A marketing brochure or flyer is often the first contact people will have with your business, which is why it's important that you make a good first impression. In this article we're going to take a look at each format and offer hints to help you enhance your marketing brochure or flyer through professional design.
A flyer is traditionally a single sheet, usually with printing on one side. These are handed out at events, posted at various places or directly mailed to the customer. Flyers are popular marketing tools because they're relatively inexpensive to mass produce; however, very often bad design decisions lessen their impact.
One of the biggest mistakes made when designing flyers is the overuse of fonts. Just because you have hundreds of fonts available on your computer doesn't mean you have to see how many different ones you can put on the page. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three different font families, but some designers prefer to limit it to two.
Most flyers utilize a headline, so pick a nice, bold font that's easy to read and makes an impression. If you're feeling particularly creative you can opt for a more decorative, specialty font, but make sure that it's easy to read.
Next, you'll want to choose a primary font for your body copy. This is not a place to be creative, so ditch the fancy fonts here and go with something standard that's easy on the eyes. Fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, Verdana and Times are so popular because of their legibility. Use one of these and you can't go wrong.
Many amateur flyer designs use a centered layout, meaning everything is centered in the middle. It's boring and - with a lot of copy - can be impossible to read. Consider using a basic, two-column grid system to lay out your flyer. Divide your copy into two columns using either flush left ragged right, or fully justified text. Either way, it'll look better than a centered layout.
Also, consider spicing up your flyer by using graphics or clip art that are relevant to your information. Don't go overboard, though. Your graphics are meant to enhance the piece not draw attention away from it. Get creative with your layouts by wrapping your text around your clip art or making use of drop caps for added effect.
Black and white flyers are fine, but with today's digital color printing, full color is a better investment than black and white. People respond to color, so use it when you can.
There is a wealth of design techniques that can be used to make a brochure more powerful and attractive.
Your choice of paper - especially thickness - says a lot about your business. Going with a heavier stock adds elegance to the overall piece and can produce better print quality.
Another great way to get a professional-looking design is to apply special effects or techniques to your piece. These techniques cost more, but make for a truly sleek look.
One important technique to consider is the paper fold. Traditionally, a brochure is a single-page design that can be printed on one side or both; however, you can achieve a multi-page layout through creative paper folds. A single sheet can be folded once to get a four-page design or twice for a unique six-page layout.
Perforation folding is a great tool for marketers who have a special offer or coupon, which the reader could easily tear out. This can be set up as a postcard to mail back to your business, or to provide information that could be used for your direct-mailing efforts.
Another design technique to think about is hole drilling. Putting a hole into your brochure allows the reader to easily hang the brochure. This could be especially useful if you're printing a calendar of upcoming events that the reader would want to keep handy.
Professionally designed brochures and flyers do not require unlimited budgets. All it takes is a big imagination and a little know-how to come up with an eye-catching design that works.