Brochures are an essential marketing tool that businesses use to promote their products and services. In fact, most offline branding strategies include brochures to increase brand exposure and brand awareness.
They are versatile, cost-effective, and can be distributed in a variety of ways, including by mail, in-person, and at events.
However, creating an effective brochure design can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any design experience.
While you can hire a professional agency to assist you in your brochure design, it’s worth your time to understand the basics to make a better informed creative decision.
As with any marketing tool, there are some important tips for you when making your distinctive brochure design. You will find in this article 8 tips you should consider before embarking on your brochure design process.
1. Know Your Brand
Like any of your branding strategies, you will first need to look inwards.
These reflections and the insights derived lay a solid foundation upon which you make decisions for your brochure design.
With a goal and objective in mind of what you wish to accomplish with your brand, your brochure will be a tool of intent instead of frivolity.
For example, most insurance companies in Malaysia — such as AIA, Zurich, Prudential, etc — wish to generate brand conversion. Thus, most of their brochures feature lots of persuasive copies, images, and information, to encourage potential clients to purchase their package.
Depending on what your brand objective is, your brochure design should correspond to such.
2. Study Your Target Audience
The next brochure design tip is about the target audience. Knowing your brand alone does not suffice; you should do thorough research on your target audience.
Before you start designing your brochure, you need to know who your target audience is. Understanding your audience’s interests, needs, and preferences will help you create a brochure that speaks to them.
For example, if you’re creating a brochure for a retirement home, your target audience will likely be seniors and their families. In this case, you’ll want to use larger fonts, easy-to-read text, and images that appeal to seniors.
Besides, knowing your target audience is of great help in making your brochure a more persuasive tool (that is if your brand objective involves persuasion).
If your company belongs to the business-to-business (B2B) sector, your language of choice could include more technical terms and jargon. Such is also the case if your target audience comprises more logical individuals, as they are more easily persuaded by information rather than fancy images and beautiful visuals.
3. Use High-Quality Images
While visuals might be secondary to your target audience who is rather more attentive to information and text, it doesn’t detract from the importance of high-quality images.
One key tip about brochure design: images are a crucial part of any brochure design.
Regardless of your target audience’s psychological predisposition, high-quality images are the first thing they will notice on your brochure.
High-quality images can convey emotions, showcase your products and services, and grab your audience’s attention. Make sure you use high-quality images that are relevant to your business and align with your brand identity.
Additionally, avoid using stock images that look generic and unprofessional.
Instead, consider hiring a professional photographer or using original images you’ve taken yourself.
For example, Sime Darby Property always has brochures replete with visually captivating images of the property. While the information is crucial, no one will probably pick up their brochures if there weren’t any high-quality pictures.
After all, high-quality pictures also convey a sense of prestige, professionalism, and legitimacy.
And for a property company like Sime Darby Property, those qualities are imperative to its brand’s image.
4. Keep It Simple
Another tip: when it comes to brochure design, less is often more.
Similar to magazines, your brochure needs to be visually appealing. Hence, your brochure design also needs white space.
The white space can help avoid cluttering your brochure with too much information, graphics, or images. Even if your brand identity is a little quirky and fun, try to keep your brochure design simple, including the layout, graphics, illustrations, etc.
Stick to a clear hierarchy of information and use bullet points, headings, and subheadings to break up the text.
A brochure is not a report. Your brochure design should grab people’s attention with simple yet captivating visuals and deliver the information most concisely.
Remember, you only have a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention, so make sure your brochure is easy to scan and understand.
5. Choose the Right Colours
Colours play a vital role in your brochure design.
For example, the major colour in Petronas’ logo is emerald green. Its brochure will use emerald green as its decorative colour with white space as the background for text.
Additionally, one tip about brochure design we can give is to choose colours that align with your brand and appeal to your target audience.
For example, if you’re creating a brochure for a yoga studio, you might want to use calming colours like blue and green. Conversely, if you’re creating a brochure for a nightclub, you might want to use bold, vibrant colours like red and black.
6. Use Clear and Easy-to-Read Fonts
Your font choice can impact your brochure’s readability and overall effectiveness.
Make sure you choose a font that is easy to read and aligns with your brand identity.
Avoid using decorative or script fonts that are difficult to read.
Stick to clean, sans-serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica.
Serif fonts such as Times New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond are suitable for long text. If you want to keep your brochure design as simple and easily digestible as possible, one tip we can give is that sans-serif fonts are the ideal choice.
Consider using different font sizes and weights to create a clear hierarchy of information.
The rule of thumb is to use 2 to 3 different fonts. You can use different fonts to differentiate the hierarchy of information.
7. Include a Call-to-Action
Even if your brand objective is to increase your brand awareness with your brochure, you shouldn’t overlook the call-to-action section.
Your brochure should have a clear call to action that encourages your audience to take action.
Whether it’s visiting your website, contacting you for more information, or making a purchase, make sure your call-to-action is clear and easy to find. It includes your company’s phone number, email address, website URL, address, and social media handle (if you have any).
Use attention-grabbing phrases like “act now” or “limited time offer” to create a sense of urgency if you wish to increase sales with your brochure.
8. Print and Paper Quality
Last but not least, the quality of your brochure’s print and paper can impact its overall effectiveness.
People will only be interested in picking up the glossy brochure paper instead of a rough-surfaced, dull paper. Albeit a little expensive, use glossy, high-quality paper for your brochure.
Besides, a glossy or matte finish adds a professional touch to your brochure.
High-quality paper requires high-quality printing. Don’t let all your design, visual elements, and graphical illustration go to waste with bad printing.
So consider working with trusted printing companies to keep intact all your design’s beauty.
This is a common practice in all industries, especially in Malaysia’s tertiary education sector. If you have children who are about to enter university, you can easily tell from the pile of brochures sitting on the desk from all the universities, such as Sunway, Taylor’s, SEGI, UCSI, etc.
The higher the quality of the print and paper, the more likely people will read it.
In conclusion, designing an effective brochure requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following these brochure design tips, you can create a marketing tool that effectively communicates your message and resonates with your target audience.