Don’t leave it for the last moment
Good brochures take time. The design teams that work under pressure tend to make mistakes and there is less time for being creative. Starting on time, will allow you time for more revisions and variables, as well as to think more about it.
Write down your ideas
Write down everything that you want to say in the ad: a notebook will be your best friend. It is necessary to write down all ideas on a sheet of paper. Not only should the ideas that will go on the brochure be considered, but its design should be considered too. For example, these are a few practical uses:
- If you are going to open a toy store, then the brochure could be folded in an airplane or hat form.
- If you are going to open a coffee shop, then your brochures could be printed on your napkins.
Study your market
A good brochure must have a clear, focused and visually convincing message, but it should also be directed to the right market. To find who the brochure will be directed to, you need to reflect on which people will be reading the brochure and how you can offer them a unique benefit.
Determining who you want reading your brochure, will later help you in the creation of your message. Start by restricting your objectives to the clients that have more possibilities to increase your business. The particular state of your business will indicate you to whom you should be directing to.
Sometimes, it is better to focus on those clients that already know your business and that trust it, especially if you are presenting a new service. On other occasions, you will be more successful, if you direct your marketing towards potential clients. Only you will know who you want to direct your message to, so take your time to analyze this.
If your market has some particular demographic characteristics, write a note about them. The message will vary depending on them. A teenager market is not the same as a manager market. Factors like sex, age, income, place of residence are important too.
Be concise and go to the point
Remember that this is a brochure, not a literary essay. People tend to read one or two phrases and they immediately look to see if there is a number. This is not only a basic standard. It is what makes the difference, between an efficient marketing tool and an inefficient one. For making your brochure concise and short, your audience with understand the message immediately and they will make a decision about your offer.
In the design, do not be afraid of blank spaces. The brochures that are filled with information tend to be less liked and strident. It is better to attract attention with a good title.
Organize the content
Divide your brochure into sections and this will help your readers to understand the message better. Do not stuff your reader with too much information. Break up the information into bite size pieces, so that they can go directly to the topic that they are interested in. The modern reader is not the type of reader that takes a lot of time to read texts, which is why sections must be short and precise.
Plan the design. Even if you want your text to be complete, you must leave space for the pictures as well. It might be a good idea to create a draft of the brochure on a sheet of paper and to decide with time, were the pictures and text will be placed. After several years of testing, it has been concluded that readers focus on the elements that appear on the page in a certain order, at least on most of the cases:
- Illustrations or pictures
- Diagrams or Graphics
- Main Text
Most readers will barely read the main text. Take this into account, when investing your time and energy on the right form. Make sure that the headings, illustrations and pictures take care of telling the main ideas.
This is the moment when you must collect all of your notes – yours and from your advisers – and to take on the task of writing.
If you have written down your ideas on a sheet of paper, as we recommended, then this will be a lot easier. The text must shine and entertain, while at the same time it should express your message and make a business proposal. Avoid phrases and words that are being used at the moment and always try to explain what you desire in a unique and interesting form.
Something that is usually forgotten about during the planning and writing of brochures is to draw attention. It is important to push the reader towards the next step. For example, if you want the reader to walk in to your store, you must find a way for convincing them to do so. Maybe a coupon, a discount at your store or a special event, will encourage them to do so.
Remember that the headings must include the main data, so that even a person, who only reads part of the brochure, can understand the main message.
Remember your audience. Be clear with your words. Pay special attention to grammar mistakes.
If words are not your best skill, hire a writer or an editor specialized in marketing so that they can help you to enhance your message.
Study the size and morphology of the brochure
Study the best size, morphology and folds depending on the length of your content. Do not force the content to specific brochure type or size, unless that it is extremely necessary. Consult with your designers what type of brochure they recommend, as the cost of your printing will depend mostly on this decision.
If it is too large or too small, it will be uncomfortable to grab at first sight and that initial rejection is very hard to erase, even when the content is very interesting. The same happens when it comes to folding the brochure – the folds should have a direction. Do not complicate things more than they should be.
A badly selected size or format can have disastrous consequences at a graphic design level. Ask your design team if you have any doubts.
The form is another of the aspects that the marketing agencies ultimately work on to draw attention. If your product has a special form, take advantage of it – wines, gifts (bows), a spoon if it a restaurant. However, the brochures that do not have a conventional form can have a profound impact on the printing costs. Ask your design agency, which will be able to guide you.
The font is important
Use types of font with a clear goal in mind. If the identity of your business does not provide you with which type of font to use, then use your criteria, but take into account legibility, your audience and the impact that you want to achieve. There are fonts for each occasion: there are formal fonts, juvenile fonts, fun fonts, serious fonts, clear fonts, etc. For example, if you want to provide a formal appearance, the serif style fonts, like Times New Roman are recommended. It is valid to use more than one font, as long as the goal of each change is clear, for example, to strengthen the message. Do not choose fonts that are strange and that result difficult to read, even if they do appear to be very original.
Pay attention to the size of the font and your audience type – older people will usually be thankful for a larger font. A font size that is larger than the standard size can attract attention, but it can result grotesque. Trust your designer’s criteria. A designer will know, which fonts fit better with your graphic identity, which are the recommended ones for the texts that you want to add and its length, etc. The designer must also dispose of the sizes, in order for you text to be readable and/or causes an impact and that it can be adapted to the brochure’s form.
Images, photos and illustrations
Photos and illustrations are almost always the first thing that readers look at when they see a brochure. Think about it: even when there is no description within a text, no matter how well it was written, it cannot transmit the beauty of a certain product to a potential customer.
The brochure can be created with images that you own or have taken yourself, or you can get them from an image bank.
If you have your own images, try to collect as many as you can for your brochure. If you do not have them, you can get some with a digital camera or hire a photographer.
If you are going to take your pictures, you must remember that most brochures are created with images from digital cameras, which have been taken in a casual way. It is not impossible, yet it is not necessary to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your products, their quality and the spirit of your business. Digital cameras make it a lot easier to take professional looking pictures by ourselves that can be downloaded and added to a brochure, yet the pictures that are taken with cell phones are not useful most of the time. So make sure that you are using a digital camera of at least 4 Mega Pixels and that there is enough light in the background. In technical terms, the images must have high quality and they must have a resolution of at least 150 dpi (it is recommended to have more than 300dpi) according to the size they will have in the brochure. If you have doubts, you should consult your designer about this. The rule of thumb is that the larger the size of the photo is the larger quantity of pixels that it will need. Take several pictures from different angles if it is possible, as the designer will choose the best. Use open borders and do not cut the borders of your product, as designers can easily edit the photo to fit perfectly, but they cannot add parts to a photo if they are missing. Besides all of these technical requirements, pictures must be clear and look good. Although designers can retouch them, miracles are usually very expensive. It is always better to have a good original picture, than a retouched or modified picture.
If your business has the funds to hire a professional photographer, you should not hesitate about it. The difference in quality will really grab more attention from the public.
If you do not own any pictures and are not capable of hiring a photographer, important design agencies have the solution for you, as they usually have an image bank, from which you can select some pictures (most of the time at no extra cost) or you could buy images from these banks. However, the purchasing of images through classic image banks usually has a high cost, especially if you want to have exclusive rights to them.
Try not to confuse the reader
It is always good to try and get attention from the brand’s own elements or to emphasize on focusing on the message, but if the person, who is reading it, gets stuffed with the colors, nothing but a mild headache will be achieved.
Offer your readers something that is truly yours. Take advantage of what you have to build value for your brand. When you provide your clients with the perspectives for their benefits, you will have more possibilities of them getting interested in your offer.
You will be able to define what makes you unique if you listen to your clients, employees and representatives. You may be surprised by what makes people interested in your business and all of those things that make it different from the competition.
Ask for the opinion of your clients in a sincere and personal manner: they will be more disposed to tell you what they think and it will also be the most honest answer most of the time. Write those ideas down, so that you do not forget them or lose them. They do not have to be complete sentences: just short and brief phrases will be enough to provide you with ideas for writing the titles or footers of your brochure. Classify these reflections based on their priority according to the goals that you have set for your brochure. You must still maintain the focus of the message, which must focus only on one or two of the objectives.
Place an original detail and create a design that says something else.
Do not limit yourself to make your brochures a visual sample of your products and services. Be as original as you possibly can. Use graphics and text to communicate to your audience the objective of your message. Mix these two elements, so that you can provide the most efficient marketing material for your business. Make sure that your text admits graphics in your brochure and vice versa. The main objective is to make it easier for your readers to understand your message, so that they can do something about your offer.
When it comes to morphology, a hole, a blank spot in your text (which serves as remainder or presentation card) can result expensive but they are surely very original.
If you have a large budget, there are other resources that you can use, like for example, special ink (bright, fluorescent), reliefs, blank spots, etc. However, do not abuse of these either.
Always offer quality
There are professional modes and manners to print your brochures without having to exceed your budget. Ask your designer or printing house about brochures, to obtain some advice about how you could save some money, without sacrificing the quality in your materials.
If the brochure is printed, try using recycled paper
This does not only benefit the environment, but it also has the added advantage of having the reader respect your company for worrying about the environment. Some printing houses even offer soy inks, which are a lot more ecological.
If the brochure is printed, remember your reader not to throw it on the floor, but in a trash can or to hand it to another person.
This phrase usually has some great results when it is added at the bottom of your brochure, because even if the reader does not give it to someone else, the phrase does grab their attention.
If the brochure is printed, be responsible for not making trash
This will not only help to prevent you from getting fined for trashing public areas, but it needs to be done to prevent damaging the business’ image or message, as well as the attractive content of the brochure itself.
If the brochure is not printed, remember your reader not to print it, unless it’s truly necessary.
Readers will respect your business for worrying about the environment.
Maintaining the identity is very important
Always remember that your materials represent who you are and what you can do for your audience. So make sure that your printed brochures promote all that you are and what it is that you do to be different from your competition. A brochure, like any graphic piece, is part of your business’ communicational identity. Be consistent with the actual identity, so that you can there is a sort of synergy between the pieces and so that your business can easily be recognizable by the reader.
Choose a paper
There are a vast number of types of paper and each one of them has its own advantages. Many tend to choose the thickest types, but these are the ones that tear up the most when they are folded. To solve this problem, there is a technique that some printing houses use, which is called “scoring”. Consult your design team for more information.
Before starting the final printing procedure, you need to proofread your brochure yourself, from the inside out and make others do it as well. If it is possible, ask the printing house for a sample print. Test prints are usually expensive, which is why they make no sense most of the time. If it is possible, do you’re proofread on a computer screen. Another alternative (depending on the type of brochure) is to make a sample print in your office or make a digital print in your printing house. It will not be perfect in many aspects, but it will help you to detect any problems that might not be seen on screen. Focus on grammar mistakes and your contact information (telephone numbers, e-mails, etc.)
If you decide to make a sample print, control the colors, the legibility, how the pages fit together, etc. A sample print can usually work if you make an agreement with your printing house. In large business projects, the sample print is agreed, upon the standards set by the businesses in the contracts and it is fundamental for determining some problems.
It is not uncommon for printing houses to be problematic when it comes to certain types of brochures, especially those that are not standard. They usually take more time, than what they told you first and they usually do make themselves responsible for any mistake, even if those mistakes are their own. If it is an expensive project, ask for a printing sample and never doubt to sign a contract where they are responsible for the quality of the project.
Follow the law
There is sometimes some regulations for handing out brochures in certain spaces. Remember that it is always better to ask for permission than to ask for forgiveness. This will prevent some problems, which could damage your company’s image.