Brochure Design Tips

    #1 – Choose the Right Type

    There are several types of brochures, the most common being the tri-fold and the half-fold. Commonly, both are printed on 8.5x11 landscaped paper.

    Advantages to the tri-fold mean that you have 6 panels to get your message across, though each panel has very limited space. A tri-fold is great when you want your brochure to tell a story, take the reader on a particular journey through your company, product, or service. A half-fold brochure has only 4 pages, but each page gives you more space to place your message.

    With tri-fold brochures, design can be a bit trickier, since you must design around your fold lines. You can bridge the fold lines only in the inside 3 panels to any real effect. You also need to know what people see when they see your tri-fold brochure:

    1. The front panel. This is what everyone sees first. It should have the greatest impact and evoke the most emotion in a viewer.
    2. The back panel or the inside flap. Depending on the emotion that is evoked, a reader will do one of three things after seeing the front panel.
    3. If not interested, will toss it.
    4. If very interested, open up and see Inside panel 1 next to the inside flap.
    5. If mildly curious, flip it over to see what’s on the back.
    6. Open up the brochure all the way to see all 3 inside panels.
    7. Look at the back to get more information or to find contact info.

    Following that general understanding, it is important that you design around this particular flow.

    #2 – Design for Your Audience, Not for You

    Many people designing a brochure look for a design that they feel best represents them, their company, their product, or their service. This is a mistake. You want to represent your customer or your client. You want the customer to say, “Oh! That’s me! I could use this product!”

    For example, don’t put a picture of your brand new, state-of-the-art facility on the front panel. You might be very proud of your accomplishments, but frankly, who cares? People want to know how your product or service is going to benefit them. So design to represent your customers or clients, or audience.

    #3 – Have Fantastic Copy Text

    It might be the hardest part of design. What to say. How to say it. Some get too wordy and lose people. Some say the wrong things. Don’t tell people how great you are, how awesome your product is, how your service is better than someone else’s. Tell people about the benefits to them. That is what they want to know anyway.

    Typically, you want short powerful statements. Honest truth is, people scan more than they read. This article is broken into subtitles to facilitate people scanning and finding what they want most. In fact, people scan lists more readily than they do text. For example:

    1. You read this first
    2. Before you read the paragraphs above
    3. This is natural
    4. And this list caught your eye
    5. More than the paragraphs around
    6. Because this is easier to scan
    7. And gives the eye greater freedom

    So, have great, easy to find, easy to understand titles and headings.

    #4 – Use the Right Images

    Sometimes you can get away with using stock photography, but the best images are those that evoke a strong emotion or create curiosity in the viewer. Your front panel is by far the most important spot this image needs to be.

    Secondary images are meant to support the text, such as charts, before and after images, or images that give the viewer a good idea of what the product, service, or event is about.

    #5 – Use Good Design Techniques

    Click here to read more about fonts, shapes, backgrounds, and images in design. Doing this right is well worth the time it takes.