A brochure can be as simple as a folded piece of paper or it can be of intricate design with special designs printed on high-gloss paper stock. No matter how simple or intricate the design, the over-arching goal is to make a brochure that achieves communications objectives. Graphics and photographs must be engaging. Text and content should be relevant and generate a call-to-action. Design and copywriting are the key ingredients in making a brochure that gets read and inspires the action desired.
Use computer software programs to create your brochure at home and save on costs if you are comfortable with basic layout techniques and copywriting. One popular at-home program is Publisher, which is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Publisher includes templates that make it easy to customize the brochure design with a logo, headlines, text, pictures and graphics. The program also allows you to select different formats, font types and brochure sizes. There is also a built in spell-checker so that you can make sure to check for errors. One handy trick is to use the Word software program to write the text. This way you can also check for grammatical errors. Then, simply copy and paste the text created in Word into Publisher.
Print a first draft copy and examine the layout. Test how easily the brochure folds and look at the placement of images and graphics. Make any needed revisions and reprint the brochure in draft format or in black and white to save on ink. The benefit of designing and printing yourself is that you can print quantities “on demand” as you need them on varying paper stock, as well as make revisions and create different versions for different needs and target audiences. You will also maintain the option to use print or copy centers for printing when needed by simply either giving them a front and back copy of the brochure or providing them with a copy of the brochure on a CD or flash drive. Some companies will even allow you to upload your design directly to their website to expedite the printing process.
Freelance Writers and Designers
Hiring freelance talent is a wise option to make sure that the brochure is professionally written and designed. Freelancers are experienced in developing brochures and know what makes for good copywriting and design. Some freelancers can provide both services. Others work collaboratively as a writer and designer team. In selecting freelancers, ask to view their portfolio of work to verify their capabilities. Many freelancers will have a website with examples or will send relevant work samples to you via email. Discuss your objectives, target audience and the primary message that the brochure should deliver. If you have samples of other brochures that you like, share them. Ask for an estimate for services based on an hourly rate or flat fee. Also inquire about costs for revisions. Make sure that you are aware of the minimum and maximum in costs and fees that you might experience. Set target milestones by which the copywriting, concepts and first drafts should be received to meet your brochure project deadline for completion.
Many printing companies have in-house staff capabilities to create brochures from start-to-finish. They will have either in-house writers and designers or a working relationship with freelancers for brochure development. The benefit of working with a printing company is that they can provide assistance with every task required, from writing to design to printing. Some printers also work with list companies so that, if you want to incorporate a direct mail strategy, you can purchase mailing lists of target audience members. The printer can also handle printing the brochure and mailing it so that it meets postal requirements.
- paper #5 image by stassad from Fotolia.com