How many brochures have you been handed, only to glance at them for a moment before tossing them into the nearest bin?
Something about so many brochures just screams boring. You find them on racks in waiting rooms and at checkout counters. They’ll have a lackluster title and a bland stock photo of a smiling person on the front. It’s a shame, too, because brochures are a really handy way to communicate key and introductory information in one compact page.
Brochures are, in a nutshell, an informative document (print or digital) that is often folded into a pamphlet.
How to Make a Brochure
Venngage offers a variety of different brochure templates. The template that you choose should reflect both the content and tone of your brochure.
1. Know what your brochure is going to be about.
Because you don’t have a ton of space, you want your text to be as focused as possible. Focus your text on:
- Answering one or a few specific questions.
- Introducing readers to a topic.
- Pointing readers to where they can find further information
Keep your readers at the front of your mind when creating your brochure. Your brochure should immediately address their questions (as opposed to a flyer, which is more promotional).
2. Decide if you brochure will be for web or for print.
This will help you determine what kind of template you should use. If you’re designing your brochure for web, then a one-page brochure is preferable. If you’re designing for print, however, then your design will have to accommodate double sides. You will also have to take your color scheme into account, as some colors don’t translate to print (for a more detailed explanation, go down to the Brochure Design Best Practices section).
3. Choose the right template.
A brochure can really take any form, but there are several basic templates that you can follow.
When you think of a pamphlet, your mind probably automatically pictures the classic tri-fold design. This type of brochure folds into three sections and is usually printed on the front and the back.
A brochure that folds in half and is usually printed on the front and the back. You can organize your content so that if flows across both sides of the brochure, or you can stick to a page-by-page design.
One Page Brochure
Brochures that fit into one page are handy because they can double as flyers and posters. You can hand them out and pin them up on a wall.
Take this brochure that we made on herb-feeding chickens for a permaculture business, for example. It answers reader’s questions about the benefits of feeding herbs to chickens while also doubling as a reference sheet they can keep.
If you have too much information to fit on one two-sided page but not enough to make an entire booklet, a multi-page brochure (or short booklet) will accommodate more content.
You can do this using two or three-pages folded in half and bound.
You could also do a use an accordion fold.
4. Customize your design.
To customize your design, you can do any number of the following kinds of templates.
Change the color scheme.
Take the purpose and target audience into consideration when adjusting the color scheme. Are you targeting business people? If so, corporate blue is a safe bet. Are you targeting parents and their children? If so, bright primary colors are appropriate.
Change the fonts.
Many organizations and websites use a specific font. To keep you brochure in line with your other content, you may want to use the same font. The same goes for custom images and icons.
Don’t forget to put your logo in the brochure!
Brochure Design Best Practices
Make it simple.
Because your space is so limited, it’s best to keep your design elements simple and focused.
For example, if you want to show a location, use a simplified version of a map. Don’t use a screenshot from Google Maps. You won’t have enough space to use a detailed map.
Generally, a clean and modern design is best.
Find a good balance between text and images.
This is the cardinal rule for good brochure design. Too much dense text and you’ll lose the reader, too many images and you’ll run out of space. You want to break up your text with images that complement or illustrate the points you make in your text. A 2:1 ratio of text to image is ideal.
Choose colors that are printable (if you’re printing your brochure).
Not all colors translate to print. For many printers, you need to convert your colors from RGB (red, green, blue) colors to CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) colors. There is a greater range of RGB colors than CMYK colors and when printed, RGB colors print closer to the original than CMYK. Some CMYK colors appear less vibrant in print than on the screen so do a test print.
There are online tools you can use to convert your RGB color code to a comparable CMYK color code. It’s still a good idea to do a test print, though, as that’s the only way you will be certain of how the colors turn out.
Include a call to action.
This could mean asking readers to follow on social media, or it could mean asking them to sign up for a newsletter, or it could mean asking them to make an appointment. The idea is that you get them to somehow act on what they’ve read.