What makes a good brochure design?

First things first—what is a brochure? It’s marketing. It might be a single-page (bifold, trifold, or gatefold) or multi-page (saddle stitched, perfect bound) pamphlet, leaflet, or booklet. Menu, catalog, sell sheet—versatile. Trifold or six-panel brochures are the most frequent brochure style. That’s just the beginning!

An effective brochure must consider the experience. Brochures are the most interactive print items, so I like designing them. That means what? Brochures differ from street posters. Brochures are turned over, unfolded, and flipped, giving you the chance to create an experience for your audience. Effective brochures require the following:


#1: Understand your brochure’s goal and messaging.

It shapes your brochure. People often overfill a piece because there’s room. Brochures should have one goal. This focuses the picture choices, colors, copy, and layout, making it more effective. Who will read it? Is it an instructive or convincing sales tool your sales team will give warm prospects? Will you ship it to your customers? Will a store show it? What do you want others to do? These questions should inform your writing. Copywriting must precede design. Next, employ logical sections, enticing headlines, bulleted lists to emphasize key information, and short paragraphs. Use graphs, charts, and pull quotes to enhance your writing.


#2: Take advantage of your brochure’s format but don’t limit your design.

How do you maximize the brochure format? Consider how users consume folded brochures. They usually open the lid to expose anything underneath. They may unfold another panel to show more content. Turn it over to see the back. A double gatefold brochure folds into two outer panels and then in half again. This allows your brochure to “unfold” the information three times. Surprises can make a piece more fascinating. You want individuals to read the booklet and understand your message.

While using the brochure format, don’t limit your design to a fold. Text and images might span two or three panels. Panels are natural borders, not restrictions. If you design a trifold brochure as a single page with three columns rather than three stiff panels next to each other, you’ll obtain a more engaging and professional design.

Reiterating, while a brochure offers plenty of space, it’s preferable to keep the message succinct (see tip number one above). You don’t need to fill eight panels with text. Images, graphics, and white space break up the text. Use big, bold images to convey your message. A picture is worth a thousand words; therefore, utilize a few high-quality photographs with actual communication value (i.e., avoid boring generic stock photos that are plain placeholders) and let them speak for you.


#3: Think about page count and size (or panels).

The most common type of brochure is a trifold. That may work for a company or service overview. For two extra panels, use an 8.5′′ by 14′′ sheet. Multi-page brochures can showcase a variety of services and products. Multi-page bound brochures are usually 5.5′′ x 8.5′′ or 8.5′′ x 11′′, but you can order custom brochures of any size or shape (the only limitation is likely your budget). Tip #1 is vital since you want to be cost-effective and utilize only enough pages to get your point across. Your page count must be a multiple of four.


#4: Choose the brochure paper carefully.

Brochure paper is tactile. Your brochure’s weight, quality, and coating speak volumes. Is your brochure special? Use a heavier stock, especially for a multi-page brochure cover, for a more substantial brochure. If your brochure needs several folds, a thinner paper (but not too thin!) will fold nicely and stay closed. For a one-time event brochure, don’t use expensive paper.


#5: Make a captivating cover.

No doubt, people judge books by their covers. Is your brochure’s cover captivating enough to persuade consumers to open it? Does it distinguish you? Maybe. But that property is prime! Use a captivating title, call to action, or intriguing question on your brochure cover. (Keep it short; you don’t want too much clutter on your cover.) Remember that if your brochure ends up in a brochure rack, only the top third may be visible, making it prime real estate.

Five brochure-making tips If done well, brochures are great marketing tools for any firm. If your brochures are underperforming, try these tips today!