So You Need a Brochure: What to Consider

Let’s cut right to the chase – you need a brochure printed.

Maybe there’s an event coming up, or you just went through a rebranding process and need to update your marketing collateral. Whatever the reason, you need to get this project printed without any hiccups along the way.

So, where should you begin?

Let’s take a look at what to consider when creating a brochure and, ultimately, working with your print vendor.

Why do you want a new brochure?

Let’s begin with your motivations. Why exactly do you need a brochure? Are you a new B2B company just starting out? Then, in most cases, you need a printed document that outlines your services and overall business. Prospective customers will need to review your brochure and understand more about your company and services.

You might also have a new service you want to promote or just need a design update and overall refresh for your existing brochures. Maybe you’re attending a trade show and would like a customized brochure to hand out to those specific attendees.

One trap to watch out for is just someone saying, “We need a brochure!” without any evidence of real need. Like with all other aspects of your business, you don’t want to do something just to do it. You need to have a concrete reason and a corresponding goal your content can attempt to fulfill. “We’re going to do (x) to accomplish (y),” for example. Expectations should be set, whether it be the number of brochures you want to hand out at an event or how many website visits you get via a special link on your brochure.

Remember, having these brochures printed can be expensive (more on this shortly); you don’t want to invest in spending the time writing, designing and printing without being able to track if it actually accomplished anything.

Who’s your audience?

This one is essential. Who are you targeting? While you can likely shape your brochure’s messaging to fit any target, the form your content takes will differ depending on who you intend on sharing it with.

For example, if you’re having the brochure developed for a trade show, you’ll want to include copy and images that tie directly into the trade show. Place the logo of the show next to your company logo in the brochure, or personalize the copy to speak directly to the attendee experience. This will allow you to cement your business into the minds of attendees. When they look back at the brochure, they’ll be reminded of where they met you and the expertise you shared at the trade show. It will, in effect, legitimize your business in their eyes.

Whatever your planned used is, your audience should dictate your copy and design and imagery. Below are tips for how to get the most out of each:

Straightforward Copy

Your copy needs to be short and to the point. Resist adding in marketing fluff or a lot of information about the history of your company – this just creates more work for your potential clients to read around. When a prospect starts to read your brochure, they don’t want to sift through marketing spin. They want concrete information about how you can help them that can be easily referred to.

Be sure to include:

  • Pricing information (if possible) for services.
  • Bullet points listing exactly what each service does and their benefits.
  • Clear calls to action: do you want people to visit your website, email you or call for more information? Give all options, but put emphasis behind one so you can track the impact of your brochures.
  • A short, to the point brochure title that helps people remember your service or offering
  • Try to cut down on unnecessary paragraphs. If you need to have disclaimer or explanatory text, place it in smaller font toward the back so your readers can refer to it if needed, but also not get bogged down in this text while they’re looking for other information.

Eye-Catching Design

Your design, much like your copy, should be kept simple. Follow these general best practice guidelines:

  • Settle on a color pallet of 2-3 colors and stick with it. The background of the brochure, header and body text should be the only color variations within your piece. Make sure these all tie into your business’s color scheme, as well.
  • Avoid using generic looking stock images. Ideally you can avoid stock photos entirely, but if you must use them, there are a variety of free-anti stock photo sites like Gratistography, Pexels and Unsplash that feature free photo downloads taken by real photographers that are much more unique than what you’ll find on your standard stock photo sites.
  • Don’t overwhelm your reader. Confine points to their own pages and don’t jam in too much information just to have it all there. If the layout of your brochure seems too cramped for the design, you likely need to cut copy down.
  • Once you have a design concept and know the configuration of the piece, consult your print vendor and discuss what quantity you need, paper ideas and size to make sure it is a good fit for print production. Sometimes a small change in design can generate a cost savings.

A key part of the design involves considering the layout size and structure of the brochure. There are bi-folds, tri-folds and so on. You should try to have each fold of your brochure make one specific argument, meaning each page should focus on one specific service or one aspect of the service. This means the details of what a service actually does can be on one page, then the benefits on another.

Preparation is a Difference Maker

Throughout the brochure design process, remember that preparation makes all the difference. By taking the time to fully flesh out your brochure design and plan, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of unforeseen costs hitting your print project; like needing to stop a print run in the middle to fix a text error, for example.

Have as many details taken care of before you submit your brochure, and let your print vendor focus on doing their best to make sure your final brochure meets your expectations.

To learn more about common mistakes companies make when working with print vendors, click the button below.

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