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Brochure Printing: The First 5 Steps to Creating an Effective Brochure

Content Can Wait… Address these 5 Questions First

In my experience, when people set out to create a Brochure many of them focus on the content first. They begin by writing down the points they want to make in the brochure, or they start composing the text or determining what pictures and colors they plan to use. In my opinion, the content is not the place to start if you want an effective, well-designed brochure. My advice is to step back and answer the following five questions before working on the brochure's content:

1) What is the objective? The first thing you need to determine is the goal of the brochure. For example, will the brochure be used to introduce your company? Will the brochure be used to promote a product or service or as a follow up to a presentation? Will the brochure be used to educate, inform or explain? Will the brochure be a special announcement about something new? Establishing a clear goal at the beginning will make your brochure creation process go much smoother.

To Be Effective, A Brochure Requires the Proper Aim

2) Who are you trying to reach? Knowing your audience is paramount. Do you want to share information with prospective customers, current customers, members of an organization, the general public? Is there a particular market segment you want to connect with? Are they young? Elderly? Wealthy? Thrifty? Will the recipient have some prior knowledge about your company or product? Knowing your audience will help you prepare appropriate and targeted content.

3) How will the brochure be distributed? You need to figure out how you will get your brochure into people's hands. Will the brochure be mailed? Will it be handed out at an event? Will you include it in a folder as part of a presentation? Will a salesperson leave it behind after meeting with a client? Will it be placed in a rack or stacked on a showroom table? Knowing how the brochure will be distributed helps you determine its physical characteristics.

4) What impression do you want to make? In other words, what perceptions and feelings do you want the reader to get from your brochure? For example, if you are promoting a luxury resort you would likely choose more elegant design elements than if you were promoting something of a more basic or practical nature, like gutter cleaning. To be most effective, the design and overall quality should be consistent with the brochure's subject matter.

5) Which format is best to convey the information? For example, if a salesperson will be going through the brochure with a client, it is best to use a larger size so everyone can see at once. In this instance, a large bi-fold or double gate folded brochure works well. If the brochure will be sent through the mail, it could be designed as a self mailer or to fit in a standard size envelope. If the brochure showcases a lot of information, it may need to be made in booklet form. The way you want your brochure's information presented helps dictate the size and style of your brochure.

Only after you have answered the above questions should you start working on the brochure's content. Tips for creating effective content will be the topic of our next article. Stay tuned…

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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