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How to make your brochure stand out

Brochure design is part of what creates your business identity for your customers. It’s the item that speaks for you when you aren’t there to sell your business yourself. That’s why it’s so important to get right. So how do you make your brochure stand out from those of your competitors? Read our Oxygen guide to creative brochure design.

“A brochure is the item that speaks for you when you aren’t there to sell your business yourself.”

Brochure design tip # 1 – make your brochure match your brand

Your brand identity should be your first guide when shaping the design for your brochure. That’s because no matter how sophisticated or elegant it is, it won’t impress customers if it doesn’t remain true to your brand. So a company that specialises in fun-sounding ice-creams for children probably won’t attract any attention with an austere black-and-white brochure, no matter how beautiful it is. Your brand identity will provide a feel, look, and even potential colour theme for your brochure. While a creative brochure design that’s well integrated with your offering will gain you kudos, be careful not to go for an outlandish design just for the sake of it. A gimmicky brochure that seems completely out of character with your other branding will reflect badly on your business.

Brochure design tip # 2 – think big!

Companies are cottoning on to the fact that larger brochures are more likely to get picked up and be read for longer. Quite simply, when it comes to brochure design, size matters. Customers are more likely to be impressed by a super-size tri-fold of 17” x 11” inches, than by a standard one of 11 by 8.5 inches. An 11” x 25.5” brochure is difficult to ignore!

Brochure design tip #3 – less is more

Simplicity makes for more sophisticated and elegant design. Using a monochrome scheme can make a few contrasting elements, such as your logo, key benefits or your contact details stand out. Simplicity also means making sure you know your target market and that you provide only the detail customers need to make up their minds. And in the most easy-to-skim and straightforward language possible. Limit font styles to three maximum to keep text easy to read. Use headlines and bold and italicise your fonts to make key points stand out. A brochure has to have print that’s large enough to read, simple navigation and be easy to open if it’s to do its job properly.

Brochure design tip# 4 – shape up

An unusually shaped brochure always stands out. Printers often have pre-cut dies in several sizes, which means that you can experiment with square brochures, round brochures or even rounded corners very easily. With cut-cut and cut-die techniques you can incorporate sophisticated design into the cover or main body of your brochure that also helps convey your message. For instance, with a perforated page for customers to return to you can remind them to take action. Or a pop-up detail that reminds them of a key benefit. Don’t forget that using different weights and texture of paper, together with effects such as foil and embossing can make your distinctive shapes stand out even further.

Brochure design tip#5 – craft your image

Photos add interest and colour as well as a certain glossiness to your brochure. Make sure yours are high-resolution so that you don’t fall foul of a pixelated or blurry finish. Shots should be 300dpi or more. Avoid anything that looks like a stock image. Investing in good quality photos of your product, people, premises, or in images that crystalise the customer experience will really pay off.

Brochure design tip #6 – show your best colours

One way of incorporating colours is to use themed shapes to separate text. So you might include bars or rectangles or even a simple leaf or petal shape. Remember that graphics don’t have to remain true to real life. So if you think a pink elephant, a blue teddy bear or a yellow wave will grab your customer’s imagination then don’t hesitate to use one. Another idea is to change the colour of your logo when your brochure relates to a certain aspect of your business, whether it’s charitable giving, corporate social responsibility, environmental protection or simply customer services.

Brochure design tip # 7 – hold it together well

Creative binding is a great way to bring a brochure to life. Again, pick something appropriate for your industry sector and brand. Eyelets and screws give a brochure a solid chunky no-nonsense edge, while ribbons, twine or even rubber bands are softer and more fun. Adding a pocket means you can include a CD, samples, or even loose leaf inserts that are tailored to that particular customer’s interest. These can be updated, giving you a reason to get in touch regularly.

If you’re lacking inspiration for your new brochure, get in touch with our award-winning design team today on 0845 2606 255. We can make your brochure a give-away that your customers want to hold onto.



Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.