8 Brochure Design Rules Brands Need To Know + Design Ideas
Dapper colors, pretty layouts, and so much information in so little space! Brochures are such interesting marketing materials in the world of print advertising.
Add to that, to a customer who does not know your brand yet, a brochure will be an introductory manual. And to a loyal customer who is curious to know about a recent product from your brand, the brochure will make the purchase decision simpler.
There are so many ways in which you can make a brochure work for your brand. With the right strategies for design and distribution, your brochure will give your marketing efforts a gentle nudge towards reaching your objectives.
Brochures have been around for decades now. Just look at the example below – it’s a brochure from the 1940s!
At this point you might be thinking “My brand has an interactive website and the best digital ads. Do I still need a brochure?” We hear you. And the answer is: yes. Print marketing materials like brochures are still relevant. In fact, combining both print and digital marketing leads to a 400% increase in the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Like every other visual asset in marketing, a lot depends on the actual design. So, in this blog, we’ll talk about some design tips to help you come up with cost-effective brochure designs for your brand. But before that let’s also look at why brochures are still relevant in the age of Tweets and Reels.
Why are brochures still a thing in the digital era?
To put it in simple words:
- Brochures are cost-effective marketing tools
- They are easy to design
- Localized targeting becomes simpler with them
- Distribution is easy
- They are great tools to help build trust
You might have the fanciest ads that make customers stop their work and take notice. But still, actually holding something in your hand, is an experience that is hard to mimic in the digital world. That’s one reason why brands are now extensively using augmented reality. To give customers a feel of how a product will be in the real world, in the actual setting where they will be using it.
So, brochures that give customers the benefit of physically interacting with the brand always have their charm. Fashion, automotive, hospitality – almost every industry can benefit from the use of brochures in marketing.
Some argue that the Gen Zers are more inclined toward gadgets and so digital marketing is the way forward. While that is true to an exten, you should also know that nearly 95% of people under the age of 25 read magazines. So, print ads still work.
And you can have a digital version of your brochure too. It might be missing out on the tangibility of the physical brochure but the information will still be there. And this digital version can be shared with customers who get in touch with you through digital channels.
You can also use this as a lead capture tool by letting customers provide their email addresses and then mailing the digital brochure. One design, many benefits!
Having heard the many merits of brochure design, are you ready to design one? Let’s look at some useful design tips to create designs that convert.
Design tips for a brochure that will drive results
Let’s face it, sometimes in design what you have on mind does not come out on the screen. And what you have on the screen does not come out in print. Has this ever happened to you? When it comes to something like brochure design that takes up both time and effort, it is only fair that you expect the process to be smooth and productive. And for this, here are some concrete tips to fine-tune your approach to designing a brochure.
1. Pick a goal based on the AIDA model
Your marketing efforts might grab the attention of many and pique the interest of a few. They may lead to some customers desiring your product, and, finally, there are a few who actually take an action, or place an order. That’s what the AIDA model in marketing is all about. It talks about customers moving through different stages namely:
Every marketer’s dream is to get every lead to the last stage in the marketing funnel, the action stage. But that rarely happens. And it should not be stopping you from designing the right marketing materials for each of these stages.
And with a timeless marketing material like a brochure, you get to create designs relevant to every stage. You can either have a separate brochure design for each stage or have just one that fulfills all these aspects.
When you try to understand the objectives of your brochure design, your first step is to understand which of these stages you want to tackle.
Brochures that need to grab attention are distributed outside the actual storefront or business location. These need to be catchy, crisp, and with a message that somehow brings customers inside.
To get customers interested, the brochure should talk about how that particular product or how your brand as a whole is different. And why it deserves their time.
To make a customer desire your product or brand, the brochure should incorporate plenty of visual cues that act as proof of what you advertise. Seeing it in action will make them want it more.
Finally, a strategically placed call-to-action and convincing copy and overall layout will make customers actually take that step you want them to.
2. Choose the right layout
Trifold, bifold, gate-fold – there are plenty of options when it comes to the layout of the brochure. And finalizing this might seem like the toughest decision to make. The cost of printing and even the material cost depend on the size of the brochure which in turn depends on the layout you choose. But you cannot cram too much text into too little space as a measure to reduce the cost.
One way to tackle this will be to make an outline of the content you wish to incorporate into the brochure. Brainstorm with your stakeholders and team. Based on the chosen objective of the brochure, create a draft of the content. This should capture details like the number of images you need to convey, the intended information, and the accompanying text.
Less is more in design. Instead of having too many details that confuse the audience, focus on conveying the message concisely. Once you have a collection of the elements required in your design, it becomes easier to understand what layout will work best.
Kimp Tip: Even if you have a powerful copy and images, the alignment of these sections influences the overall impact. All of these design elements are connected. So how they appear on the brochure both in the folded and unfolded versions determines what kind of reaction they incite. Kimp’s blog post on brochure design layout might help you understand your options better.
3. Design with your audience in mind
Your text and tone should be justified to suit your audience. Different customer personas react to different tones in brand campaigns. And each customer group might look for a different set of details from the brochure.
Take the automotive industry for example. Below are snapshots from the brochures of the cars Chevrolet Suburban and Hummer H1. Notice the difference in the content presented and the tone of messaging in both the brochures.
The Chevy Suburban (in the first image) is advertised as a safe and comfortable family car. Hummer H1 (second image), on the other hand, is promoted as one that is robust enough to handle unpredictable terrains. In the former, the target audience will be families. In the latter, the target audience will be thrill-seekers.
While both the cars come with safety features and a robust build, the feature picked to focus on in the brochure is different, as you can see. The tone in the Chevy brochure is more friendly while the Hummer brochure uses a more rugged tone.
Even if you have the right message to convey you will only make an impact when the tone is right.
4. Pick the right hero text
When you look at the brochure in the above image, what grabs your attention first? “Automated disinfection solution”. You perhaps notice this text section even before you notice the brand name. That’s the hero text in any brochure. It is one that is made to pop out from the rest of the content.
Amidst a bunch of brochures arranged on a rack, this text will be the visual hook that determines whether a customer will actually pick up the brochure. And this one should tell customers what solution or value you are offering them.
Integrating branding into your brochure is important but that does not mean that your brochure should be built around your brand. The visuals, the text, and everything about the brochure should focus on the product or the event that you wish to promote with your brochure. It should be about building brand awareness and convincing customers why they should choose your services or products.
From a distance, when someone sees that your brochure is about a sale, they’ll probably pick it up. Or if the name of the particular product grabs their attention, they will be keen on reading more about it. But simply seeing your brand name in bold will not really evoke much of a reaction. Why will a customer pick up some random material about a brand? They should know upfront about what’s in it for them.
5. Pay attention to typography
In the brochure above, notice the use of serif fonts in the headline text. This is bold, attractive and easily draws your eyes towards the brochure. But in the text section that follows, a sans-serif font is used. It does not just visually balance the weight of the serif fonts but also solves one other core purpose – maintaining legibility.
Creative typography and decorative font styles might all look great at first glance. But always remember that, in design, form follows function. If the chosen font makes it difficult for your audience to read what’s presented, the whole purpose of the brochure is lost.
Like in the above example, you can combine serif and sans serif font styles for a balanced design that also has a focal point. Typography strongly influences user experience. For customers to really pay attention to your brochure and react to the information presented, you should strategically choose your fonts.
Kimp Tip: Combining too many font styles causes a lot of visual noise. Stick with a combination of two or three font styles at the most. Fonts that look good together, ones that resonate with your brand’s personality, are the best kinds to choose for your brochure.
6. Have a crisp color palette
Like font variations, even too many colors can be distracting. You do not want your brochure elements to clamor for attention. Your brochure design should gently draw your customers to it. The below brochure design is the perfect example to show that you can create a stunning brochure even with a limited color palette.
And when you have an image to use as the background or as the hero image, pick a color from the image as the accent color to use in your brochure. This makes the whole design look more homogenous.
The easiest way to do this will be to use your brand colors. The other way to choose the right palette for your design will be to take inspiration from the product you wish to highlight in the brochure.
7. Build on your ads
In marketing, you cannot have disconnected visuals. Every graphic that is designed for your brand should be connected with the other in some way.
Brochures are meant to be informative. If you take digital ads, they are mostly brief. They have landing pages to build on the information presented. Similarly, for print advertising, brochures are like the landing pages for your billboards and flyer ads. They should elaborate on the details you had used as a hook to bring your audience to your brand.
If you do not know how to connect the dots, have a brochure designed and simultaneously work on an ad design that directs customers to your brochure. Aligning the headline text of your brochure to the visual hook in your ads will be one way to build the connection.
Kimp Tip: It is not enough to create content that looks coherent in your ads and brochures. You should also aim for consistency in design. This includes colors, fonts, and overall aesthetics. Unlimited graphic design services like Kimp Graphics cover most of your print and digital ad requirements. So, one team will take up all these designs for you! This makes it easier to achieve consistency across your marketing materials.
Struggling to create coherent designs for your campaigns? Book a call with the Kimp Team to learn more about the merits of an unlimited graphic design service.
8. Identify and incorporate a relevant CTA
You have a snazzy-looking brochure with a lot of information. That’s great! But what should a customer actually do with it? You have advertised a product or service. Do you want customers to go to your website for booking? Or do you want them to call up and inquire about the details?
Defining your CTA and making it prominent in your design is the final finishing touch your brochure needs. An informative brochure that looks stunning will be of no use if customers do not take any step after reading it.
The above brochure makes it clear. It is about getting customers to place an order. The design includes a QR code as well as a website link. Adding more than one way to execute the action you want your customers to take is a good way to improve the chances of getting a positive response from the brochure.
Brochure design simplified with Kimp Graphics
Brochure designs can help you accomplish a lot. They don’t just help with lead nurturing but also with converting leads to customers. When you design them well that is. So what are you waiting for? Try a Kimp Graphics subscription and work with a team of experienced designers to make your brand shine. Let your dedicated team know your plans for your brochure. And we’ll take it from there.
Start your free trial today.