The brochure designer is the person that specializes in developing the communicational graphic pieces known as brochure. The brochures designer has both a technical and creative profile, which make them knowledgeable about the necessary techniques for the design of a brochure and the creativity that is required for the brochure to communicate the message in a clear and original form.
It is common to hear or to listen many people degrade the profession of a graphic designer, insisting that with only understanding the tools, anyone can design a brochure. In many cases, clients feel capable of creating their own designs they feel brave enough to make modifications on existing designs and to alter general lines. However, the difference between these people and a professional designer is as big as the one there is between a person with a chisel and a sculptor, or between a person with a pencil and a writer.
The brochure designer disposes of graphic elements that have also studied an unnumbered of factors and have had academic preparation. The knowledge of these factors is fundamental and it helps to create a brochure that look professional.
The designer of a brochure bases most of the time on the existing visual identity. Only in some rare cases, there is not logo that defines the design lines to follow. In general, a designer can "open" the existing visual identity according to your necessities, but it established the reason for such opening and it keeps it for all the other pieces in the identity, not only for the brochures. If these identity openings already existed, they will use them in a consistent form.
Ideally, the designer must create a piece system, were each of the elements (fonts, size, colors, photographs, margins, columns, dispositions, guides, illustrations) maintain their role. If a certain color is used to accent or highlight, it should be the same in all pieces. If the designer decides to change color in one place or specific graphic piece, there should be a clear reason for changing it. It should not be randomly. And if they are thinking of placing it in another place or piece later on, they should be consistent and use the same color.
This should happen with each of the elements in a design – even with the blank space or with the margins. If the inner margins of the logo are of a certain proportion (three times wider than high), the logic implies that the same proportion must be used for the brochure's margins. Only in the case that the margin is impossible to use, can the system be "opened" to incorporate a different proportion.
In most cases, following one rule means breaking another. It is here where the designer's criteria must prevail, solving the conflict of these graphic rules and estimating or establishing which factor will have a more important visual value.
All this "logic" inside the system will allow the reader to understand the message that is being transmitted. The conjunction of these logics is what we call "graphic identity".
A brochure's designer takes into account the factors in a design. For example, we can analyze the election of the colors. The colors are based on a pallet that the designer defines – consistent or inconsistent – before starting the design of a brochure. The designer will choose between pallets of one or several colors and defines the objective or the use each color will have: if it will be a background color, an accent color, a complementary color. The colors of a pallet can be defined in an analytic form and there are treaties that are about the harmony in colors. Colors are also analyzed from a cultural and semantic point of view – colors have a significance, which varies according to the culture.
When a client or a person without the necessary knowledge decides to incorporate – for example, a color, a font, or any other element that was not in the system – all of this logic is being broken. Naturally, there could be business reasons for that specific change and we will enter in the discussion of whether the aesthetics have more importance than the message itself. A designer that is committed with the success of their client, must also trust the business criteria of their counterpart and should be able to incorporate, as much as possible, that element in the design, giving it some logic and adjusting it to the system, so that it continues to be consistent.
However, if the addition of this element has been suggested by the client due to aesthetics, we can clearly tell them that they are making a huge mistake, as the client does not have the technical and academic elements that a graphic designer does. Unfortunately, it is normal to see the client pretend to make decisions in aesthetics, claiming for the fact that they are the ones paying for the job. It is then when a designer must apply their techniques, convincing the client about how the incorporation of a certain element will not help to maintain the graphic identity. In most cases, this is a lost battle upfront: the designer decides to succumb, in order to satisfy the client and to complete the project (and the client) in good terms.
Brochure graphic designers usually work in teams. Graphic designs are better when a graphic designer receives suggestions from other designers, or from their design boss. Hiring a team or specialized design agencies on brochures, allow to dispose of designers with different styles.
The professional brochure designers use software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and/or Adobe in Design for designing brochures. In less scale, they use Corel software. Even though there are other software pieces that can allow creating brochures, they are not professional and restrict the capacity of a designer. In particular, most people think that they can create a brochure in MS Word, but the result is really bad in comparison to professional designs, realized with the Adobe design suite.
A brochure's designer does not only help you in recommendation or advice terms when planning and the creating of the brochure, but it will also, help at the moment that you are preparing the files for the final printing. There are also a series of recommendations and requisites that printing houses have and that only a specialized designer will understand.
On the other hand, the development of a brochure on behalf of a persona that does not have the knowledge can result in future problems in terms of graphic identity (the opening of an element of an identity is hard to leave behind) and the terms in real costs. A printing house file that is badly prepared can cost your business a fortune in lost investment, plus the loss in business opportunities that will not happen for not being ready on time or providing a serious image.
It can be said, that the cost of creating a professional brochure on your own (or telling an administrative employee with basic design knowledge to do it for you) can be enormous and is never recommended. In the best of cases, it will cost you less, but will lose business opportunities for weeks and will provide a mediocre corporative image, which will be difficult to revert in the future. In the worst of cases, it will cost you a fortune, will lose time and even your competitors will look at your brochure and take a deep breath.
The advice is to always hire a professional team, which in the long run, will result more economic and will allow you to complete your objective on time and successfully.