The eye must be able to scan the page easily, so good typography and appealing graphics should complement one another instead of competing for space.
Relevant information should always be obvious, and text should be aligned neatly and divided in brief blocks for optimal readability.
Plan Out Your Brochure’s Design and Layout
Among marketing tools, brochures represent a very direct way to target and communicate with your preferred audience. And since they come in a variety of formats, they can be adapted to different purposes.
Creating a persuasive brochure is not only about visual appeal, but also about engaging content and providing value in the long term. Determining your priorities and goals is the first step toward a successful advertising campaign.