Media & Reprographics
Brochure Design Tips
If you're going to spend time and money designing a brochure, you'll want it to be right on target. A well designed piece will communicates your message clearly and cost effectively.
- Collect and study brochures from around the community. What makes one design more appealing than another? You can develop your sense of good design by studying other designs.
- Decide who are you trying to reach with your information, and how do you want to come across to them. Choose a font that will express the voice you desire (professional, humorous, casual…) and still keep your message clear. Avoid using more than two or three font styles, so you don't distract the reader from your message. Vary the font size of individual parts of the design according to their importance.
- Less is more. Use a checklist to decide what information is necessary, and arrange the components of your brochure in order of importance. The clearer you are about the order of importance within your information, the better your brochure will be. Make sketches and move the various elements around. Try repositioning the various elements to see how your design is affected.
- 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 from the rest of your message.
- Use color to raise the perception of quality. Printed materials are viewed more favorably when in color. Instead of spreading color around on a page, concentrate it in a few key areas.
- Use subheadings and white space throughout your brochure to break up your information into digestible parts.
- Use bars and boxes sparingly. Boxes, borders and bars work well for directing one’s attention and separating busy areas--but too many can make your brochure design look cluttered or be confusing. Explore other options for grouping and separating.
- Resist the temptation to go overboard with backgrounds. Black text on a white background is the easiest to read, otherwise you may sacrifice legibility. Text set in color, or placed against a colored background, will reduce readability and may need to be set in bold or increased in size.
- Keep your message in mind and include only those ingredients necessary to communicate the message. If you choose graphic elements to ornament your brochure, ask yourself whether they help to direct the reader’s attention, or simply create distraction.
- Proofread! 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. Read lines backwards to check for errors. Step back and look critically at the overall layout.
- Paper comes in all sizes, colors, and textures. Ask about paper options. Using recycled paper can add an interesting flair to your brochure design, and it helps reduce the impact we make on our natural resources. If you print your brochure on recycled paper, make sure you note your concern for the environment on the back.
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