Brochure design

A brochure could be very important to improve your corporate image and it has three fundamental points:

  • Morphological and general features
  • Production process
  • Advertising aspects

Companies specialized in brochure design have all the tools necessary to come up with a great company brochure design. This job will be done though with your help, in different stages:

  • Share ideas with your design company. It's the part where you tell them what you have in mind for your brochure to be done and the company will give you new options and ideas in exchange.
  • Compile the information. This is the stage where texts and images for the brochure are chosen. You may have them already or you may want to the one getting them, but in case you don't, these companies have writers available to write the text or het the images for the brochure. This could contribute to having a professionally made brochure.
  • Revision. Once finished the design of your brochure, you will have the possibility to analyze it and decide whether it's what you wanted or not, even make some changes if it doesn't convince you.
  • Translation. It's a service provided by some companies, allowing your company to be known in other regions as well.
  • Delivery. The design process is finished as soon as all revision have been made and approved. You will then receive a file that includes with your brochure, ready to be sent to printing.

It's very important that you check every aspect of your brochure because that is what will actually help you to come up with an effective brochure. The design company is not able to decide everything, although they are in charge with designing the brochure. You are the only one that decides how the brochure will be made. In order to do that, you need to stay informed about the brochure's specific and general features related with your corporate image, or the way you want your customers to see your company. These are all things that can't be done by a brochure design company. They can give you suggestions but you are the one who makes the final decisions on your brochure design.


How to design a brochure?

Brochures are the beginning of your marketing efforts. Their goal is to inform customers about the services or products you offer and to emphasize the fact that the solutions you offer are better than those of your competitors. Everything revolves around your input though. And while a standard 3-fold brochure is the most common, you can just do any other type you want.


Basic layout for a brochure design

Let's take, for example, the design of a basic 3-fold brochure with six panels. The first panel, which is the front page, is the part that grabs the attention and convinces the reader to open the brochure to see what it has inside. Keep in mind that your brochure has failed if the reader does not look inside. You should therefore use an image and a benefit headline, or both combined. If you put only your company's name and logo on the front panel, you'll get disappointing results. The front panel is your advertisement when talking about a good brochure design.

One of the most common mistakes that companies make is to compress too much text in. Make sure you don't fill in all the white space you have available as it's not necessary to list every piece of information you have. Crowded materials are hard to read. Photos loose impact and your brochure will seem out of balance if all that white space isn't use properly. What you want is to have a brochure design that is attractive and easy to read, so use only short paragraphs, sentences and clear visuals.

Once the brochure is opened, the reader sees the 2nd cover, though some people prefer to call it the last panel. So the content of this panel may depend on your requirements. As a 2nd cover, this may be a good place to place a good introduction of your company, or describe the problem your product or service will solve. As the last panel, it is perfect for testimonials. Frequently Asked Questions can also go well here, including a call to action. This panel should emphasize that. Communicate your exact intentions to the reader, give him clear instructions on how to do it and tell him to do it right now. Be sure to make it easy for him to contact you.

Once the brochure is fully opened, what the reader sees is the center spread. The purpose is to take advantage of all this space that spreads across the three inner panels. You can include your inside headline here, copy blocks or boxes. Stretch illustrations and photos and you'll have a full-impact advertisement that you can use.

It's recommended that the center spread covers all that space starting from the introduction, continuing to benefits, excellent graphics and then to the first call to action. That's what a brochure design means. It's worth hiring a professional brochure design company or a marketing professional to review the work.


Guidelines and strategies

First of all, you need to create explicit mock-ups and models for your brochure. Cut, fold it to size, use the paper you will print on and review your work thoroughly with your printer, especially if there are any special folds or cuts at all. A good brochure design includes compatibility with your fulfillment house or printer. You should also double check the post office's mailing guidelines.

Then apply all good sales copywriting rules. If you are anything else than a sales copywriter, you should get at the very least a second opinion regarding your work. And even it's even harder, listen to criticism.

Have an employee or a good client write the copy for you. If possible, hire a professional copywriter or ask your brochure design company for one. The result and the difference will surprise you. That's the way to get a more effective brochure design.

Readers will only read headlines, captions and subheads at first, so these details are the ones that must give your reader the motivation to read through the rest.

Use high quality product photos or pretty people or, even better, photos of pretty people enjoying your products' benefits. You have a wide range of photographs available to use. You will be half way through to a highly efficient brochure design once you find that perfect picture for your company. If hiring a professional photographer, confirm he specializes in your type of image shootings (people, products, etc.). Between a general and a specialist photographer, you should get the specialist.

A good idea is to break the headline so that you must open the panel to be able to read it. It's a good method used in most magazine or newspapers to encourage readers to turn to the next page. And be careful what color you choose. Colors mean different things in very different industries. Good designers will make specific suggestions.

Your contact information should be on each and every document if your brochure is part of a marketing materials package. At the same time, keep in mind that your paragraph should not have more than 5-6 lines and no more than 2-3 sentences per paragraph, with a space between them. Do not try to emphasize too much by emphasizing nothing at all. Keep a simple font layout and limit the use of bold, underline, capitalization, etc. Your brochure design must attract the attention of its reader, just like an advertisement does. You can accomplish that by following these simple guidelines.

Though some programs like Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress and even certain word processing programs will help you come up with a simple brochure, hiring a professional graphic designer or a brochure design agency is a must for professional results.

If you are doing it yourself, start by typing up the text, lay it out and paste it on the inside panels of your copy. Mark the approximate sizes and locations if planning on using graphics in the brochure. Make the copy by folding a paper in your finished brochure's form, leaving clearly marked spaces for all the elements. Mark where the corners will be, than the fold lines and, ultimately, the margins.

Then prepare the text. It's recommended to use a computer for the overall layout so that it won't look amateurish and cheap. Decide on the typeface you would like, but don't use more than three or four in only one document so that it won't look too crowded.

Once finished, the first thing you should do is check your brochure for errors. Then try to get as many objective opinions as possible and use their feedback to decide on your brochure's final version. As soon as you are satisfied with how it looks, you will be ready to send it to the printer.

In order reduce or avoid the expenses of a professional printer, you can have your brochure printed or photocopied. And make sure it doesn't end up sitting on someone's desk or in a box; include distribution in your communication plan before you even start on planning the design. Make a list of places to distribute your brochures in and find out where it would be better to mail them or drop them off personally. Appoint specific individual volunteers or even staff members to have the flyers and posters distributed by a specific deadline.

A brochure can be the best way to introduce your company and attract potential customers at the same time. No matter the format, brochures are marketing tools that help your company's information reach its targeted audience faster and a lot more effectively.



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