Brochure Layout: The Complete Guide

brochure layout

Brochures are important tools in your marketing toolbox. A printed brochure gives customers information about your business in a way that they can easily understand, but in order for your brochure to make an impact, choosing an effective design is key.

The best brochure layout strategies make sure that the right information gets through to your customers. This article will explain the most important brochure design ideas, as well as tips and tricks to make your brochures as effective as possible.

How To Create An Effective Brochure Design

Creating a brochure is a fun, creative project. However, it’s important to have a plan to guide you, in order to end up with a great finished product. Here’s what to keep in mind throughout the process.

Think Strategically

The first step in designing a brochure is knowing what its main purpose will be: to advertise, educate, or entertain. At the very beginning of the design process, ask yourself: what do I want readers to know or do after reading this brochure? Some possible goals you might include:

  • The reader will make a purchase.
  • The reader will understand which services you offer.
  • The reader will learn information about a given topic.
  • The reader will contact you or visit your website to learn more.

Your goal for the brochure will influence the copy, images, and organization you decide to use, so think through your goals and your main ideas at the beginning. You can then keep this goal in mind while you write and design your brochure to make it maximally effective.

Think Big

Next, decide on your brochure’s size and folding style. Will it be a tri-fold brochure or use a different folding style? Is it going to be a standard size such as 9x8, 11x8.5, 14x8.5, or 17x11, or do you want it to be larger or smaller? Will your design have bleeds?

Also, will your brochure be mailed? If so, check with the Post Office to make sure your brochure will meet postal standards and to determine the postage cost.

Plan Your Panels

After you have decided on the purpose and format of your brochure, designing the panels is the next step.

The front panel is what viewers see first, making it the most important part of the design. It should be obvious from the front panel what your brochure’s purpose is, and the design should be interesting enough to make the reader want to read the entire brochure. Consider adding photos or diagrams that attract readers’ eyes or help explain concepts you discuss in your brochure.

Create Your Message

Choose your words carefully, particularly on your brochure’s cover: too much text on the cover will lessen the brochure's effectiveness, so select a simple, focused headline. Make your message clear with colorful, eye-catching graphics.

Viewers should be able to find the information they are looking for–and the information you want them to know–quickly and efficiently. If there’s too much text, readers can feel overwhelmed. People are more likely to skim over large bodies of text, so use headers, subheaders, bulleted lists, and callout boxes to organize your ideas. This will help readers find the information they need and keep them engaged.

As you’re writing your copy, prioritize your most important points. If you are promoting a service or a product, don't worry about including every detail of your product or message. You want the reader to be intrigued enough to contact you for more information, allowing you to open a dialogue with potential clients.

Plan Your Organization

It is important to consider how the panels of your brochure will interact with one another. For example, you can position a large photograph across two inside panels, or even make the entire inside into one informative section. Or, you can choose a more traditional organization style and organize each panel as its own column with its own topic.

It is a good idea to sketch out the design on paper before you write the copy. That way you will be able to prioritize images and important text, making the overall design much more effective. Get a few other pairs of eyes on your potential design to see if they have any feedback. Coworkers can provide helpful insights about how to make your design work even better.

Bringing Your Design To Life

Creating a tri fold brochure layout can be a lot to think about. Here are a few design tips to remember when considering brochure layout ideas:

  • Limit your design to 3 typefaces, or fonts, in the brochure. For example, you can pick one serif, one sans serif, and one script font for the entire piece and stick with only these fonts throughout the design.
  • Make sure your brochure matches the look of your website and other printed materials. This helps the reader with brand recognition. Use the same typefaces and colors as you do elsewhere so that readers will associate you with your other products and services.
  • Be consistent in type sizes, image styles, borders, etc. Consistency in the design will create unity and make your brochure easy to read.
  • Keep the body text point size to less than 12 points, unless you are targeting an older audience. This will increase the amount of text you can fit on your brochure.
  • Use white space when you can. Brochures can hold a lot of information, but if the design is too cluttered, it will be unappealing or frustrating for the viewer. Simplicity in design can be very effective.
  • Be informative, but don't feel as if you need to list every detail of your product or service. Give your readers a reason to contact you for more information, and make your website and contact information easy to find on your brochure.

Partner With The Brochure Printing Experts

At ZoePrint, we can help you with all of your printing needs throughout the entire brochure layout, design, and printing process. Upload your own fabulous design, or we can create one for you. Our easy online ordering process makes it easy to submit your custom brochure for quick printing, and we provide the full range of sizes, papers, and folding styles you’re looking for.

Click here to order your own brochures, or ask ZoePrint for a custom quote to get started!