Do you want potential customers to have positive feelings about your business? Create a brochure that shows your business at its best.
A brochure is a wonderful way to introduce your company, establish your brand image, and provide information about your business. A beautifully produced brochure is like a menu in a restaurant. It provides customers with a preview of what to expect and describes everything in an enticing, attractive way.
Every Small Business Needs a Well-Designed Brochure
A brochure sometimes referred to as a pamphlet or booklet. You might think you don’t need one because you have a small business that doesn’t need fancy marketing materials. Every business, however, needs printed marketing materials. They will give your business legitimacy.
Despite the proliferation of websites and online advertising, a printed product stands out. Every prestigious, well-known company has a professionally printed brochure, pamphlet or booklet that reflects its public image. These companies don’t use cheap, hastily printed flyers they ran off a copy machine. Why should you? A well-designed, professionally printed brochure will make a powerful impression.
It's Your Introduction to the World
Your online, while effective and efficient, still has its limitations. A brochure presents your company in its best light. As a small business owner, you can use it to:
- Introduce your company to potential clients.
- Describe your products and services in detail.
- Maintain your brand identity.
- Convey the image you want to project.
What impression do you want to impart to your customers? Do you want them to see your business as sophisticated, artistic, stylish, elegant, traditional or quirky? A well-written, nicely designed booklet can create the first impression you want.
A brochure is also a key part of your overall marketing and branding. Keep your style and colors unified to build a consistent image for your business.
How to Make a Brochure That Works
What goes into an excellent brochure? You need all these elements.
- Copy: The text should clearly convey who you are, what you offer, and what customers can expect when they do business with you.
- Design: Make a statement with an eye-catching design that shows you at your best.
- Color: What colors best represent you?
- Paper: High-quality paper gives your brochure an elegant look.
- Print quality: Choose a printer with experience printing full-color brochures. True brochures are professionally printed.
How to Make a Brochure That Brings In Business
If you want to make a booklet, these steps will help you get started. We’ve included professional tips that will help you prepare your files for delivery to a printing company.
1. Determine Its Purpose
Your first step in creating a brochure is deciding what you want it to do. What information do you want it to present? Do you want to describe your services? Do you want the customer to fill out a form or take other steps?
Some brochures can serve two or more purposes. Are you a restaurant owner? Create a brochure that’s also a menu. A real estate agent can showcase recent listings and sales. A bed and breakfast can include a comment card for guests to leave reviews. You can add a form for customers to fill out if they want to be on your mailing list or receive a sales call.
2. Choose the Right Design
Your brochure should be eye-catching. It needs to stand out from all the other pamphlets on the rack. A striking design, bold graphics, and bright colors will make it the center of attention.
There are several-fold types of brochures.
- Tri-fold: This is the classic fold with three panels. A tri-fold brochure fits into a standard business envelope.
- Bi-fold: Two panels allow for large graphics and text.
- Accordion: This creates a brochure that you can read from side to side as you unfold it.
- Z fold: Z fold and fanfold are other names for accordion folds
- Open gatefold: This creates a dramatic look with two folds on the cover that open like a gate.
- Closed gatefold: This adds a fold to an open gatefold so it can fit standard envelopes and racks.
Think about the design that will show off your business in its best light. For instance, a gatefold is an excellent way to showcase a particular property or a gorgeous single item. An accordion allows you to print a local map on one side. A tri-fold brochure allows room for more text if you want to add detailed descriptions or a history of your business.
Pro tip: Start by sketching out on a rough design on various fold types. Use plain paper to produce a brochure template you can follow.
3. Keep It Simple and Straightforward
The most pleasing brochures are those with straightforward text and design. That doesn’t mean they're plain and boring. It means they're easy and enjoyable to read.
If you provide a professional service, tell the story about how you’ll solve your customer’s most pressing problems. If you run a vacation lodge, tell the story of a marvelous vacation your customer can have there. Does your shop’s location have an unusual history? Tell that story.
Select graphics that tell the same story.
Don’t stuff every picture or piece of information into your pamphlet. You’re not writing a book. Trying to cram it all in will produce a crowded, messy design. Choose a clean design with lots of white spaces. A crisp font, sharp graphics, and sparkling content are the key ingredients.
Pro tip: According to marketing research, using a single bold illustration on the front of a booklet draws more attention than a group of smaller pictures.
4. Decide On Your Colors
Colorful brochures are bold and memorable. Choose colors that match your company’s logo and other branding.
Think about the business you own. We associate specific colors with certain businesses. For instance, a spa would use tranquil, ocean-inspired colors like turquoise, pale green, and sandy beige. These colors are soothing and uplifting. If your business caters to children, choose cute graphics and bright pastel colors. A financial services company or funeral business might choose a dark navy or burgundy to convey a serious look.
Pro tip: CMYK is the standard color mode for offset printing. CYMK is an abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and keyline, which are the four colors used in printing processes. When you design a print file, be sure your application is in CMYK mode. Many graphic software applications use RBG as the default color mode. While CMYK files do not look as vibrant as RGB file on your monitor, they create the best results in the printing process. Using CMYK produces the most vivid printed materials.
5. Select Your Images
Which pictures, graphics, and images will make the best impression? In most cases, photographs are the best choice. Photographs give a sense of immediacy. Follow these tips to select the right ones.
Show your business in action. Choose photos of people using your service or enjoying a meal at your diner. Use pictures of the jewelry or plumbing supplies you sell. If you offer professional services, include a photograph of yourself. People are more likely to respond to a brochure that features an actual person.
Use eye-catching images. If you’re located in or near an area of scenic beauty, use that to your advantage. Highlight the region with a landscape shot. If you take pride in your business locale, use a picture of your town. Make sure all your photos are vibrant and of high quality.
Use company images. Use your company logo and other images unique to your business.
Pro tip: A professional printer will accept most file types including Ai, BMP, EPS, GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF, and TIFF. You will get the best resolution using JPG files because they use a compression algorithm that produces smaller files. When selecting from any of the other file extensions, remember to flatten all the layers in your design submissions.
6. Write Your Content
You may have a rough draft or a well-developed idea of what you want to say. Now, let’s polish up your draft. When you write your copy, remember most people spend only seconds glancing at a brochure the first time they pick it up. Keep their interest by following these tips.
Writing marketing copy is a skill. Consider hiring an expert to write your copy, or you can write it yourself following these tips.
Put your primary marketing message on the cover. Don’t make people guess what’s going to be inside. Think of the cover as an advertisement. What’s the most important thing your advertisement is selling?
Highlight key facts. Be sure to put prices, hours, location, direction, phone number, and other important information in a prominent place. Don’t make people hunt for this.
Go into detail. A brochure gives you room to go into detail about your business, product, or service. If someone’s reading it, you already have their attention. Break up long text with headers and photographs.
Include a call to action. Decide what you want the customer to do. Do you want them to visit you, call you, or mail in a form? Make sure you include the request in the brochure.
Pro tip: Once you design your pamphlet, you can continue using the same one as a brochure template. Later, you can use the same template to produce updated pamphlets and other materials.
7. Select a Font
Your font choice is essential to your brochure’s readability. Use fonts that are clean and easy to read. Tiny print will annoy most readers. Use clear, familiar fonts like Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman or Garamond.
Keep the font choice consistent. Don’t use more than two font styles. Use larger fonts or bold type for the headers.
Pro tip: When you submit your files to the printer, be sure all your files are flat and outline all fonts. Sometimes, the printer may not have your selected fonts. In that case, you’ll get substitute fonts that are almost identical. You can minimize variations if you use vector-based applications like InDesign or Illustrator. Save final proofs to JPG or TIF extensions.
8. Paper Matters
Paper choice is important. The final look of your brochure depends largely on the paper you select. Both the finish and the weight matter. The thick, substantial paper gives an impression of elegance and luxury. Lighter paper can feel flimsy.
Most brochures will look their best on a medium weight paper with a glossy finish. Glossy paper is the most popular type for brochures because it has a sharp resolution, bright colors, and a high-end look. An uncoated or matte paper will produce a sophisticated look.
Pro tip: If your design includes black graphics or fonts above 36 points, those elements should use Rich Black. While a computer screen can only cast one variation of black, commercial printing techniques use many variations of black. Rich black is the deepest and richest of all. Create rich black with CMYK values of cyan(C)=30, magenta(M)=30, yellow(Y)=30 and black(K)=100 for coated paper stocks. For uncoated paper stock, use cyan(C)=2, magenta(M)=20, yellow(Y)=20 and black(K)=100.
9. Work With an Experienced Printer
All your hard work designing and writing your brochure will go to waste if you use the wrong printer. Look for a printer that offers web to print solutions.
Once you have a brochure template, maintain brand consistency by using it to create business cards, banners, signs, flyers, catalogs, and more. Your printer can help you maintain a consistent image.
A professional printer will tell you how to format and deliver your final design.
When you receive a first proof from the printer, check:
- Is the text legible?
- Are images clear?
- Is the font sharp?
- Are there any typos?
- Are the colors correct?
Pro tip: Don’t rely on the computer screen image. Print the proof out to get a good idea of how it will look in its final form. Final submissions should have a resolution of 300 to 350 DPI.
If everything is fine, give your printer the go-ahead.
Brochures Can Boost Your Business
A brochure represents your business. A well-designed, attractive booklet can help you market your business. Get started with a printing company that understands your needs. At 180 Link Print Shop, we specialize in printing brochures and other materials for small businesses. Reach out today for assistance with all your printing needs.
About The Author
Howard White is a marketing leader with nearly 20 years of digital experience. He’s led digital marketing efforts for organizations in multiple verticals and various sizes, from startups to leading digital marketing operations for multi-national enterprises in both B2B and B2B. In his spare time, he is an avid musician, music fanatic, and mentor.