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Pamphlet design

The first thing to consider when making a pamphlet is ask yourself: “what are you going to use that pamphlet for?”

Pamphlets are a very easy and effective way to provide people with information. Whether you are advertising something commercial, trying to mobilize people in supporting a cause, advertise a specific event or meeting, or even get out a message or slogan, it’s one of the fastest ways to get yourself out to everyone possibly interested.

Pamphlets are especially useful in areas with no access to local publishing papers (newspapers and magazines). It’s one of the most direct ways of reaching out to people, but because of its limited size you have to be very clear and realized about the content and the target group you’re aiming for. Otherwise, you risk spending your money for nothing, and making and printing out pamphlets could be costly.

Pamphlets are used when someone wants to give out more detailed information than they’re able to include in a poster.

For example: advertise a product. Whereas a simple poster will just give a glimpse of your product, a pamphlet may attract attention with its detailed information. Other uses are open invitations to events, spreading information about a cause, winning support for a campaign, or explaining an issue to a community.

It is better to create two different pamphlets to accomplish two different goals. Cramming in two different things in one pamphlet will defeat your purpose and most people aren’t likely to read a pamphlet that lacks a center.

Designing pamphlets are generally cheaper than brochures or posters. Pamphlets may be printed out in A5 or half-LTR or bigger, depending on the amount of information you have to put out.

It is a lot cheaper to produce pamphlets than posters. You can usually make small pamphlets (half of a normal LTR page) for sometimes less than 10 cents per piece. You can easily produce pamphlets yourself, by photocopying or printing them on a Xerox machine or you can take them to a professional printer. Whatever way you choose to make them, the important thing is your pamphlets to attract the attention of your target audience. A lot of money can be wasted by printing pamphlets and then not distributing them properly.

Before you start designing your pamphlet you have to be exactly sure of the target audience and the content. The age, gender, education, social status and occupation of the readers you’re going to want to reach will determine the style of the pamphlet designed and the language, the color schemes, the photographs and graphics that will supplement your text as well as the places that will be chosen for the pamphlet to be distributed to. You will have the possibility to reach out to people only if the message and purpose of your pamphlet is right. Calculate the amount of pamphlets you are going to have to print and then you can work out exactly the quality of pamphlet design you can afford.

If you decide to design a simple both sides printed page kind of pamphlet, then both of these sides must have something to catch the reader’s eye. The headlines must be intriguing and interesting. You should never forget to have the name and/or logo of your product/cause/company/organization printed on both sides of the pamphlet. You can’t know which side of the pamphlet will be the one that the reader starts reading from and your job is to make it interesting enough so that someone will read it all even if they start from the back. Really, chances are that your pamphlet copy will be read out of order. Each page or panel should contain interesting and eye catching material. This is good pamphlet design.

For most people, a conservative looking pamphlet design is boring and tiring. Design a pamphlet that is interesting to look at and easily readable. You have to make your pamphlet design busy but not crowded. It has to keep its reader involved from beginning to end but it should be balanced and not too dense. Filling, but not chaotic.

For the average person, a conservative pamphlet design is boring. Create a pamphlet that is easy to read and interesting to look at. A busy pamphlet design will often work better than a well-balanced pamphlet design, because it keeps the reader involved.

A very clever choice in pamphlet design is to break your headline in two to have the reader open the panel in order to read it. It may sound weird and silly, but it works. If you open any magazine or newspaper or even go online to read an article you’ll realize that editors always break stories in the middle of an idea or sentence so that readers are intrigued to turn to the next page and finish reading. Remember that basically your pamphlet is an advertisement. And just like an advertisement it must be designed to get and hold the attention of the reader. Create a center of attention and use strong visuals to guide the reader around it.

Simplicity is king. Keep the language simple and avoid heavy terminology and jargon. Get your facts right and keep it to the point. Do not allow yourself to babble because crowded text will make designing the pamphlet much harder. Sentences must be laconic and paragraphs contained and small.

When creating the layout for the pamphlet you should be careful not to make it to dense and crowded. Leave sufficient space between paragraphs. Don’t use tiny fonts and huge chunks of text. A good way to make the empty of text space useful is add pictures or logos. Pictures generally make text easier to read. But don’t forget to also use white space in your pamphlet design. Crowded writing is hard and tiring to read. Your photographs will lose impact and your logos will become repetitive and tiring if not used wisely. All in all the ad will appear out of balance if you don’t use enough white space in your pamphlet design.

Use bold or italics sparingly on the text, and reserve them for the headlines. By capitalizing and emphasizing everything you emphasize nothing at all. Font layouts should be simple. Text boxes provide a page with a much desired impact. Keep your font layout simple in your pamphlet design. You could include Frequently Asked Questions, or the mission statement within a box for more effective pamphlet design.

When choosing colors remember: colors represent different things in different circumstances. Be careful when designing your color schemes. When unsure about a color choice, go with the most neutral or consult a graphic designer.

When you do the layout, do each page on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure to use a big point type size. Remember to check spelling and proofread your pamphlet attentively. Make a copy before you take it to the printer as it can sometimes deteriorate your master copy. Only print the quantity needed to be distributed to your target audience.

If your pamphlet is part of a package of marketing materials, make sure that your contact information is on each and every document. Make sure that all contact information, like e-mail, phone number, website and anything else is clear and visible in every single part of the packaging material. People pass these things along, so make sure your contact details pass along with them.

You should analyze very carefully your target group before planning distribution because different fractions of a community get together in different places. If you’re trying to reach out to adolescents, you should aim at college campuses and school yards. If the distribution plan fails then your work to design the pamphlets goes to waste.

It is probably not a very good idea to hand out your pamphlets at bus stops, taxi ranks and stations, considering that most people are either hurrying or full of shopping bags. Your pamphlets will be just thrown in the nearest bin. Better ask a passenger to pass a few copies around to be read while traveling.

Arguably the best distribution method is from door to door. Drop them off at the door of every house or business building in the targeted area. Schools, churches, malls and other targeting venues might be used, depending on the target group you’re aiming at.

If you are giving out pamphlets for a cause, then it is also a good idea to distribute them when you are having parades, information stands or other public events. Having already caught people’s attention, the pamphlets will then be used to explain what you do and what your goals are to people that don’t really have the time to discuss this with you at the moment.

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