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10 Tips for Perfect Brochure Design

Aug 10th, 2018

Printed marketing materials are often overlooked in favour of digital communications. But there are tremendous advantages to using brochures, flyers, and pamphlets to advertise your business.

two woman friends looking at brochure

Despite being ‘old-fashioned,’ people still enjoy tangibility. When potential customers pick up one of your promotional materials, you’re making a personal connection that digital platforms often lack. As long as there’s paper available, printed components will never become obsolete and will continue to be an effective marketing tool.

So, how do you go from creating a dull brochure to one that is engaging, eye-catching, and easy to read? Here are 10 tips to help you achieve perfect brochure design.

Tip #1: Understand printing parameters

Unless you’re using a customizable design, it’s important to understand your printing parameters before starting your project. You’ll most likely be using a program like Adobe InDesign to create your brochure. Be sure to set the printing specifications correctly and account for margins and trim lines. Here is a guide to setting the parameters for a typical tri-fold brochure:

Set the dimensions of your overall design to 11.25” x 8.75”

Final trim size will be 8.5” x 11”
Final folded size will be 8.5” x 3.67”

Inner Margin – Design Area: 0.25” within trim line

  • Keep your text and graphics within this design area to avoid cutting off any elements

Bleed: 0.125” beyond trim line

  • Bleed is necessary if you want your background to print to the edges of the brochure; extend all background colours beyond the trim line

During this stage, consider your budget. It will ultimately affect the paper stock, the richness of colour/effects, and number of materials you can print. Speak to your printing team about its equipment capabilities, especially if you’re aiming for a booklet-style brochure

.Tip #2: Consider your audience

Your audience will likely determine the format. If your target demographic is the tech-savvy millennial, consider offering the same brochure in a digital format as well. Those born between 1981 and 1996 will likely respond better to electronic versions of your material. Even designs that look like traditional paper brochures can be converted to a PDF with interactive features.

If your audience will be people on-the-go at a shopping mall or sports stadium, choose a size that can fit easily into a bag or pocket. Postcard brochures are the perfect format for this type of audience. Meanwhile, stakeholders or key partners will appreciate durable booklet-style brochures. Opt for larger prints with multiple pages that can hold lots of useful information.

Tip #3: Use only high-resolution elements

Unlike digital communications, printed materials must always convey quality. Low-resolution photos will be obvious on hard-copy brochures and will reflect poorly on your business. Use high-res fonts and graphics to ensure your design looks great. Sharp colour palettes are also necessary for an attention-grabbing piece.

Tip #4: Incorporate texture

Let your brochure stand out from the competition by adding texture for a richer effect. These highly visual elements can add perceived value because of their aesthetic appeal. People enjoy looking at beautiful things, even if they’re just promotional materials. Here are some textured effects you can consider:

  • Spot UV– Glossy or matte accent on part of your design
  • Foil – Shiny lettering or features in a metallic finish
  • Letterpress – Form of printing where text or image is on a raised surface, like a rubber stamp
  • Die Cuts – Cutting out parts of a design so something underneath peeks through, creating the element of mystery and surprise

Tip #5: Give an option

Not all brochures must look the same. When it comes to marketing, it’s starting to take a lot more to impress consumers. Modernize the traditional brochure by offering the same information in different design styles. This gives your audience an opportunity to choose which one they like best.

Tip #6: Reinforce the Call-to-Action

It’s crucial that readers know what to do after flipping through your brochure. Do you want them to check out your website, enter your sweepstakes, or visit your showroom? Make it clear by including the Call-to-Action (CTA).

Establish what your audience is supposed to do and then reinforce that behaviour throughout the pamphlet. And remember that the more pages or panels your brochure has, the more often you’ll have to repeat the CTA.

Tip #7: Make it easy for readers to get in touch

Be sure your contact info is highly visible. It should be easy for readers to quickly locate your email, telephone number, and address. Don’t forget to include your social media accounts as well, since this is how many consumers interact with companies these days. Meanwhile, adding a QR code is a clever way to send info quickly to a reader’s mobile.

Tip #8: Edit, edit, and edit again

There’s nothing more embarrassing than typos or grammatical errors in your text. Proofread your brochure multiple times or hire a professional editor to check for mistakes. Errors can become quite costly if you find them after your materials have been printed. Be 100% sure all text is correct before finalizing your project.

Tip #9: Use high-quality paper

A flimsy brochure is the same as a weak handshake. To display confidence and make a strong first impression, always use high-quality paper. It may be more expensive than standard paper, but it will show customers you care about your brand and want to offer only the very best.

Speak to your printing team about paper stock. Paper that weighs 130–170 gsm is heavier and more durable than your standard everyday printing paper. Opt for coated paper that’s treated to give a glossy or matte finish, since coated paper always looks more expensive.

Tip #10: Choose an engaging display

Brochures are often put into a container for display. Instead of putting your marketing materials into a boring bin, consider something more visually appealing. For example, the container can be attached to a larger display like a touch-screen or social media wall. Make sure your message is visible and the brochures are easily accessible.

If you’re looking for a team that specializes in brochures, contact Club Ink. We offer customized solutions for your marketing materials. Call us at 416-694-1996 to find out how we can enhance your project.


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