For most businesses to make an impact in their industry or sector, at some point they’ll need to consider a producing a brochure. We share our expert opinion on how to approach a successful creative brochure design project in the first of two easy to digest blogs.

Brochures – a tried and tested marketing tool

The majority of businesses need a creative brochure designed at some stage of their growth. Even if efforts are focussed online to begin with, at some point there will be a need to communicate with their audience through other marketing tools. Brochures are a traditional investment when it comes to marketing, and 59% of firms that took part in the Design Council’s National Survey* agreed that there was a clearly positive link between investment in design and profitability.

Three advantages of good brochure design

  • An engaging brochure will communicate key messages in an interesting an informative way.
  • An effective brochure will sell your business, even when you are not present.
  • A well-designed brochure will be something people will want to keep, referring to it when the time is right.

Pitfalls of a poor brochure

  • A badly-designed brochure will negatively impact on your company’s reputation.
  • A badly-planned brochure will not communicate your message, or sell your business effectively.
  • A badly-printed brochure will give the impression that you offer a poor service.

Brochures need to be designed with the reader in mind. Aim to be engaging, focus on the reader’s needs, and provide the information you know they will be looking for in an easy to find way.

Now you know why you need a brochure, you need to know where to start!

Here is an example of brochure we have designed for one of our clients. The format is a folder brochure with inserts which gives the client the flexibility they need for engaging with different types of prospective clients and the scope to add further content without recreating their brochure from scratch.

Folder Brochure Design

Inserts Brochure Design

When a client approaches us to design a brochure for them there can be different starting points. Here we will look at two most popular routes:

Option 1 – Content before planning

A client will send us pages of text in Microsoft Word. We will then work out a plan of how the content will be sectioned. This can sometimes mean rewriting content once the creative brochure design has been produced.

Option 2 – Creative before writing

Alternatively, to get the most creative output, we will work out a plan before the content is written. We like working with a client from the beginning so we can add the most value. This begins with writing a brief to capture what objectives the brochure should deliver against.

Seven Essential Steps to a Successful Creative Brochure Design

  1. Draw up a brief – This can be done by you, your marketing team or with the help of your designer. The goal is to establish the objectives of the brochure, taking into account the target audience, tone, and purpose of the brochure.
  2. Plan the content – Create an outline of what information you want included such as company overview, services, products, delivery options, reviews, suppliers etc, and decide what information should go where (pagination). Think about what information your target audience will want to know, consider what you get asked most frequently.
  3. Compare creative layouts – Your designer may provide 2 or 3 creative concepts. Weigh up what works best visually for your brand, target audience and the purpose of your brochure. Ask others for their opinion and listen to what the designer has to say about each option.
  4. Create copy based on wordcount – The words you write have to fit the space allowed in the design. Ask your designer for a character count for each section, or emulate the Lorem Ipsum text in the layout.
  5. Select images – Choose high quality, high definition images. Make sure that you have purchased the correct copyright for use or have received the correct permission needed to use the images for print. We help our clients source images through image libraries, or directly through a photographer.
  6. Layout brochure pages – Add the chosen content in the chosen layout, making ay creative adjustments as you go. You are looking for changes that will make the content easier to read, the information easier to digest, and anything that makes the look over the page overall more appealing.
  7. View brochure in print-ready format – This is the final chance to make any amendments and edits before going to print. As it’s the last stage before print it is vitally important that final checks of all of the content is carried out.

Next… Coming up in the next part in the series Creative Brochure Design – Part 2: Perfecting the Process we go into this process in more detail, revealing the best hints and tips on how to write a brief, find inspiration, choose images and select fonts.

Looking for creative brochure design? Here at °Crisp Design we are experts at getting the balance just right in targeted design for a wide range of clients in and around Colchester and Chelmsford. If you want a brochure that suits your brand identity and meets the desires of your target market – get in touch online or call 01621 842348.

*Design Council’s National Survey 2010