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Brochure design: 10 tips to create marketing materials that sell

We’ve all received brochures from various businesses and most of the time they all have one thing in common — they’re boring. Whether they’re packed with so much information you feel like you’re about to read a full length novel, or so plain you feel like you’re sitting in the dentist’s office, brochures tend to get a bad rap. They may be chock full of important stuff, but unless you can get someone to pick it up and read it, it doesn’t matter how great the content inside is.

Here are 10 ways to step up your brochure design game and ensure your information will be shared.

01. Think simple.

Simple design can be incredibly effective and doesn’t have to be boring. In this brochure, the title is embossed in a simple, clean typeface on a white background. The effect is very clean and modern, and though there isn’t much contrast it still translates well. The embossing also adds an interesting texture to the brochure, and can be carried throughout the interior.

02. Consider functionality.

At first glance this brochure looks simple enough. A thick book full of information. Once it’s opened though, the cover is folded out and reveals a beautiful floral pattern that complements the bright red of the introductory page. Small surprises for your viewers can make a big impact, even if it’s as simple as hiding away pretty flowers.

03. Create impact with simple shapes.

Geographic shapes made to look like callouts have a fun effect on these brochures. The pop of color against the background helps to bring the message forward, as if it really is calling out. The cuts also create a cool three-dimensional look, adding yet another element of interest.

04. Keep it linear.

Brochures don’t have to be folded booklets bound at the center. They can stretch out in a variety of different ways. Here an accordion shape is used which allows you to view the entire brochure as a whole if you choose, rather than flipping through each page.

05. Reflect graphics physically.

In this ‘epic’ brochure, the graphic elements are reflected in the folds of the paper. The brightly colors triangles become the pages containing the information. This makes the brochure very cohesive as a whole, each element working together to create a solid piece.

06. Be creative with your inserts.

If you plan on including physical items inside your brochure (whether it be a cd, dvd, or something of the like), display it in an interesting way. You’re not limited to a simple sleeve in the back. Here the cd pops out to you, inviting you to take it. The shape of the pop out gives dimension to the interior, which would otherwise be very flat.

07. Think outside the ‘pamphlet’.

This is an excellent example of being incredibly creative with your brochure design. Stepping away from the flat, pamphlet like structure and into something interactive and three-dimensional. It engages the viewer (in this case user) and creates a lasting impression. This design can spark a number of other ‘three-dimensional’ ideas for a brochure.

08. Incorporate shapes.

Your pages don’t need to be rectangular. They don’t even have to be square. They can be circles, triangles, hearts, whatever suits your business best. In this example, the circles all fold in over each other, which creates an interesting action when you move each page to reveal what’s underneath.

09. Make subtle adjustments.

The format here is relatively standard, but shaving down the corners to a rounded edge helps add a softness to the look. It appears friendlier and more comfortable. The warm imagery and soft brown color really drives the friendly appearance home.

10. Consider your materials.

Depending on what the brochure is for, the material used can relate very well. Recyclable materials make your business look more environmentally friendly and ‘green’, while something more industrial gives an entirely different, blue collar feel. Here the recycled paper paired with the bright green gives this brochure a very earthy feeling.


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