You see, creating a brochure is a lot like writing a news release – if you figure out the who, what, where and how before you start designing, you'll save yourself time, hassle, and possibly a lot of money in the process. Here are 4 key questions to consider in your planning:
- Who is the target audience for the brochure?
Will it be given to clients, prospects, vendors, potential donors, or others? Once you identify the group you're targeting, you'll be better able to determine how content should be written and what style, paper and colors you might want. Also, make sure the text is written for your audience, not for you -- if you use technical terms in your content, they may not be familiar to your reader.
- What is the brochure about?
This question may sound obvious, but it's amazing how many brochures are confusing to a reader. Find a way to highlight your most important points, preferably in a picture, summary or bullets on the cover.
People should be able to tell in the first 3 seconds what your brochure is about; many readers skim a brochure the first time, so make your brochure interesting so people will want to take it and read more. "Interesting" doesn't have to mean full-color or expensive, it just needs to be eye-catching and attractive!
- Where and when will the brochure be used?
Is it going to be used for a one-time event or sale, or will you continue to use it for months? This is an important question, because it will help you determine the quantity you need. The last thing any business needs is to have 20 boxes of unused brochures sitting in a closet because your event is over or your prices changed.
- How will you use the brochure?
Will it be handed to people at an event? Will you mail it in an envelope? Do you want a brochure that's a self-mailer? Asking how the brochure will be used can help you think about the size and design of the layout.
If you're designing a self-mailing trifold brochure, for example, be sure to follow the US Postal Service guidelines for folding, tabbing and mailing, and if you're doing a mass mailing, see if you can get a bulk rate.
Of course, a final (and highly important) question to ask before you get started is "How much?"
Set up a budget for the project so that you or your designer can use that figure as a guide during design, printing, and mailing.
Got other suggestions or ideas? Add your comments here!