Have you ever tried creating a brochure yourself ? You have your logo and brand guidelines in place, so no reason not to try, right? You might have seen some nice ones around and thought “this is actually fairly straight-forward, I can do this myself”, only to find that, well, it’s not. Yes, in a way the whole reason some people (myself included) make a career out of it is because it can be a bit trickier than seems … but if you can’t justify outsourcing that right now, here are 5 tips to get you designing like a pro.
1. Consider your brochure’s journey
When designing a brochure think about where it will placed for people to pick up. Will it be on next to business cards at a trade show? Will it be in a display case next to 50 others of the same shape and size? Will it be on a coffee table in a doctor’s waiting room? And in that situation, will it stand out? Will people gravitate towards it? Will they want to take it home or will they find the nearest trash can? Try to envision the life of your brochure to help determine how to make it stand out in its environment. This little exercise will help you take into consideration what other brochures look like and how to make yours unique.
2. Limit the amount of text
I haven’t yet had a client who came to me with too title text for a marketing collateral. In fact, the very large majority come to me with way too much text and I have to ask them to edit it down. Think about what your behaviour is like when you pick up a brochure. Do you sit down and read every last detail? Or do you scan through it, looking for the info that is relevant to you and ignore the rest? Are you likely to read a large block of text? I know I don’t. So edit, cut, edit and cut!
3. Keep the messaging clear
Make sure you know what the purpose of the brochure is and what information you would like your reader to retain. If it’s not crystal clear to you, it won’t be crystal clear to them. To make sure the messaging is clear, use visual hierarchy to help make sense of which message is most important. That means we would see your most important message first, followed by the 2nd and so on.
4. Include a call to action
Once people have read your message and know what you are all about, direct them to what they should do now. A directive call to action like “Contact us today for your free consultation” or “visit our website to find out more” should stand out and leave people knowing exactly what they should do to take advantage of the amazing service/product that you offer. If it is in anyway unclear what they should do, they just won’t do anything. You really have to hold them by the hand and show them where you would like them to go.
5. Leave some blank space
On my 26th birthday ( a long time ago now!) my husband treated me to an incredible 12-course meal at a very fancy London restaurant. A meal so exceptional and visually beautiful I still remember it vividly! If you have ever been to a fancy restaurant, you will know that beautiful plates of food are not piled high with rice, meat and veg. In fact, a very appealing plate of food will generally have a small quantity of food on a large plate. The food is laid out like a work of art on the plate and the amount of empty plate left is an intentional part of the composition. You can think of your graphic layout in the same way. If you cram the page with text and images it will not be visually appealing. Consider the blank space to be a true element in your composition rather than a non-element you have to fill.
Give these a go next time you design a brochure and let me know in the comments below how it went for you. If you are not satisfied with the result and feel like it’s time you get some help, get in touch here so we can discuss how I can help you.
PS: If you are perplexed by the above mention of brand guidelines, you might want to read this blog post which will explain exactly what I’m talking about and why they are sooo important for your brand.