Most of us have been handed quite a few brochures, or even picked them up ourselves to learn what a business has to offer. Some of us have designed them to try to educate or engage our customers. And when you’re the one doing the designing you’re definitely thinking about the right layout for your brochure design. 

Single fold? Or multifold? The right brochure layout can make or break the impact of a message. That’s why it’s worth the time to map out how you want to structure your content before you dive into the design.

Especially since they are useful for a ton of different lead nurturing activities. These include promotions like sales, providing overviews of services, promoting an open house, or the features of your products. And they can encourage customers to take action.

When someone takes a brochure, they’re interested in learning more about the product, service, or promotion that’s detailed within it. Which presents you with the perfect opportunity to encourage your customers to book an appointment, place an order, or learn more on your website. With the right layout for your brochure design, you can guide your audience to the next step you want them to take.

Design Can Make Or Break A Brochure

The success of a brochure design depends on how long the customer decides to hang on to it. And what determines this? Well, to put it bluntly, if the design isn’t good they’re probably going to toss it out without a second look. No matter how much useful information you’ve tried to include in your brochure, if it’s not laid out well no one will be able to access it. 

So let’s take a look at what to consider when you want to design a great brochure.

The Purpose Of The Brochure

Before designing the brochure, you need a clear idea of what purpose it’s going to serve. Which specific segment of your target audience are you tailoring your brochure to? What is the call to action that you want to lead them to? 

Answering these questions will help you determine important elements like imagery and the tone to use in your messaging. It’s important to consider these things alongside your brand identity. Because you need to make sure that you appeal to your audience but that you also stay on brand.

These questions will also help you figure out which pieces of information to highlight in your content.

For example, if you’re trying to book consultations, you’ll want to include details on the benefits of a consultation. And details on how to go about booking one.

Or if you’re trying to drive website traffic, you can include a custom URL so that you can measure the traffic your brochure generates.

Your Brochure’s Text Copy & Content

As we’ve mentioned above, your brochure’s text copy should be tailored to appeal to your target audience. And it should be structured to encourage them to act.

When it comes to tailoring your text, you’ll want to make sure you consider your target audience’s personas. Your messaging needs to get your ideas across in language that appeals and feels relatable to them. And it should be descriptive, but direct.

Where possible, try supplementing your text with charts or tables to visually explain some of the info you’re sharing.

With all these notes in mind, remember that you can always tweak your messaging as needed to work with your brochure’s layout. Important elements like headlines and subheadings that make your content easier to skim through, may only occur to you as you try positioning your text in your brochure’s layout.

But it is important that you have your messaging ready before you determine the right layout for your brochure. You can make stronger design decisions when you have a clear idea of your messaging.

Otherwise you may end up with a brochure that feels confusing or disconnected.

The Right Layout For Your Brochure Design

Now that you’re clear as to the purpose of your brochure, and your messaging, let’s move on to your brochure’s layout. There are quite a few options to consider, and some of the most popular folds are:

  • Half-fold
  • Tri-fold
  • Z-fold
  • Gate fold
  • Double gate fold
  • Double parallel fold
  • Roll fold

Each of these folds also has variations depending on the number of panels you’d require for your content. Your content and how your brochures will be delivered are the two most important things to consider when you’re thinking about layout.

Which fold will present your messaging in the clearest way? Don’t be afraid to sketch out your options. You don’t need to be a pro designer or even an amateur to plan out your brochure. Just grab a pencil and sheet of paper and try out different combinations of your text to see which flows best.

In terms of delivery, think about how your audience will see and receive your brochures. How you plan to deliver or display your brochures will go a long way in determining which brochure layout is the best choice for you and your business. For example, will you be mailing out your brochures or displaying them at an event or at your business?

Designing Your Brochure

With your layout in mind, you can get on to your fonts, images, and colours! If you have a brand style guide, it’ll come in handy here. If you don’t consider creating one for your brand.

Bear in mind that your text copy will be divided into 3 categories – headings, subheadings, and body copy. So you’ll want to stick to 3 variations of font as well.  Your choice in font impacts how accessible your brochure is.

As readability impacts the visual appeal of your brochure, it’s best you take the time to find the right combination of typography for your message. And make sure you are consistent with how you align your text. Aim to center your content within each panel of your brochure.

When it comes to images, the pictures you choose have to align with your text copy and your brand. Choosing high-quality pictures with high resolution is a no-brainer. Other than that, keep in mind that the images should represent the mood and the tone of the brand and the brochure itself. Size and crop each of them so that they have a uniform look and feel. And make sure they complement the colours you’ve chosen (try to limit these to no more than 2-3). 

As far as other graphic elements go, less is more. You don’t want to clutter your brochure design, and confuse your audience as to where they should be focusing. A clean design, with lots of negative space delivers your message most effectively.

Kimp Tip: Try using solid colors in your design, and/or background images to help define each part of your brochure.

Finally, include your CTA in multiple places in your brochure. Make sure it complements the overall design, but stands apart just enough to be distinct. No matter which portion of your brochure your audience is looking at, they should never be able to miss your CTA.  

Proofing Your Brochure

Before you get set to print few hundred copies of your brochure, make sure that you’ve achieved what you set out to do with it. Ask yourself, and a few of your team members and/or customers, these questions:

  • Is the design distinctive? Does it get your attention?
  • Does the design guide the reader to the CTA(s)?
  • Is the brochure on brand and on point throughout?
  • Are all of the images and elements necessary? Does everything feel like it’s in it’s place? Does anything feel cluttered?
  • Is the messaging easy to understand? Does it feel to the point?

After reviewing your content and design, discuss your printing options with your printer. Be sure to ask about any specialty processes like embossing that can add an unforgettable touch! And ask for a test run.

Even if you know exactly the paper weight and finish (e.g. matte, semi-glossy, glossy) you’d like, there’s nothing like seeing your brochure in print!