Friday, November 19, 2010

Make Your Business Brochures Pop

by Michele Kirkman

Here are some ways to really improve your brochures so that your business achieves maximum sales impact.

Make sure that the details that you have provided on your brochure is correct. I can’t tell you how many people have their work printed with the incorrect phone number or address. Double-check your copy!

Pick a quality laser paper if you are having your work printed in color. Digital prints will look much brighter and richer and heavier weight paper is more pleasing to hold. My favorite paper is Hammermill Laser Copy paper (98 bright, 24lb weight). I haven’t found a paper for color printing that I think is as good and that’s based on 7 years of print jobs. Also, it will be easier to have your brochures folded in a folding machine without them get wrinkled or misaligned if you choose a heavy weight, quality paper. This also translates into fewer damaged copies for you (which will be thrown away).


Don’t be afraid of bold graphics and simple, effective fonts. Frankly, you can’t go wrong with using Arial even if that seems a little boring. You want the copy to be easily readable and using san-serif fonts most of the time can help you accomplish this.


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Don’t use Microsoft word to setup a three-fold layout. It’s not an easy program to create nicely aligned columns of text that work in a landscape format (in a 3 panel layout). Adobe Indesign would be my first recommendation for achieving a nice layout and Illustrator a close second. Indesign is a very flexible and easy-to-use program, that allows a person to easily move, scale and otherwise adjust page elements.

Make a simple mock-up of the 6 panels that will comprise the two sides of the brochure. fold and number where you want each text element to be. This will make copy placement much clearer to you. Whether you have them folded z-fold or standard tri-fold will make a difference to you. The layout will be different from one to the other.


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Photographs can provide a nice touch as long as they are high quality shots with effective compositions. Make sure you use images that have a good exposure as well. Poor quality photos can really hamper a design.

Don’t try to get too much information into your brochure. It’s not supposed to be a history of your business or a catalog of your products. It’s function is to be interesting and enticing enough that your customers or clients phone you.

If you can avoid putting dates into your copy do so. That can save you on re-printing costs if an event that you’re advertising is moved to a different time or day.

A strong use of negative space around your text and images can make your brochure more interesting to look at. If your copy is visually appealing people are more likely to pick it up and actually read it.

Avoid pale colors for the most part because your brochure is likely to become “lost” in a sea of competing advertising. It needs to attract attention.

Don’t use more than two fonts in the same layout. Once you get past three fonts your brochure will look amateurish and poorly organized. It’s not worth getting too fancy with the fonts.

That’s It!

Just following these simple suggestions can make your brochures stand out against the competition.

Good Luck with it!

~ Michele

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