Brochure Design Elements

Oftentimes, a brochure is the first impression your company makes on new customers. Brochures can go a long way in making that first impression a positive one and can lead a prospect to become a customer.

Whether you decide to design the brochure yourself or hire a graphic designer to do it for you, you should know the basic elements of a good brochure so you don’t waste your brochure printing budget. You’ll also be able to hire a competent designer by asking him a few questions related to brochure design that you can gather from the following list of elements. If the designer doesn’t know the answer to some of the questions, you might want to look at other designers.

Here are the important elements of any good brochure:

Originality. Your brochures should tell the audience something unique about you that differentiates you from your competition. The way your brochure is designed is part of what makes you different. Ask the designer where she gets her inspiration. If she says from other businesses like yours, that could be a red flag because you don’t want a copy of your competitor’s brochure.

Simple design. Don’t clutter your brochure with tons of text and graphics just because you have the space. Only include necessary information, like benefits and testimonials. Of course, the necessary information will vary depending on the function and audience of the brochure. Ask the designer what design elements he feels makes a good brochure – lots of images or big text in different colors could signal this designer will make your brochures too cluttered and hard to read.

High resolution images. Ask the designer what kind of images she plans on using. If she’s planning on taking pictures herself or if she’s planning on using stock photos, make sure the images are all going to be high resolution. Low resolution images will look blurry and unprofessional. Even if the rest of your brochure looks great, fuzzy photos will send your brochure straight to the trash.

Color. The right colors in your brochures can evoke the feeling you want your customers or prospects to feel as soon as they see your brochure. Brochure colors that complement your logo colors or other established colors (like in your company’s name) will make your brochures look professional. Ask the designer what kind of colors he plans on using in the brochure. If he says it depends on the colors of your logo or the photos that will be used, you could have a winner.

Page bleed. Your brochure needs a page bleed on each page where the color continues off the page to account for shifts in the cutting of your brochures at the printer. Brochures are printed in large sheets and then later cut into single units. The cutting blade often shifts just slightly, so if you don’t have a page bleed, you could end up with brochures with white edges. If you’re designing your own brochure, software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and QuarkXPress all have a page bleed setting. It’s best to have a 1/8-inch page bleed. That should be enough to cover any blade shifts. Ask the designer how much page bleed she would recommend. She should say 1/8-inch or more.

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