Designing a great brochure is no mean task. Yet the reward and impact of a perfect one stay with a business for a long time. To design a good brochure, it is important to be intentional and meticulous. In this article, I present a 12-simple step process on how to design a brochure.
Step 1: Prepare the brochure materials
The first step to designing a brochure is to establish the purpose of the document. The purpose will dictate the content and design of the brochure. You need to establish what it is you want to achieve, the main message you want to pass across, main headings, and how you want the cover page to look like. It is at this stage that you decide on the elements you want to convey.
Step 2: Create the brochure content
The quality of the brochure content should be top-notch. A beautifully designed brochure with poor content serves no good purpose. Great writing elevates the understanding of concepts. Choose images that reinforce your message. Remember; a picture is worth 1000 words. Many of your readers may not have time to read through the brochure. They should get the message loud and clear, even if they only manage to look at the pictures. Make the images stand out to achieve impact.
Step 3: Keep the brochure design simple
Be simple, precise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details. Tell your story in a summarized manner. A user-friendly brochure must not be jammed with information. Remember your audience is busy and has no time for endless tales.
Step 4: Plan the brochure design
Consult a graphics standards manual (GSM) where provided. It will define elements that are essential to the company. If a GSM is lacking, try to understand the company’s personality. The brochure is supposed to reflect the existing personality of the company. Express the right attitude by aligning the message to the corporate image of the company. Effectively communicating the ideals of a company is paramount.
Step 5: Put the design assets together
Now that you have the written content, images and the plan, the next step to designing a brochure is to assemble the assets. Review them to make sure they fit well with the purpose of the brochure. If you identify any gap, make appropriate amends.
Step 6: Sketch your design ideas
Sketch the concepts. Do not start designing your brochure without hand-drawn sketches. They are quick to process, giving you room to try numerous options. Your ideas grow from weak to very strong concepts. It is only when the ideas are well refined that you can start designing your brochure.
Step 7: Provide proofing cycles
Brochures must be accurate to meet their purpose. Create internal and client-facing proof to guarantee information accuracy. Proofing may eat into your time, but it is a necessary step to producing quality brochures.
Step 8: Produce the brochures
Having approved the contents, it is time to fine-tune the elements. This stage is called production. Smoothen the hard edges. Create harmony in the document. Check to confirm that the line breaks are okay and the format is on point. The final draft of your brochure should be easy to read and comprehend.
Step 9: Choose the brochure paper
Having done the hard work of designing the brochure, carefully choose the paper your document is to be printed on. The right type of paper will give the brochure a great reception. A well-finished paper leaves the reader with a lasting tangible experience. Keep in mind the purpose of the brochure. Sturdy menus can be re-used multiple times, while glossy works are appropriate for prints with vibrant colours.
Step 10: Print the brochure
It is now time to go to the press. It is important you find the right printer since printers are not the same. Do not just look for a good printing machine, but a company that will give you the best results. The right printer should be ready to accommodate your concerns for quality. Someone who can add to your value for free. Before you send the artworks to the printer, convert them into high-resolution PDF. Most printers will require you to present a PDF file.
Step 11: Check the finishing
If you did a nice job designing, folding and binding should be easy. Fold the finished products accordingly and make sure the pages follow in good order. The design provides guidelines on where to fold.
Step 12: Deliver the brochure
For your final step, it is now time to deliver the brochure to the final user. Choose hand delivery, mail, or place them in conference bags. Poor handling during delivery may negate the value of all the efforts you have put into producing an awesome brochure. Ensure the delivery is done in a manner that preserves the aesthetic value of the brochure. Place brochure holders at well-chosen locations to maximize the impact. Alternatively, you could hand them out at trade shows or at your business premises.
A brochure is one of your most effective and efficient marketing materials. Producing a great one is a deliberate and intentional exercise. Follow the above step by step process and you are guaranteed to produce an awesome brochure. The positive impact on the image of your company will be with you for a long time.