Before you rush off to the printer, think what do you want the brochure for? I know many firms who have cupboards full of expensive brochures because they failed to think forward.
- Who and where is the target audience? Positioning is vital. Expensive products demand an up-market image which means employing a professional graphic designer, imaginative photos and a competent printer.
- What do they need to know? What are their interests? How much detail should be included?
- Is it going to be mailed to “everyone” or handed out selectively at shows? Would two “levels” of literature be more cost effective: one cheap flyer to be handed out at shows where cost doesn’t matter and a multi-page brochure to more serious punters?
Professionals like architects expect to receive A4 because their libraries are geared to that. A5 is easier to post while A4 folded by 3 is ideal for tourism or craft that is meant to be displayed in a rack. Remeber that now our wonderful Post Office calls an A4 letter "large" and has a high minimum charge of 61p.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that a printer will compose or design the brochure you need. Few small printers employ imaginative graphic designers: find a freelance. If you think you have a gift for design keep to some basic rules:
- you may have 300 fonts stored on your PC: don’t use more than four on any page, and preferably in the leaflet
- readers are looking for information, so make all your text highly legible: avoid reversed type (white on black, except possibly in headlines or short bursts for effect), and colours that clash
- use professional standard illustrations at 300dpi saved as CMYK
- supply hard-copy as well as on disc, probably as a high-res pdf.
- Use industry standard graphics software, ie not MS Publisher
- proof-read carefully, in your own time
- when getting quotes don't confuse "pages" with "sheets." To a printer a page is one side of a sheet.
- try different papers. The same weight (say 120gsm) can feel thicker in a different specification (more filler). There are hundreds to choose from. Matt, silk, gloss apart from subtleties of white. And then there's card . . .
It never used to be worthwhile having less than a 1000 print-run but with digital printing (no film making) it is now economic to have far less. I have produced a folder with a print run of just 20 – that was all that was required to target my client's Hot Prospect list.
There is little difference in the cost of printing b & w or colour: in general always go for colour (but see my design above).
Your design must carry through the brand image that purveys the rest of your activities: stationery, vans, shop etc. Be consistent.
Despite the internet there is still a place for a brochure. People like to have something in their hand, be it a new car brochure, a house or a holiday.
24 page brochure specifically targeted at architects and designers. Little text but good pictures.