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Merry Marketing
North Curry
Taunton TA3 6JL
Tel 01823 490782

B & W brochure

Brochures don't have to be in full colour

When everyone else uses colour it sometimes helps to be a little different to stand out. In this case the client needed a leaflet that would be displayed in a trade rack alongside big national companies with lavish brochures.

Designing in just black & white achieved the result at minimal cost. Make sure that the size is suitable for the purpose: in this case 1/3rd A4 will fit a counter rack. Architects standardise on A4: odd sizes won't fit their library system.

Berry's brochure

Door-drop leaflet

Buffalo trailer brochure

An odd size – this is A3 folded into four – helps to make it stand out.


Brochure design

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?

Size matters
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.

The printer
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.

Brchure David Salisbury

24 page brochure specifically targeted at architects and designers. Little text but good pictures.