If you were planning on doing some brochure printing, what steps would you take to create the best marketing piece? This is actually a complicated question, and to answer it, let us look at the steps to creating a compelling brochure and general guidelines to an attractive brochure.
5 Simple Steps to Create a Compelling Brochure
Here is a step-by-step plan on how to approach creating a high quality brochure that clearly spells out the marketing message.
1. Understand the purpose of the brochure.
Your brochure will only be as good as the creative thinking that goes behind it. However, before you can get into creative thinking you need to have a very clear idea about the organization you are planning to promote.
Here are some questions to improve your focus and get clarity:
• What is the goal of this organization?
• What is its mission statement?
• What values does this organization represent?
Your design should answer all three of these questions, not only verbally, but also graphically through design elements, typeface, colors, design grid, and white spacing.
2. Reference other brochures.
Find out if the company has tried to create a brochure before. If it has, compare what it has done with the answers you got by asking the three questions about it goals, mission, and values. What you’re looking for is to see if you can improve on the previous brochure.
It’s possible, however, that the previous brochure was either so poorly designed that it does not help you brainstorm how to create a new, improved version or that there are no previous versions to compare. If this is the case, then look at brochures developed by competitors.
The whole idea behind reviewing what has been done previously or getting a good idea of what other companies are doing is not to take shortcuts by imitating what has been done. Instead, use this reference material as a springboard to come up with ideas that are simultaneously recognizable as fitting in with industry trends yet, at the same time, refreshingly different and intriguing.
3. What to consider when it comes to design.
Think of design elements as a collection of tools.
In considering design elements decide on:
• The type of font you want to use. Do you want to use serif or sans serif? Once you’ve decided on the general font type, figure out if you want to have a quaint, old-world style or a trendy, modern style.
• The type size, including headline and body sizes.
• The design grid, which is the width, placement, and number of columns.
• The colors that complement the company’s branding images and logos.
• The judicious use of white, or negative space.
By choosing the right design elements, you are setting the tone for the brochure. You are not only deciding how the reader’s eyes will scan the brochure but also what subtle impression you are trying to evoke.
4. Do a mock up.
While all the steps so far may have given you a very good idea of how to design your brochure, you should do some mock-ups to see if the design you actually see in front of you accurately reflects the design that you envisioned in your mind’s eye.
5. Ask other people else what they think.
Since you are only familiar with your own point of view, the quality of your brochure will really stand out if you can get a second opinion, or even more than one opinion.
If you are selecting only one person to review it, find someone who is highly skilled at design work. They will give you a more informed opinion than someone who does not have a trained eye to see any flaws.
If you are selecting from a group of people, then choose people who are expert designers and people who have no idea about design. You will get a wide range of opinions. Write everything down and then take some quiet time to reflect on whose ideas you should implement. Not all suggestions will be valid. Not all suggestions will be invalid. You have to decide which ones to keep and which ones to toss out.
Some General Guidelines
Since each brochure is as unique as a handshake, consider the following suggestions as general guidelines, or tips, if you will, of some of the factors that go into a well-designed brochure.
1. Think about the visual focus of the cover. What initial impression does it convey about the business and its products or services?
2. Take out any design element that works against the overall impression that you are trying to make on the reader. You want to keep only those elements that complement your editorial and visual message.
3. Experiment with different types of typefaces to see if there is anything better than what you had previously selected. Similarly, experiment with various headline and body copy sizes. See if you need to add or remove vertical or horizontal lines to segment different ideas in the brochure. Finally, decide if you want to use ragged right or some other option.
4. See if increasing or decreasing the amount of white space will improve the look-and-feel of the brochure. White space can make a huge difference because it helps the reader scan the content more easily. If there is too little white space in the interest of packing as much information as possible in a limited amount of space, the reader may feel overwhelmed by too much content.
5. Use images that create their own storyline. If you could not write anything, then how much would your chosen images tell the reader about the company and its goods or services? Do the images work in harmony with each other, or are some too dominating and disturb the synergistic effect that you’re aiming to create?
Designing and printing a brochure can make all the difference to a company’s marketing. A brochure packs a lot of information in a very small space. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It’s advantageous because it quickly informs the reader about the company. It’s disadvantageous because there is always so much more that you could say. Ultimately, since a brochure is an invitation to find out more about a company, you should make the contact information easy to find and act on.