Communication Tools: Brochures
Brochures are a common communication tool, however to make them EFFECTIVE communication tools, a few things should be kept in mind.
- The layout needs to attract –and keep- the attention of the audience
- Use a layout the is clean and simple, yet powerful
- Be sure the message can be obtained through visuals without having to read too much copy
- Use the organization’s brand, logo and themes
- Use “bullets” to breakup text and make information easier to read
- Use brief captions with photos (Next to the cover, captions are the most read items in a brochure)
- Ensure the copy has enough “white space” around it
- Split the content into topic sections with topic headers to help the reader find information
Photos and Graphics
The selection of photos and graphics should be deliberate and serve as a vehicle of or organization’s brand. Some things to keep in mind:
- One really good - large photo is better than lots of small one
- Show a pictures of your target audience so they can identify
- Photos should illustrate the benefits of the organization
- Use 10-14 point size
- Use easy-to-read fonts for most of the text, saving the fancy fonts for headlines and topic headers
- Set captions in a different style (such as italics)
- Avoid typographic overkill by using too many CAPS, italics and bolds
- Stick to no more than three different fonts in a brochure.
Copy or text presentation is also an important part of the overall brochure design. Too much text (or all text) can overwhelm the reader. Some things to keep in mind:
- Skip the details. Give them just enough for them to inquire for more information
- Address information that the reader needs to or wants to know
- Write in short, interesting paragraphs (some paragraphs may be only one sentence)
- Write in simple, non-technical language (at about the 5th grade level)
- If technical terms must be used, be sure they are illustrated or defined
- Provide contacts to obtain more information
Another important area to consider is what kind of paper on which to print your brochure. Here are some things to consider:
- If you print photographs on color paper, the "white" parts of the photo will now become the color of the paper and can really ruin a photograph
- For display rack use you may want to consider a stronger (heavier weight) paper
- Use lighter weight papers for mail outs or bulk mailings.
When putting together a brochure or other printed piece, it is a good idea to get the help of a graphic designer. Most print shops have designers on hand who can help you put together your publication.