Advances in design software and improvements in printing technology have made it possible for many small to medium businesses to design, write and print their brochures in-house. Not only does this save money but it allows for small and manageable print runs. That way, amends and additions can be incorporated and brochures stay fresh and up to date.
Before you begin, here are five things you’ll need to consider.
- SHAPE AND SIZE
If you’re printing in-house it makes financial sense for your brochure to be printed double-sided on A4 (or A3 if your printer allows). Having established your paper size, you can then think about folding. A Z-fold only shows one panel at a time so can be good for sub-dividing information while a gatefold may give more impact to information-light brochures. If you’re planning to print over multiple pages, you also need to think about binding – will you fold and staple (reducing your individual page size by half) or use comb or spiral binding? These decisions affect the brochure’s design.
- DESIGN SOFTWARE
Once you know your shape and size, you can start to look at design options, of which there are many. For example, Microsoft Word has a brochure template or you can download and customise online templates from sites like lucidpress.com. If you’re a confident computer user, you may want the flexibility that Adobe InDesign offers. Whichever route you go down, you’ll need to add your own images and text.
It’s extremely important to find an eye-catching image for your brochure cover but, as with all images, be wary of falling into any copyright traps. Ideally use your own photography or, if this isn’t possible, either ask permission from the owner or legitimately buy pictures from an image library. Make sure that you always use a high resolution image.
The general rule of thumb for copy is ‘less is more’. It’s better to make one or two points clearly, using plain English, than it is to confuse your audience with too many messages. It also helps to break information up into manageable chunks using bullet points, pull-out boxes or quotes. Varying the font size will also help draw attention to important points. Think about who your readers are, what they want to know and how your product or service will benefit them. And don’t forget to include a call to action, be it your website address to find out more or a telephone number for them to contact you.
Your brochure should fit in seamlessly with your other marketing materials. So think about where and how often your logo should appear, what fonts you’re going to use and what colours will best represent your brand. With a good inkjet printer, you can expect an excellent colour match and vibrancy. What you see on screen won’t always represent what you see on paper, so do a bit of trial and error until you’re 100% happy.