Epiphany Editing & Publishing

Brochures and pamphlets can be a great way of informing your target market about your product or services as they provide audiences with an immediate and tangible representation of your offerings. Dynamic, well-designed brochures and pamphlets act as ‘eye-candy’ for readers, grabbing their attention and drawing them in by promoting your message in an attractive, easy-to-read manner.

A well-written and designed brochure or pamphlet is an effective and affordable way of delivering vital information to your target audience. The final publication should grab your readers’ attention and inspire them to take action.

Determine the purpose of your brochure or pamphlet

In order to determine your reasons for creating a brochure or pamphlet, you first need to ask yourself several key questions including:

  • Why do you want to create the document?
  • What opportunity or problem is your brochure or pamphlet aiming to address?
  • Is the purpose of your brochure or pamphlet to persuade or inform?
  • How can you best communicate your main underlying message to your audience?

Having one primary purpose or approach is more effective than producing a generalised brochure or pamphlet that tries to cover a large range of topics and therefore lacks focus.

Stand out from your competition

What special features do you offer that other companies, products and services do not? What image and impression do want your audience to perceive about your business? Make sure that your brochure or pamphlet includes content that emphasises the unique aspects of your business.

Decide on your call to action

A call to action is written or graphic information that invites your target audience to do something. In your call to action in your brochure or pamphlet, provide the reader with specific examples and/or detailed instructions to help direct them to take the desired next step.

Create interest and connection with your audience

Although getting your reader’s initial attention is the most important step, keeping them focused on your topic can be difficult. This is where most brochures and pamphlets fail, thereby losing prospective customers. Create interest by making sure you appeal to potential clients’ emotions and business needs.

Written Text

Most people prefer to read concise, well-written content and lack motivation to read dense lengthy text. To help to determine how much written information to include in your publication you should:

  • Consider your brochure to be an appetiser. It should offer readers a small taste that makes them want more.
  • Cover a maximum of ten key points. Only include the most important information in your body copy.
  • Use sub-headings, text boxes and bullet points to break information into small, easy-to-scan chunks.
  • Where possible use pictures, charts and tables rather than words to more clearly illustrate your information.

Before you launch into writing content for your brochure or pamphlet, you should spend some time planning the overall layout design including the images, written copy, headings and captions.

Illustrations and Photographs

While images are not an essential element of your brochure or pamphlet, they add interest and help to further clarify the written content. If you do decide to incorporate graphics into your publication, the following points will help you to achieve a polished result:

  • Ensure all photographs are high resolution so that they will print without looking blurry or pixelated (300 dpi for print applications).
  • Avoid using clip art as it can make the final result look amateurish and ‘home made’.
  • When using your own photographs, watch the quality of the lighting. Don’t use poor-quality photos just because you own them.
  • Consider purchasing high-resolution, royalty-free stock photographs from photo libraries.
  • If you can afford it or if you need specific shots you can’t find elsewhere, hire a professional photographer. This way you will end up with
    high-quality original photos that you can use repeatedly over a long period of time.

Additional Tips for Brochure and Pamphlet Design

Ten additional points for achieving good results with your brochure or pamphlet design:

  1. Create accurate mock-ups for your publication. Cut and fold the document to size. Use the same type of paper that you will ultimately print on, and review your work.
  2. Most readers initially only read headings, subheads, and captions. These should motivate your readers to want to read the rest of the copy.
  3. Remember that your brochure or pamphlet copy will frequently be read out of order. Each page or panel should act as a self-contained unit.
  4. Check spelling, punctuation and grammar. Don’t rely on your computer’s spell checker. Get someone else to proofread your written copy.
  5. Be concise. Try not to use more than two or three sentences in each paragraph.
  6. A separate textbox adds impact on a page. Consider incorporating content such as Frequently Asked Questions or testimonials within a box for more effective editorial design.
  7. Stick to two typefaces, and strictly limit your use of bolding, italics,underlining and capitalisation. Select simple serif and sans serif fonts.
  8. Make sure your body copy is the correct size for your audience. Text between 9 and 12 points will ensure optimal readability.
  9. Use white space wisely in your brochure or pamphlet design. Crowded copy is hard to read. Your images will lose their impact, and the layout will appear out of balance if you don’t use enough white space in your design.
  10. Conservative design is boring. Create a publication that is easy to read and interesting to look at. A busy design can often work better than a well-balanced one because it keeps the reader involved.

Of course, if you do decide to commission a professional desktop publisher or graphic designer to produce your brochure or pamphlet, you can be confident that you will end up with a professional end result that is exactly what you’re after.

Kirsty Ogden is a professional editor and graphic designer. She is passionate about helping people to create a powerful business marketing message via an attractively designed and articulate print publication.