Can I get some expert tips on business brochure designing?Mohsin Raza
The Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Company Brochure
Brochure’s serve as a great snapshot of what you have to offer to potential clients. You may do most of your business and marketing online these days, but you’ll always find a time when you want to hand someone a printed brochure (like when you attend a trade show.) Here is your ultimate guide to creating an effective company brochure design.
Step 1: Establish the Goal
What do you ultimately want your brochure to accomplish? A company brochure can help increase brand awareness, be used for tracts and mass mailings or serve as quality portable presentations. Deciding on your goal will help you decide which style brochure will work best for you.
Two Key Purposes for Which a Brochure Can Be Used:
- Represent Your Business as a Whole. If you don’t have any print marketing materials providing a basic outline of your value proposition, customizing a brochure is a great place to start.
- Represent a Specific Aspect of Your Business. It may make more sense to take on a more segmented approach and create individual brochures that highlight your different products or services. This is especially true if your offerings are not relevant to everyone.
Step 2: Be Clear with Your Content
You only have so much space for information in your brochure, so make sure you utilize that space to the best of your abilities. This is your chance to highlight your products or services for potential customers when you can’t do so personally. You can hand out as many brochures as you want, but that won’t do much for your business if no one bothers to look at it. Keep in mind these three main objectives when outlining your content:
Three Main Objectives of a Company Brochure:
- Represent your mission
- Showcase what you have to offer your target audience
- Serve as a successful marketing and sales tool
- Basic Information- Include basic information such as your company name, logo, location and contact information. A brief history of your business adds a personal element that will establish trust, though the key here is keeping it brief. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information
- Contact Information- Depending on what you are trying to inspire customers to do will influence the contact information you provide. If you want them to visit your restaurant or storefront, you’ll want to provide information on your location. If you are an online business, your address won’t matter and would just be a waste of space. For an online business, a URL is more important. Provide only what is necessary – no more, no less. Other pieces of contact information to consider including are the name of a point of contact, phone number, email address, address, URL, social media handles, etc.
- Highlight key products or services you offer- Include your unique selling point so that your potential customers can easily distinguish you from competing businesses. The whole point of your brochure is to turn target customers into loyal customers. Leave them with a subtle call to action so that rather than simply putting your brochure in the junk drawer, they will contact you.
Step 3: Choosing Your Brochure Style
Once you have your content established, you can figure out which brochure design will work best. There is a variety of folding options, though the most popular are half fold, Z fold, and tri-fold, with each type offering its own set of advantages.
Bi-fold or Half-fold
Half-fold- The fold option works well when you need to utilize a lot of space for a large spread. When creating your design layout, you don’t have to worry about it being interrupted by fold lines.
Types of Tri-fold Brochures
Z fold- The Z fold contains three panels folded in the shape of a, you guessed it, ‘z.’ This folding option works best when you want the reader to open the rest of the brochure, as you can start your text on the cover panel and wrap it to the inside. This is ideal for large graphics or multi-page presentation.
Tri-fold- Tri-fold is the most commonly used company brochure style for a reason. This divides the brochure into three even sections, with the right and then left panel folding over the middle section. This allows you to present your message in steps.
Gate fold- A gate fold can be achieved by folding two ends to meet in the middle, creating a total of six panels. This style is ideal for greeting cards or showcasing a larger graphic on the interior.
Types of Four Panel Folds
Accordion fold- Accordion folds a larger piece of paper in a zigzag pattern of four or more panels. Though this offers an interesting presentation, it doesn’t always stay closed as well as other options.
Double Gate fold- This involves two side panels which are folded toward the middle panel and open like a gate, leaving a ⅛” gap to avoid buckling when the final fold is made. The brochure is then folded in half again for a convenient size.
Double Parallel fold- The double parallel fold involves folding the paper in half and then in half again in the same direction. This creates eight panels and is best to showcase several products, or as commonly seen with the use of maps, can unfold to reveal larger images.
Roll fold- A roll fold is achieved by folding one section of paper inward and then continuing to roll and fold in the same direction, creating eight panels. This type of fold is often used for takeout menus or brochures that include a tear-off panel, as you still have a tri-fold brochure once the tear out is removed.
Other Types of Folds
8 Page fold- An eight-page fold (or as I like to refer to it as – the homemade greeting card fold) is achieved with a half-fold in one direction followed by a half-fold perpendicular to the first, leaving you with eight panels. This is most often used for newsletters or greeting cards.
Step 4: Create a High Impact Brochure Design
Once you have your content and brochure style established, you can move on to the fun part. When it comes to your design, you want to make sure you remain consistent with your image while creating an eye-catching product that will make your audience look twice. It’s important not to go overboard with your design as you’re probably not going for the “Crayola threw up on my brochure” look. When it comes down to it, less is more, as long as you consistently align with your image.
It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression and this applies to anything from people to business websites and material. Brochures featuring a logo and generic image on the front page are a dime a dozen. Create a visually appealing layout for your front page to draw your audience in and make them want to learn more. If you’re looking to introduce your business to a new audience, focus your message on a problem your target audience may face and how your product or service can solve that problem for them.
- Logo- You’re going to want the brochure to be the best representation of your business and it’s brand. Therefore make sure you have a high-resolution version of your logo that will be placed right on the cover. While you don’t want any of the elements of your brochure to be grainy or pixelated – it is even more important for your logo! Try and find a version of your logo that is at least 300 DPI (dots per inch). This means a logo that is 1” across will be 300 pixels. Your logo is the first element of the brochure that anyone will interact with and you want it to make a positive impression. Nothing says you don’t know what you’re doing more than a pixelated logo.
- High-quality print ready photos- Like the logo, make sure to use high-resolution images. If you don’t already have high-quality images consider investing in a professional photographer. If you need generic imagery that is not necessarily specific to your business check to see if there is high-resolution imagery that you can use on free stock sites such as Pixabay or iStock.
Choosing Paper Stock
The type of paper you choose will also affect the design. Coated paper tends to look more polished and is ideal for products like brochures. You want to ensure that your brochure accurately represents your business and gives the best first impression possible. Standard paper weight for a brochure is between 80# and 100#, however, there are a variety of finishes to choose from.
Here are a few options that might be available to you and why you would consider using each:
- Glossy Paper – Great for designs with vibrant colors and a lot of photographs
- Matte Paper – For a more professional look.
- Uncoated Stock – If you have a lot of text this is the easiest stock to read or write on.
- Recycled Paper – To lessen your environmental impact. This is typically uncoated stock so it is also easy to read or write on.
- UV Coating – This is a clear-coat that can add extra protection or shine
Decide on Brochure Size
Standard brochures are made of 8.5 in x11 in paper, however, depending on the printer you use, there will most likely be a variety of options available. If you plan on going with a folding method that has more panels than a standard trifold brochure you may want to consider one of the larger sizes. For example, Printi offers a total of three paper size options:
- Standard Brochure Size: 8.5 in x 11 in
- Wider Brochure Size: 8.5 in x 14 in
- Overall Larger Brochure Sizes: 9 in x 12 in; 11 in x 17 in; 11 in x 25.5 in; or 17 in x 22 in
Different industries have different design standards. Check out these 28 Creative Brochure Examples to get inspired based on the industry you are in. The list includes design inspiration for senior care, hotels & hospitality, restaurants, real estate and more!
Step 5: Setting it All Up
Brochure File Set-Up Best Practices:
- The file should be 1:1 scale
- Submit File in PDF format
- Provide a total of 0.125” of bleed per side
- Text must be .12” from the trim line
- Embed fonts or convert them to curves/paths
- Keep all font sizes greater than 6 pt
- The resolution should be at least 300 dpi
- Use CMYK (specifically best to use the Fogra 39 color profile)
- Vector path must be at least 0.25 pt
Make Sure Pages Are In Order
Depending on the type of fold you choose to go with, what is determined to be page 1, page 2, and so on can be difficult to figure out. Make sure that you check with your printer to make sure that the pages end up in the order you intended them to.
When you print with Printi you can reference our “Instructions on How to Create a Correct File for Brochures” which has a visual for each fold type showing you which page is which.
Reference Free Brochure Templates
Even if you are a professional designer it is a good idea to reference a template. You can explore a variety of designs online or use a basic template such as the ones that Printi provides. This is the best way to ensure that your file size is correct. Simply download one of the templates below based on the fold and size you decided to go with. Then insert your graphic, delete the folding and trim (but keep the bleed line), and save as a PDF.
Bi-Fold Brochure Design Templates: 8.5 in x 11 in | 8.5 in x 14 in | 11 in x 17 in
Tri-Fold Brochure Design Templates: 8.5 in x 11 in | 8.5 in x 14 in | 9 in x 12 in | 11 in x 25.5 in
Four Panel Fold Brochure Design Templates: 8.5 in x 14 in | 11 in x 17 in | 11 in x 25.5 in
8 Page Fold Brochure Design Template: 17 in x 22 in
Step 6: Maximize the Value of Your Company Brochure
Now that you have designed, printed, and received your brochures it is time to distribute them. There are a variety of ways and occasions where company brochures come in handy. Here are a few ways you’ll want to utilize your brochures to make sure that you get your money’s worth:
- Leave-behinds – I’m sure you’ve noticed, any office buildings in which there is a lobby or waiting room have brochures in them. If you plan on doing this, make sure that you use a large font for the title on the front. This way it will be able to catch someone’s attention from across a room.
- Handouts – Brochures are great for being handed out. You can hand them out door-to-door or outside of your new storefront.
- Trade shows – They are the perfect item to include in your marketing kit and hand out at events such as trade shows. They aren’t overwhelming like booklets but provide more information about your business than just a business card would.
- Direct Mail Campaigns – Standard brochures in an 8.5” x 11” tri-fold format will neatly fold into an envelope. This makes them perfect for distribution by mail.