How to design a memorable sales or marketing brochure

The purpose of a printed brochure is to inform, drive interest or inspire action by the reader. A good brochure provides just enough information about your business, service, product or offer to encourage people to make a phone call, visit your premises or search for your website.

The ideal brochure clearly conveys relevant information in a compelling way. It should be appealing, aligned with your brand and speak to your target market.

It’s essential to be clear on the brochure’s purpose before getting started. What are you aiming to achieve and what role does the brochure play in lead generation, brand awareness or sales?

Brochure design principles

Keep it simple

Simple, clean design is always best. Short statements and images that showcase your product or service grab the reader’s attention and are much easier to follow. A useful measure of success is whether readers are able to recall your key message after quickly scanning the document.

Be consistent with your branding

Use the same colours, typefaces, logos, images and messaging across all of your marketing material. Your brochure should align with your website, vehicle, shopfront and stationery.

Make it complementary

Will it be part of a kit? Does it need to fit into an existing display folder? How will it complement your other marketing materials? Consider these factors when determining size and shape.

Let it flow

Take the reader on a journey by ensuring the information flows naturally, with a clear sequence. Start with a simple value proposition and how your product or service will benefit your customers. Refer people to your website for the details.

Design for your target market

Know your target market and choose a design that speaks to them. Do some research in advance on what is trending for that market. Prepare a mood board or find some examples of designs that you like to brief your designer.

Consider longevity

If your brochure is general in nature, ensure the content will stand the test of time to avoid unnecessary reprinting and wastage. Keep print runs small for brochures with changing information such as campaigns and price lists.

Use high res images and logos

Low resolution images and logos look cheap and diminish your brand. Ensure you’re using the best quality images available. For logos, use high res images with transparent backgrounds.

Use a professional designer

A trained creative professional will know how to effectively communicate a message in a way that is consistent with your brand. They will also set up the document correctly for printing and check the quality of your logos and images before they go to print. Be sure to provide a detailed brief and some examples so the designer knows exactly what you’re looking for.

What should be included – brochure content ideas

The inclusions depends on the purpose of your brochure and the number of pages. We’ve put together a checklist of items you may want to consider including below.

  • Your unique value proposition – the benefit of your product or service for the reader

  • Call to action – a clear next step such as making a call, visiting your website or dropping into your store
  • Business name and logo
  • A company tagline, campaign name or product range
  • A catalogue, menu or price list
  • Relevant facts and figures, and any qualifying statements such as how long you’ve been in business
  • Testimonials or reviews
  • Terms and conditions, fine print (or where this information can be found on your website)
  • Compelling and good quality images
  • Contact details and your location if people visit your business premise

Design the cover to draw people in and make them want to read more. It’s a good idea to lead with a powerful image, your unique value proposition and brand. The back page should contain relevant contact information and your logo/tagline.

Choosing a paper stock for your brochure

Selecting the right stock for your brochure will help to reinforce your branding and ensure it is suitable for the intended purpose.

Gloss: high sheen but can be susceptible to glare and fingerprints; ideal for situations when vivid colours are necessary, high-end products, smaller brochures such as takeaway menus, regular publications and brochures with a large number of pages.

Silk/satin/matt (these terms are interchangeable): a smooth surface, low in gloss; ideal for up-market brands, catalogues, retail, professional services, menus and high turnover brochures.

Uncoated: non-reflective and slightly more bulky; a cheaper option, ideal for real estate brochures, letterboxing, or where a nice contrast with special effects like embossing or foiling is desired.

Keep in mind that uncoated stock does soak up more ink, so colours may appear a little subdued compared with silk or gloss options.

Various grades of paper are available for each stock option, reflected in the price. Most commodity grades are similarly priced – look for names such as Sovereign, Hanno and Pacesetter.

There are also numerous speciality grades that may have features such as being laid, linen, or just a higher quality of paper. The main advantage to using speciality grades of paper is they have an increased pulp content (more pulp than clay) which gives them a higher quality feel and a better result.

Here at Express Print & Mail, we deal with hundreds of different stocks and have access to the best paper and board suppliers in Australia. We can show you samples of the different options available and help you select the right stock for your project.

Brochure sizing options

In terms of sizing, most of the common brochure sizes are an efficient cut out of an A or B series size of paper such as an A3 sheet or B2 sheet. Common sizes include:

  • 4 page (A3 folded to A4)
  • 6 page DL roll fold (like a letter)
  • 6 page DL concertina fold
  • Half and half (A3 folded in half and in half again, also called a French fold)
  • Accordion (A4 folded to DL in a zigzag)
  • Open gate fold
  • Half fold and trifold

Express Print & Mail can deliver just about any size or fold you can imagine. It’s a good idea to choose your size and fold before moving to the copywriting and design stages.

need a brochure for your business or campaign? 

Get in touch with our team to discuss ideas, stocks and pricing. Our design team can whip up a fabulous creation to suit your needs and market, or we can print your design.