A beautiful brochure. There’s more to it than meets the eye.

A beautiful brochure.
There’s more to it than meets the eye. 

How can one of the oldest forms of marketing still be relevant in today’s digital world? It’s true, the brochure may not be the latest in technology, but when created correctly, it’s as valuable as ever. 

In our twenty year career, we’ve seen that the brochure is one of the few advertising mediums that’s always needed. It’s consistently asked for, by all kinds of clients. From start-ups to hotel groups, from fashion brands to real estate agents. So why is it that they all turn to the same advertising platform?

The answer is that it isn’t one platform. 

A brochure can be just about anything. And we know- we’ve created almost every kind. From the high end glossy brochure to the single page, gatefold, the brochure can be tailor-made to appeal to a specific audience. 

Of course, there is a lot of thinking that goes into creating a brochure- It’s more than just a pretty picture and a headline on a page. To create the perfect brochure design, I set myself a few principles to follow. They’ve stood my team in good stead for the past 2 decades, and I’m sure they’ll help you. 

Before I lift up a pencil to start designing a brochure, I find out the budget. When you know the budget you can create within your limitations. It defines how many pages there may be, what kind of binding it may have and even what sort of paper stock you can choose. They’re the basic ingredients that will help your brand stand out. It’s also important to know how the brochure will reach its audience. If it’s a special size, it may not fit into a traditional envelope and that will affect your postage fees. 

One of the most diverse pieces of marketing is at your fingertips.

Once I have an idea about how many pages the brochure may be, I start to work out the visual identity and the amount of copy that can fit onto each page. It’s important to review the current brand work and style guides to leverage the existing brand equity. There’s no point creating the perfect high-gloss black and white brochure design when the rest of the brand’s collateral is bright and colourful. 

When it comes to copy- use restraint. Even if it’s an 80 pager, less is more. A brochure is not a book. Readers need pages to pause – a big, well-crafted headline across an image can say so much more than a thousand words. And one last thing on words, remember the gutter. Make sure to always keep enough space on either side of the gutter or the copy will disappear into it when the brochure gets bound. 

A brochure is a window into your brand’s world

It’s also important to have an idea of how it’s going to be printed. Certain processes are more intricate and need longer lead times which could affect your deadline. There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to printing a brochure,. The most common three are offset lithography, flexography and digital printing. Each printing process has a specific function and benefit. By understanding how they work, you can design accordingly. 

Offset Lithography 

Offset lithography is when an image is contained on an aluminium printing plate and then transferred (offset) across from the plate onto a rubber blanket. From there, the image is transferred onto the printing surface. The process is great for a variety of materials including paper, cardboard to plastic. 

Flexography

The flexo printing process can be used on a variety of materials- from  paper to plastics, from metals to cellophane. The content that needs to be printed is inside the flexo rubber sheet. The rubber sheet is then inked and the image is transferred across onto the printed material.

Digital

Your go-to printer in the city or your local copy shop would print using a digital process. And it’s easy to see why- it’s fast and economical. There are a few different types of digital printing processes, but the most popular two are Inket and Xerography. 

Inkjet printing process

The inkjet process involves transferring ink onto the material through a series of high-pressure nozzles. It’s versatile enough to handle the majority of print sizes from small brochures and books right up to posters and signage.

Xerography printing process 

Xerography is laser printing. The image is created by applying a charge to the ‘drum’ or electric cylinder which in turn, attracts a specific toner or colour. A fuser then melts the toner onto the material. It’s generally used for printing a small run of books and documents. It’s also used on transactional materials like receipts. 

Understand the user journey

There’s a lot of work that goes into a printing a brochure. So make it worthwhile. Make it beautiful. Make it memorable. And above all else, make sure to leave a call to action. Direct your audience to what you want them to do next. Think about a brochure like a story – it needs a beginning, middle and end. You can capture the reader’s initial attention with design, but the detail and information will keep them reading- and when it comes to the end, make sure you have one solid call-to-action so that the reader will know how to get in contact and buy your product. 

Want to find out more? Email us here jerome@tozer.co.za for a brochure. 

Written by Jason Kempen
For Tozer Advertising