The secrets to creating a showstopping brochure design

  • Article by

    Amie Whale

From creation to completion, combining visuals, branding and writing, discover the secrets to planning and creating a brochure design which elevates your brand and wins more customers.

The beauty of a brochure is that it combines all aspects of design, branding and writing together into one engaging, attractive, and purpose-driven entity. And despite the digital revolution, 68% of consumers will notice a brochure through the post more than an email dropped in the inbox. 

However, without each aspect of your brochure working in tandem, it can give off the wrong impression to your clients and customers, potentially costing your business and bruising your reputation.

So, what’s the secret to brochure brilliance?

Read on to uncover our secret sauce to creating and planning a brochure design which really stands out from the crowd.

Brochure design agency tip: Discover what it takes to plan and create a brochure design which elevates your brand and wins more customers.

How long does it take to design a brochure

Like any process that requires creativity, content creation and revisions, designing a brochure can take a matter of hours or a couple of days. It depends on a few aspects, such as your designer’s capabilities, the extent of the project and how much content you need.

How to plan a brochure?

With tools like Canva and ChatGPT available at our fingertips, it seems almost anyone can make a brochure these days. However, designing a brochure that engages your audience and encourages them to learn more about your business takes skill and expertise.

Therefore, making a brochure is one thing. But designing one is another. So, how do you design a brochure that persuades your customers and speaks the language of your business?  

Like the beginning of any success story, you need a plan.

The first question to answer is, what is the purpose of your brochure?

Whether you want a product sheet to showcase your latest offers or an overview of your brand story, the first step is establishing your purpose.

With a clear purpose, every image, word, and feature will pull in the same direction to create consistency and clarity.

Establishing a purpose should feed into specific goals for your brochure. For example, do you want to generate more sales or raise awareness in your business?

While this all seems obvious, it’s crucial to clarify things first or you might end up with a disjointed brochure that can put your readers off your business. 

Secondly, on the back of your purpose, who is the potential reader you’re aiming to reach?

Are you speaking their language?

Is your brochure design in line with their values and interests?

You can help get a better idea of your consumer by doing in-depth research using tools such as Google Analytics.

Structuring your brochure design with visuals and text should dictate your brochure format.

This outline should break down your various sections, the main points, any images, graphics and a final call to action (CTA). Here are the types of brochure formats you can choose from:

  • Bi-fold (4-page brochure) – Folds in half, vertically through the middle.
  • Tri-fold (6-page brochure) – Fold in three equal sections vertically.
  • Z-fold (6-page brochure) – Folds into three sections (cover on the right).
  • Open single gatefold (6-page brochure) – Divided into three unequal panels with a larger central panel.
  • Double parallel-fold (8-page brochure) – Folds in half with two panels folded in half again.
  • Quarter-fold (8-page brochure) – Folds in half twice, vertically and horizontally.
  • Roll-fold (8–10-page brochure) – Folds inwards to create four panels.  
  • Accordion-fold (8-10-page brochure) – Folded into four/five sections.

For example, you may have your content divided into equal sections. In this case, a Bi-fold, Tri-fold or even Accordion-fold could suit your design depending on the number of sections you wish to include. However, if you have some larger sections than others or some big visuals to display, you might suit the open single gatefold or quarter-fold.

There’s a famous debate in marketing about what comes first, writing or design.

Both sides serve the other, and if you want your brochure to do business, the language, tone and flow should try to emulate the visuals/design and vice versa. 

When it comes to your copy, you only have so much space to work in, so keep it concise and snappy. We’re not thinking Wordsworth here, no matter how flowing or rhythmic in the mind.

Keep paragraphs to three lines max, and spend more time on your headers than anything else. Don’t forget to include all that all-important information, such as contact details, so readers can follow you online or know how to find you in person.

Our brains respond more to visuals, so you can make your brochure more engaging and break up text by including attractive, high-quality images and graphics.

Whether you opt for crisp photography or custom illustrations depends on your branding. But remember to leave space for your reader’s eyes to rest. You don’t want to cramp too much content that can overwhelm your reader’s experience.

And remember to accompany your company name with an official logo if you don’t have one already.

Pagination, also known as “paging”, refers to the arrangement and numbering of the pages in your brochure. This feature in your brochure helps organise and structure your content, helping your readers navigate your brochure easier, especially when you have a more complex or creative format.

Brochure design trends

One thing to mention about printed design is the pleasure it provides its readers. For example, 57% of consumers prefer printed catalogues over digital/electronic catalogues when browsing for products.

While you want a brochure design that represents your brand authentically, sometimes you can tap into what’s trending to gain some inspiration or see what brochure designs are currently capturing the imagination.

Here is a selection of the latest brochure design trends:

  • Vibrant colours
  • Unusual geometrics
  • Illustrations
  • Minimalism
  • Vintage
  • Alternative textures

Speak to a specialist brochure design agency

Hopefully, this article has given you an insight into the artistry behind brochure design. Remember, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the information or pressed for time, you can always speak to us.

At Eighty3 Creative, we create bespoke brochure designs that can capture the essence of your brand by combining our expertise across graphics, animation, photography and copywriting.   

So, whether you need a brochure for your product launch, a trade show, or a general business promotion, we offer the skills and creativity to get you results.

To discover more about our brochure design services, feel free to get in touch today with your ideas.

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