Brochures are a classic marketing strategy for both getting your business in front of new customers and for reaching out to current ones. Here are the basic elements of brochure design that you need to know.

A brochure is the format of choice when you need to communicate lots of information in a relatively small amount of space. Many print formats used in marketing materials call for short copy and eye-catching visuals. Think billboards, magazine ads, or direct mail coupons. That’s because the average consumer will only glance at them. But brochures are typically delivered in a setting where consumers are more likely to stop and read. Think expos, open marketplaces, or office waiting rooms. Since these consumers are more likely to spend the time to read, the brochure is an opportunity to really sell your product or service.

A brochure is a simple document that uses both sides of its source paper. They’re extremely efficient not only because of their two-sided nature, but also because the folded design creates natural breaks. These breaks make it easy to organize information clearly for the reader.

Before diving into your own, check out these brochure design tips to help you create a document that’s both informative and visually striking.

Keep Information Simple and Organized

A Simple Guide to Creating Brochure Designs That Work — Simple and Organized

Image by VectorWeb.

There’s a surprising amount of space to fill in brochures, and you also have a lot of information to share. It might be tempting to go ahead and fill it to the brim. After all, too much white space is a problem. But, it’s also a problem if the design so busy that the reader has a hard time following along. Here are a few things you can do to create a brochure that’s information-rich but not so saturated it confuses the reader:

  • Limit yourself to two fonts: one for the headers and one for the body text.
  • Use visuals that help illustrate the relationship between pieces of information.
  • Use bullets, numbered lists, or other hierarchical text formats to convey information without unnecessary wordiness.

Use Design Elements to Amplify Information

A Simple Guide to Creating Brochure Designs That Work — Amplify Your Information

Image by Raevsky Lab.

The average brochure usually has more text than visuals. But, great design will have these two elements working together for an informational and visually striking finished product. Here are a few tips for using design elements to give your brochure extra appeal:

  • Large chunks of text make your brochure difficult to read. Break up your copy with images or visuals on every panel.
  • Use different font colors to show information hierarchy. (For example, use black for the title font and dark gray for the following copy.)
  • Arrange your information carefully so it flows logically for your reader, and make sure your brochure unfolds in a way that complements that arrangement.

These tips will make it easier for your brochure design to hold that balance between information-rich and just plain busy.

Know Your Audience

The other side of successfully putting together a great brochure is your knowledge of your target market. Whether it’s new clients or existing consumers, it’s important to tailor the brochure experience to your customer. It doesn’t matter how excellent your graphic design skills are. If your audience doesn’t understand how to use the information you’re providing, you risk missing a sale or losing a customer.

Choose your audience and the key message, and stick to it throughout the brochure. If you’re trying to get new customers at, say, a booth set up at a local marketplace, the key message is likely about your business and offerings. If you’re trying to offer information to existing customers, your key message is probably about how to use the product. Think of your audience types and how your message to each of them will differ.

Top image by Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko.