The Complete Brochure Design Guide

brochure design guide

Whether you’re attending a corporate event, a seminar, and or looking at a property, brochures have been used as a marketing tool to convey information effectively.

Industries from various sectors have utilized this powerful and useful tool to engage, communicate, and educate their audiences. They have been relentlessly used by brands to market their products/services and or drive their sales.

So, what exactly is a brochure?

Simply put, a brochure is a paper document that holds promotional information about a product(s) and or service(s). They’re traditionally single or multi-folded papers and come in various shapes and sizes. It is used to advocate a brand and its services, solutions, and or products.

It is a set of interconnected flyers that highlights their latest offerings in an organized and structured format. It is an efficient marketing tool used by marketers to spread brand awareness and widen their potential customers’ reach.

Brochures tell a compelling story – your brand story to potential customers. A good brochure has the power to get you promising leads, boost your sales, as well as build brand awareness.

9 different types of brochures

A good brochure is about presenting your information in a practical and easy-to-understand manner without overloading the client. And the first step towards creating a good brochure is knowing which type of brochure suits you best.

Here, we have compiled a list of 9 different kinds of brochures you can use to present your information in an organized, effective, and easy-to-read manner:

Roll fold brochure

Roll fold brochure has four or five creases depending on the amount of information you would like to present. This brochure folds in a ‘rolling’ motion. Here, the right section is folded in, and then the two folded sections are folded inwards once again. This process continues until the left-most section acts as a cover for the brochure.

The standard size for the roll fold brochure is 8.5” x 14,” which can be bulkier than other brochures because it folded often. It offers you eight to ten pages to fill with content images.

Parallel fold brochure

Parallel fold brochure is similar to a double parallel brochure, wherein this brochure folds in three halves to create sixteen sections. The size of the brochure doubles the size of the dual parallel fold brochure.

The 8.5” x 14” is the standard size for this brochure. It has the largest number of pages offered by a folded brochure.

French fold brochure

French fold brochure is also popularly known as the right angle fold brochure. It is a unique style of folding that divides the brochure into four different sections.

Here, the paper is folded in half, and then again folded in half, perpendicular to the former fold. Standard size for a french fold brochure is 8.5” x 14”.

Z-fold brochure

Z-fold brochure divides the paper into three sections. It gets its name from the distinct Z-shape it creates when the paper is folded with each panel sitting on top of the other. 8.5” x 11” is the standard size of the brochure.

Half-fold brochure

It is also called a bi-fold brochure. This brochure is made up of a single sheet of paper that is folded into two panels. The standard size of a half-fold brochure is 8.5” x 11”. It is the one of the most popular types of brochures available.

Tri-fold brochure

A tri-fold brochure divides a single paper into three panels. This paper is folded in a manner where the right section is folded underneath the left section. It provides an ideal balance of content and design.

The standard size of a tri-fold section is similar to the half-fold brochure, 8.5” x 11”. It is one of the most common types of brochures that can be used for many different reasons.

Gate fold brochure

As the name suggests, a gate fold brochure divides the single sheet of paper into three unequal parts, where the side panels are folded like a gate. 8.5” x 11” is the standard size of the gate fold brochure.

Double parallel brochure

A double parallel brochure has three creases that create eight panels that give ample space for content and images. To create this fold, the single sheet of paper is first folded into half, and then the folded page is once again folded into half. This creates two parallel bi-fold brochures in one.

8.5” x 14” is the standard size for a double parallel brochure that usually works best for reference material.

Accordion fold brochure

An accordion fold brochure can have either four to five creases that fold the single sheet of paper in a zigzag pattern, similar to the z-fold brochure. Dividing the paper in this manner leaves you with eight to ten pages for images, infographics, and content.

8.5” x 14” is the standard size for this brochure. Since this type of brochure has more pages and is larger than the other standard brochures, it is prominently used for presenting detailed information.

Now that you know the different types of brochures choose the one that fits all your content and graphic requirements. And you’re all set to move towards your next step, designing!

5 Things to keep in mind before you start designing your brochure

The key to creating an impressive, effective brochure starts before you actually start designing. This step is crucial for all brands across sectors, as it will help run the designing process smoothly, and it’s a step closer to achieving the desired outcome.

To help you through this step, we have curated 5 important things that you should keep in mind before you start designing your brochure:

Understand who you are designing for

Understanding your audience is crucial as different types of audiences require different designs. To understand your audience better, ask yourself who is the ideal customer, what is he/she looking for, will they prefer images over text or vice versa, what is the best you can do to grab his/her attention, etc.

Answers to these questions will give you a clear idea about who your audience is and what they expect out of you.

Know what you want to get out of the brochure

Without knowing what result you’re hoping to achieve, you will never know whether you should go ahead with the same designs or if you need to make some changes to your design. Define your metrics for success based on what you wish to achieve from your brochure.

Decide upon your budget

The budget for a brochure is more than just knowing how many brochures you want to print. Having an estimated budget helps you determine the type of paper you want to use, what kind of design you want, which printing technique you want to use, etc.

Knowing how many monetary resources you have for printing and designing your brochure will help you in making calculated decisions and squeeze the most out of your budget.

Know who you are

Knowing what your brand is a must. It is essential to have a clear image of how your brand is and how you want to portray it. Having this clarity will come through in your designs, which in turn will resonate with your audience and potential customers.

Figure out what you want to say

You must have a clear idea of what message you want your brochure to convey and how you will present it effectively. Knowing your message before you start design will also help you in coming up with designs that strengthen your message. Try using a strong, clear message that will resonate with your audience.

Having answers to the above pointers will help you transition smoothly to your next step, brochure designing! The importance of these pointers lies in the fact that they provide you and your designer with a clean, clear vision of what you’re looking for in a design.

A brochure can have all the relevant information in it, but it won’t matter unless someone actually opens and reads it. And this is where brochure designing saves the day.

11 Tips that can transform your brochure design

In this digital age, where paid ad campaigns and hashtags are ruling our lives, getting handed a brochure, a print medium, is like coming up for fresh air. They are great tools used by marketers to grab the attention of their potential clients.

Creating an ideal brochure design that has balance between content and design will help you go a long way and also increases your chances of potential customers. To help you ace your brochure design game, we have curated a list of 11 tips to design the ideal brochure:

Turn it around with Accent pages

These are pages that don’t contain any information, but yet they serve an essential purpose. Accent pages act as a break-up of what the viewer is seeing, giving viewers enough time to process each image individually.

Embrace change

A variety of differently designed brochures with the same information allows your audience to choose which one they want to pick. For instance, three different images, along with three different color washes, can be used to give each brochure an individualistic personality while they all consist of the same information.

Die cuts are fun

Die cuts can create engaging windows to reveal tiny bits of information. What it does is, it evokes interest and curiosity in the viewer to open and check out the full picture or content. Die cuts help make a simple brochure design fun and engaging.

Go loco with typography

Experiment around with typography to make your brochure appealing and engaging. Creating typography, along with images, visuals, and or graphics, is an exciting way of making sure that you’re implementing both of these elements.

Materials matter

Choose a material that goes well with your design. Every material conveys a message. For example, recycled material will make your business, and you seem environmentally friendly and give it an earthy feeling, whereas industrial materials will provide it with a blue-collar feel.

Make it happen with inserts

Inserts are fun if you’re planning to include physical items in your brochure, such as CD, DVD, etc. Don’t limit yourself to just a sleeve in the back and call it a day. Use different shapes of pop-outs. This will give another dimension to the interior of your brochure that would otherwise be flat.

Make perspective your weapon of choice

Stand out from the rest, use exciting angles to add visual creativity, and create visual elements for your brochure design. For example, if you’re using a checkered pattern to draw your viewer’s attention, pair it along with a type that follows the same pattern to create a fun and interesting vibe.

Have fun with texture

Sometimes an image may not accurately communicate what you’re trying to convey, and this is where texture steps in. Using textural patterns adds an exciting dimension to a stagnant subject in your brochure.

Play around

Don’t shy away from using unique illustrations, bold and bright colors, or creative line work. These details can bring in an element of playfulness and fun to your overall brochure design that attracts the attention of your potential customers and even help create a lasting impression on them.

Keep it simple, stupid

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. When we say simple, we mean fewer elements and not less content or make it dull. There is a lot you can do with few elements. Find the perfect balance between fewer elements and more content, and you’ve got a simple, clean design that will resonate with your audience.

Get creative with shapes

Make your brochure design stand out with shapes. And using pop colors for these shapes against a simple background will highlight the information forward as if you’re actually calling it out. To further elevate your brochure design, cut it in a way that gives a three-dimensional look to it, which acts as another element altogether.

Now that you know these creative tips to create an engaging brochure, there is no reason not to use them. You can mix and merge these tips in a way that suits your business and your audience well. And don’t forget to consider the reader while you’re coming up with brochure design.

2 things to look out for while printing your brochure

Coming up with a kick-ass design is not the final straw. To compliment your design, you need to evaluate your printing options before you roll them out to the masses.

Exciting brochure design needs to come to life. And that is where printing comes in. Evaluating your printing options and having a detailed analysis of your options can transform your brochure completely.

While going through your printing process, there are 2 things you need to look for:

Your print materials

Once you’ve found a reliable printer, work with them to further select the ideal materials that further accentuate your brochure. Here are a few things that can help you along the way:

  • Ink options

Many brochure printers offer different and unique inks that enhance your brochure design. For instance, some of the offered ink options are foil, UV spot, embossing, etc.

  • Paper weight

The higher the paper, the thicker the sheet. There are various ways to measure paper, such as basis weight, mils, etc. The most common degree of measurement is the metric weight. It is also known as GSM. Generally speaking, most brochures fall into the range of 170 to 300 GSM.

  • Finish

The finish you choose depends on the feel you’re going from. You have multiple choices to choose from, such as matte, glossy, semi-gloss, etc. Discuss with your printer about your options and which is the best fit for your design as well as fit your budget.

Your printer options

Most printers with experience in brochure printing use the latest printing technology and have in-designers to help with any design-related issues. When you’re hunting for a printer, make sure that you ask them the right kind of questions and see whether they are what you’re looking for.

Now that you know everything about brochure designing, it’s time to get your creative juices flowing! Use your creativity and your knowledge of brochures to create a design that will reflect your brand and resonate well with your audience to get the desired results. Get inspired by this brochure design.

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