How to Achieve Effective Communication through Brochure Design

Mandy Thomas

Thursday, July 1, 2021

9 minutes

Brochures have become an essential marketing tool to communicate information that engages readers effectively.

Imagine being handed a brochure. Which would appeal to you; a run-of-the-mill booklet covering just the basics of what it could be or one with bright colours, eye-catching headlines and textured paper?

The success of a brochure is measured by its ability to grab the audience's attention and entice them to read the information inside. It is all about the design. It must reflect your brand identity. 

This month we show you how to take your corporate brochure design to the next level — making it stand out.

6 easy steps to make your brochure design stand out

1. Identify your brand's core

Great design begins with an understanding of what it's for and who it's for. When thinking about a brochure design, you need to consider what type of information you will include and who will be reading that information.

Brand Purpose: Before you start, think about why you are creating a brochure in the first place. Is it to promote your new products and/or services? Is it to be used as an invitation to your business event? Do you want to elaborate more on your company and its operations? Understanding why you are developing a corporate brochure and for who is essential for its design.

Target Audience: With access to a sea of information, it is easier to extract relevant data and insight into your target market. This information will help you develop a brochure design that will appeal to your target market's interests and requirements.

"Different audiences require different brochure designs, and if you're not clear on your audience, you run the risk of making the wrong design choices" — (Deanna deBara, 2018).

Brand Message: After understanding your brand purpose and target audience. You need to make sure your brand message is crystal clear in your corporate brochure. Your brand message needs to resonate with the people you are addressing. If you don't have a strong, clear message that speaks to them in a language they understand and images they can relate to, your brochure will fall flat.

2. Build visual elements and choose layout

Brand Identity: YYour brand identity is a visual representation of your business. Keep that in mind when you start developing your brochure design. This includes a colour palette, fonts and images. These elements "describe the visual look and feel of your brand. No matter what kind of brochure you're designing, it needs to be consistent with your overall branding" (Deanna deBara, 2018).

Brochure Type: There are various types of brochure layouts to choose from. Determining the correct type of brochure depends on the content you intend to use. There are Bi-Folds, Tri-Folds, Roll Folds, Z Fold - the list goes on.

3. Keep the content brief and headlines appealing

You need to get your audience hooked. Make sure your content is concise and easy to read. Having your copy ready before you start creating your brochure design will help you map out what information needs to be added or taken out, as well as which headings need to be included.

Suppose you want to get your reader's immediate attention. In that case, you need to make sure your headings and subheadings are thought-provoking. Here are a few tips for creating effective headings:

  • Keep it short, simple and straight to the point
  • Be clear about your main benefit
  • Announce exciting news
  • Appeal to your reader's hunger for knowledge
  • Tell your audience what to do
  • Add numbers and symbol

4. Use impressive visuals 

Images are more effective than words. Using the right images will catch the audience's attention at first glance. If you offer products, incorporating high-resolution pictures of your products is another avenue to explore. If you have no physical products and just offer services, incorporate visual imagery representing or depicting the type of services you do.

5. Make it stand out

By making your brochure design unique and creative, the target audience is more likely to read it. So, be creative and aim for a brochure design that truly reflects who you are while setting you apart from your competition (4). The various ways you can make it unique are by incorporating the correct colour, using high-quality paper, integrating bold imagery, and using lines and shapes to make it more dynamic.

6. Include a call to action

Ensure the brochure has a clear call to action so that the audience knows what you are asking them to do. After looking through your brochure, a call to action draws attention to what you want the reader to do next. Keep it short, sweet and make the instruction easy to perform. Here are tips on how you can create an impactful call to action:

  • Make it active: Use strong wording like ‘get', ‘start’, and ‘reserve’.
  • Add some urgency: Use commanding words and a valid reason
  • Advertise its value: Remind them of how they will benefit by taking the next step
  • Make it clearly visible: Repeat your call to action on various pages, as well as make it BIG and BOLD

Types of brochure design layouts

A company brochure can either be distributed digitally or in print. Both have advantages and disadvantages to consider. Take the time to decide which medium is best for your business - digital, print or both. Additionally, there are various brochure layouts to choose from. The layout choice depends on its purpose, content and target audience. Here are 5 brochure layouts to choose from:

1. Informational brochures

An ideal way to promote your upcoming events such as fundraisers, fun runs, charity golf tournaments, or other events where there is a lot of information is through an informational brochure design. SA Brandy Foundation is an organisation dedicated to sharing information about the spirit of South Africa.

We created a brochure for their brandy route of the finest brandy venues in the country. This DL brochure design allows for large enough space to clearly showcase the route details within the map. Expanding from 10cm by 21cm to an A2, this compact information-packed brochure is perfect for readers on the move. 

Brochure design - client SA Brandy Brandy routes brochures-min
Figure 1: SABF Brandy Route brochure: Front and back

2. Company brochures

These are ideal for stakeholders and clients that would like to know more information on the company. It highlights the benefits, products and services of a company to a customer.  

3. Spec sheets

This document allows specific information regarding products, machines, component materials, subsystems, and software presented in an engaging and understanding way. It is the best brochure design layout for summarising your business’s performance, whether it be through products or services. 

4. Sales brochures

Sales brochures (better known as promotional or advertising brochures) are examples of marketing material that provide product information to the consumer. An informed customer is more likely to interact with a brand once there is understanding.

5. Brochure inserts

Inserts are separate leaflets that closely resemble company brochures but are individual pages within the brochure design folder changed according to clients or stakeholders’ requirements. The same applies to the digital version of it.

Seamaster is a maritime and logistics company that designs and delivers customised supply chain solutions. This brochure layout design is paired with the folder and printed inserts, making it fully customisable. Its agility is ideal for when you have a variety of clients as it allows you to remove or add certain information relevant for that client.

Brochure Design - client Seamaster Brochure inserts-min
Figure 2: Seamaster laid out inserts

Advantages of a brochure

A brochure can also be referred to as a pamphlet or leaflet. The tangible brand asset is a marketing and branding tool that reminds people about your company and service offering. Brochures are one of the most effective tools for the following reasons:

  • They can cover a large amount of information - Known for portability due to their shape and size, brochures offer a lot of information in a compact form. This includes information about the company, products, services, features, benefits and contact information.
  • They are extremely versatile - Brochures can easily be distributed through the mail and handed out on location and can be used in various ways.
  • They are cost-effective - Especially when printed in bulk, companies often print many brochure copies since they can be distributed in numerous forms.
  • Capture's the reader's attention - When designed properly, brochures can grab your prospect's attention - making them stick around for longer.

The power of a brochure as an advertising and marketing tool lies in its capability to effectively relay information. — Unknown

The future of brochure design

With the advancement of technology and our current global climate encouraging in-person contact only when necessary, people are printing less and less. It's not to say that printed brochures are outdated and not impactful. They still are. But some businesses are starting to change their medium to E-brochures to keep up with online users. 

Longspan Gutters is a rainwater dispersal systems specialising in the full-service gutter business. In figure 3, we see an outline of the spec sheet provided on the company brochure design with specific information on the various products, allowing us to get to what we need faster, and efficiency is essential in this modern world. Through a digital brochure, your business’s chances of conversion increase as it gives your customer the ease to access linked content.

Brochure Design - client Seamaster Brochure inserts-min
Figure 3: Longspan Gutters front cover, downpipe specifications spec sheet and aluminium colour range specifications spec sheet

The added benefits of an E-brochure are that they are:

• Flexible

• Time effective

• Environmentally friendly

• Cost-effective

• High-quality look

• Easily accessible

• Easy to download

We covered how to make your brochure layout stand out. However, if you are thinking about an E-brochure, this is how you can enhance your design even further:

Use videos

Videos are more interactive and persuasive than text - audiences prefer watching videos rather than glance over lines of text (1). By integrating videos into your E-brochure, you will capture the reader's attention - making them more willing to know more about your brand and offerings. When embedding videos into your online E-brochure, include your YouTube channel as the addition can drive traffic to both your E-brochure and website (1).

Include moving infographics

If you intend to use infographics, add slight movement into them instead of having them static. It is helpful to get the message across by creating an interactive experience for the reader. Because E-brochures provide better viewing quality, your infographic design will pop out even more and make the reader stay longer.

A well-designed and well-written brochure design can help sell your company, and it needs to convey your message correctly.

At Creative Caterpillar, our expertise lies in shaping brands from the bottom up, for your business’s growth and reach contact us for a free consultation. 

1. Flip Builder
2. UPrinting
3. sinaLite
4. Igor Ovsyannykov