10 Tips on Designing Brochures
Even with the prevalence of digital marketing, brochures are common marketing materials, used in both printed and electronic form. We use them to present our company and its products and services in an interesting way that grabs readers' attention and makes them want to buy from us or work with us. To be effective, a brochure must have solid branding, strong visuals, clear and concise messaging, and effective page layout and design.
When we recently re-wrote and re-designed an Affinity Express trade show brochure (for print) and some posters to display in our booth, we took the time to document the process. Mel and I have worked together on dozens of brochures and come at it from two perspectives: strategy and content for me and design and branding for Mel.
Together, we came up with the following tips that will help you create effective brochures.
1. Determine the focus of the brochure.
Knowing the purpose will determine which elements should be incorporated.
- Capabilities: a general overview of the company and services (i.e., a corporate brochure for sales or recruiting purposes)
- Features: specific elements of an offering (for example, we have brochures on our order management systems and for each of our production locations)
- Products: more detailed information on specific products that includes pricing and specifications (we have different ones for our interactive and print pre-media services)
- Vertical markets: products and expertise in a category (e.g., news publishers, retailers, marketing services companies, etc.); these often include testimonials and case studies
- Programs: events such as conferences or major meetings, charitable efforts, rewards and recognition for employees and so on (remember our annual strategy meeting brochure?).
- Informational: covering specific topics of interest to the target audience (such as business continuity planning).
2. Establish the goals of the brochure.
You can't develop an effective brochure without understanding the purpose it should serve. Most often, we marketers want to sell something. If so, the copy should provide all the facts needed for prospects to make decisions and there should be attractive and eye-catching visuals.