Top 10 Brochure Design Tips

Sample Brochure Design
Sample Brochure Design 

Brochures are a classic advertising and marketing tool for businesses. A good brochure needs to not only advertise your company and it's products/services but also portray your company image and brand in a way that is attractive to your target audience. They say don't judge a book by it's cover but when it comes to a brochures, people always will. So if you or your business are currently designing a brochure or booklet here are 10 easy to follow steps to help you along the way to a successful brochure design.

1. Research

Collect and study brochures from around your community. What is the acceptable industry standard for brochures? What makes one brochure design more appealing than another? You can develop your sense of good design by carefully studying existing designs in the marketplace and deciding for yourself what works best. You can also learn from the mistakes of other btrochures and see what design styles or errors to avoid. The brochures of your competitors should also be carefully assessed to see where you outdo them.

TIP: Take note of your research findings and create a design proposal based around them.

2. Keep it Simple

What is the purpose of your brochure? Create a 'Brochure Checklist' to decide what information you want to cover, and arrange these components in order of importance. The clearer you are about the order of importance within your information, the better your brochure will be. Don't try to write a novel when a poem will do. Select one or two main messages that you wish to convey through the brochure and keep your message in mind throughout and include only those ingredients necessary to communicate the message. 

TIP: If you are using graphic elements to ornament your brochure, ask yourself whether they help to direct the reader’s attention, or simply create distraction.

3. Prioritize Content

Once you have determined the relative importance and sequence of the particular components in your message, you will be ready to consider how to treat each of them. The most important items should obviously receive more of your reader’s attention. They should be larger, bolder, brighter, or in some other way made to stand out. Make sketches and move the various elements around. Try re-positioning one or more elements to see how your design is affected.

TIP: Using block quotes within body text is a great way to highlight important content.

4. Choose your Words Carefully

Try to include some of the twelve most powerful words in the English language, while also avoiding clichés, slang or any currently trendy jargon. The twelve most powerful words, according to advertisers and marketers are...

  1. You
  2. Money
  3. Save
  4. New
  5. Easy
  6. Love
  7. Discovery
  8. Results
  9. Health
  10. Proven
  11. Guarantee
  12. Free

5. Select Appropriate Fonts

sample font for a brochure design

Choose a font that will express the style you desire (professional, humorous, casual…) while still keeping your message clear. Use a minimum of two font styles (to avoid being plain or boring) but also use a maximum of three font styles (to avoid clutter and inconsistency). These fonts can still be varied in size, weighting or colour in the individual parts of the design according to their importance. Read more on fonts styles here. In general a clean and simple font is best.

TIP: You can find the best free font websites at

6. Utilise Bars & Boxes

Boxes, borders and bars work well for directing the readers' attention and separating busy areas. They achieve this through creating a contrast with the background so always aim for light on dark or dark on light in terms of the colours.

However, don't overuse them as too many can make your brochure design look cluttered and the desired contrast will be lost if everything is 'boxed off'. Instead explore other options for grouping and separating, such as the use of negative space as explained below.

7. Embrace White Space

OK, so maybe not this much white space but it is important!

You can use empty space to create a relationship between the contents and the page while bringing specific information into focus on the page by adjusting the space around it. The amount of empty space in a design affects its overall tone of lightness or heaviness. Empty space can also be used to frame or align the content without the need for boxes or borders. Read more about how best to utilise white space.

8. Consider Colour Theory

Whatever colour scheme you choose be sure to look into colour theory to ensure the right message about your product, service or company is being sent out. Different colours evoke different emotions in viewers and each colours has attached connotations that we subconsciously associate with it.

Your colour scheme can be applied as ink on paper or as the paper itself. There are hundreds of paper colours available, yet some of the most effective brochures are done in only one or two colours. Black and white brochures can often be more dramatic than colour.

TIP: Carefully selected images can be used to inject colour into your brochure and allow you to use simple black text on a white background without it looking too plain.

9. Paper Selection

Paper comes in all sizes, colours, and textures. The ISO (international Standards Organisation) 'A' Series of paper sizes, has become the global standard for document sizes and your brochure should be based of one of those. See the common document sizes table for more details.

TIP: Using recycled paper can add an interesting flair to your brochure design, and it helps reduce the impact we make on our natural resources.

10. Proofread & Test

You should proofread your final design several times before having it printed. Once printed, it’s too late to fix an error that you didn't spot, without incurring extra costs. It will also make your business look unprofessional and unreliable to potential clients.

You should also step back and look critically at the overall layout asking, can it be read from a distance? Is it interesting enough to grab peoples attention? If the answer to either of these questions is no you may need to tweak your design or possibly consider some attention grabbing techniques.

TIP: Reading lines of text backwards is the best way to spot errors in text. 

Top 10 Brochure Design Tips Top 10 Brochure Design Tips Reviewed by Opus Web Design on October 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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