Why You Need a Brochure and How to Design One
In a digital era that we live in, you might be wondering why you need “oldfashioned” printed marketing materials. This fact may surprise you, but studies have shown that physical advertising media is more action-oriented than digital media. And your end goal is for your customers to take the desired action.
One of the most used and most effective printed marketing pieces is a brochure. It is a promotional document used to introduce a company, product or service, to inform of the benefits and to extend the reader’s knowledge on a specific topic. There are many possible ways to use a brochure, but the most common ones are:
- as promotional mailout and part of giveaway packages
- as product instructions
- as literature for business services
- as maps for parks and trails
- as menus for restaurants
There are a few main benefits of brochures you should take into consideration:
- They are versatile and easy to distribute
- They are cost-effective
- They can hold lots of information, and a person can refer them again and again
- They build trust and personalize your business
- They are easier to understand and remember then digital advertising, as certain studies show
Designing a Brochure
Before you even start to design a brochure, you should make sure that you are well prepared, and that usually means the following:
KNOW YOUR BRAND - every piece of advertising you create should correspond with the general message your business wants to send. Brand recognition is important, so make sure your color scheme, imagery and message are consistent.
HAVE A CLEAR IDEA ABOUT THE PURPOSE - is your brochure informational, do you want the reader to know more about your business? Does it introduce a new product or service, and you want the person holding it to go and buy what you are offering? The layout of the brochure should guide the reader to take the desired action. That’s why it is best, if possible, to focus on promoting a single action.
KNOW YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER - use the language and images that are appealing to the person you think your ideal customer is. Remember, if you are trying to appeal to everybody, you will probably reach nobody.
SET YOUR BUDGET - so you can decide on the type of paper you should use, the brochure size, quantity needed, printing options, hiring a copywriter and a designer or not… It would be best to make an informed decision based on your priorities and the purpose of the brochure.
When it comes to brochure type, there are more options than you probably know. Some of them are:
- Accordion fold
- Gate fold…
- … and the list goes on
Paper size and fold type will depend on the amount of information and the purpose of your brochure.
The front page should have a single, clear, targeted message, and it should grab the reader’s attention. Some of the methods are:
- Explain how you can solve your customer’s problem
- Build intrigue by proposing a question
- Let the product speak for itself
- If the brochure is informational, put your branding front and center
The main brochure content should be concise and skimmable. There shouldn’t be too much explaining. Graphs, charts, and images with as little text as possible usually work best.
CTA (call to action) should be easy to understand and follow, and all content should lead the reader to it.
The back cover should include extra details, such as contact information and your social media profiles.
When it comes to the visual aspect of brochures, it all comes down to who they are for. The brochure should appeal to your audience, and different groups prefer different visual content.
We have already mentioned that colours should correspond with your brand colours. Furthermore, having one primary colour and one or two secondary colours that dominate the paper surface usually create the more professional look. This approach is common for corporate brochures and product/service presentations. On the other hand, if your brochure is aimed at childern, or if you want to promote a fun outdoor activity, it is ok to create something more colourful.
The similar principle can be applied to choosing a typeface. If you’re creating a corporate brochure, it doesn’t really make much sense to use fonts from comic books and superhero movies. Good rule of thumb is to use up to 2 different typefaces in your design – one for headlines and call to action, and the other for text paragraphs. The latter should be clean and easy to read, while the headline typeface can be more playful and dynamic, all depending on the overall design style you’re going for.
Another thing to keep in mind is font size. If you end up having a lot of text, you may be forced to use smaller text size in order to fit all the information in. This could make your brochure hard to read to a lot of people, so in this case it’s better to cut some text down, or rephrase it to fit better. Plus, having less text is also visually more appealing. Keeping your paragraph font size between 10 and 13 pt is what you should be going for.
Using images is very comon in brochure design. They can showcase your products and services, illustrate your slogans and emphasize your overall message. One thing to pay attention to here is image resolution. In order for images to print nice and sharp, they need to be high resolution. This means that most of the images you can download online simply won’t work, since those are low resolution web images. If you don’t have your own high resolution images, there are online platforms that sell professional photos big enough to print. Good places to start searching for photos are Istockphoto and Shutterstock. Or you can hire a local photographer to take the images you can use for advertising.
Helping You Get Started
In case you are not sure how to start and set up your design file, we have prepared template files you can download from our website. The process is visual and very simple to follow. If you need extra information about some of the options, you can click on the i icon and read a short explanation.
To download a Newprint design template, go to newprint.com/brochures, where you will find 6 categories to define the type of your brochure:
- Paper – Here you have to choose the type of paper you want us to print your brochure on.
- Size - This refers to the paper size when the brochure is unfolded.
- Colours - Here you choose whether you want printing on both sides or just on the front side.
- Coating – This option allows you to enhance the look of the finished brochure by adding extra layers of coating, such as gloss or matte.
- Folding – Choose the fold type for your brochure. The folding you choose will create a certain number of panels on your brochure, so you have to design the brochure with these panels in mind. Our templates will be of great help here, because which ever option you choose, the panels will be clearly marked on the template file.
- Packaging – In this step you can choose how you want us to deliver the printed brochures to you.
Once you have chosen the options above, you will be able to download a design template based on your selection. The 3 icons represent 3 different file types for your templates – ID (requires Adobe InDesign to edit), PDF (requires Adobe Illustrator to edit) and AI (requires Adobe Illustrator to edit). Click on the file type you prefer and save it to your hard drive.
For more information on how to download Newprint design templates, visit our help section.
We have also created detailed instructions on how to use InDesign, Illustrator and PDF templates from Newprint, to make your design process go as smoothly as possible. In these instructions it is also explained how to properly export PDF files, so you don’t have to worry about whether your files are print-ready or not.
In case you would like our designers to help you with any part of the design process, or to help you transform your idea into a finished product, contact our support team and let us know what you need. Our team of creative professionals is here to assist you to make the right choice when it comes to paper, colour and finishing options, as well as to design an awesome brochure for you. Alternatively, you can find a freelance designer for your project using platforms like 99designs or Upwork.
Are you ready to start creating your brochure? Contact us and let us know about your project!