Brochures are a basic advertising tool for any company. Whether it is a flyer, two-page or three-page leaflet, a brochure is a printed item tangibly introducing the company to the consumers. If the brochures have a professional design, good printing and quality paper, they will be kept by actual and potential customers to use as reference when buying products or hiring services.
Besides all technological advancements and new means of communication, brochures are still effective because they are items that can be put away and consulted at any time; they are an actual contact with a company and a way of expressing a real and reliable existence. A simple flyer, two or three-page leaflet, personally handed in, makes the person feel an organization’s presence and strength, in a world where everything seems to be quickly and impersonally done.
Any company, whether big, medium or small, needs to have professionally designed brochures to consolidate an image on the market. Since the public directly associates the aesthetic, communicative and printing quality of a brochure with a company’s professionalism and reliability, hiring expert designers is essential. They are people trained to make an organization's graphic style appear in these components and make the brochures become information and attraction sources. Quality brochures delivered among old, new and potential customers and other corporations set up a brand name in they social imaginary and they are actual means for the public to get in contact with an organization.
Flyers, two and three-page leaflets
Brochures are folded pieces of paper with different shapes, having information about products and services offered by a company. They are handed out in streets and business exhibitions, as wells as mailed through customers' mailing lists. Brochures have a space used to provide information about a company’s products, services, offers, new launches, prices, discounts, contact information and policies.
There are three types of what we call “brochure": flyers, two-page leaflets and three-page leaflets. Each of them has particular features; thus, carrying out a brochure campaign including both flyers and two and three-page leaflets is highly recommendable to strengthen corporate identity from different perspectives. We show you each of these brochures and the essential criteria designers take into account for the specific design. Thus, you will understand the differences and cross-relations between them.
Flyer is a rectangular or squared piece of paper having different sizes (letter paper, half or one quarter of it and other sizes), printed on one or both sizes, massively handed out in the streets, showing a brief and forceful message about products, services, prices and offers. Flyers are generally printed on offset or bond paper, since they are affordable for a big print run. Anyway, companies sometimes launch high impact promotions with flyers printed on thick coated paper or shiny bright card paper. Flyers are usually printed in black and white or in only one color to cut down on expenses, although nowadays they are also made in full color because that printing system is affordable.
Some basic criteria for flyer design are the following:
1. Showing a synthetic text:
the text must be brief, attractive and clear for the public to immediately understand the message and not throw the flyer away. It must provide relevant information: company’s name, products, services, offers, prices, contact information. It must be addressed to the recipient, using imperative mode, questions and exclamations, in order to capture his attention.
2. Choosing readable typographies:
the typographies chosen should not be more than two to avoid confusions, and they must be easily readable, since otherwise people will immediately get rid of the flyer. In general, big typographies are used to call attention and highlight the message, but it is also important that small letters are readable. The recommended typographies are the classic ones, not the oddest types.
3. Choosing coherent images:
depending on the flyers’ size, drawings and/or pictures can be added to make them more attractive. However, they must be simple since the printing on the affordable papers used for flyers does not have high definition. They must also be coherent with the text and the company’s aesthetics. Images of the products and services promoted are usually included, of course as well as the corporate logo. Including lot of images is not convenient, to avoid visual saturation.
4. Making striking shade combinations:
on a black and white flyer, shades of grey can be used to highlight information (products, prices, etc.). On single–colored flyers, the color is used to highlight information or for boxes and icons. If the flyer is printed in full color, it is important to appropriately plan the use of colors to avoid visual saturation or confusion. Chances are multiple, but the corporate logo colors must be present and there must be harmony between vibrant and not vibrant colors.
5. Taking into account paper type and finish:
this is essential to choose images, typographies and colors, since the paper (bond, offset or thick coated) and finish (bright or mate) influence how colors and definition are shown on the printing.
Two and three-page leaflets
These two types of brochures are considered together since, although they are different, similar criteria are applied when designing them. A two-page leaflet is a rectangular or squared paper folded in two, having four faces in total (two inner and two outer), where information and images about items offered by a company are shown, as well as its corporate values. Two-page leaflets introduce a company and offer the public a small catalogue.
They have different sizes: the standard is a letter paper and double letter sizes are also usual. There are different ways of folding them in two, although the traditional one is folding it like a book. They are usually printed in full color in thick coated paper or bright or mate card, due to its graphic quality and resistance, although they are sometimes printed on offset paper and black and white or single color to cut down on expenses.
A three-page leaflet, on the other hand, is a sheet of paper folded in three; thus, it has six faces (three inner and three outer), where there is more detailed information about activities, products and services of an organization. Its standard size is a letter sheet, although there are very striking three-page leaflets using double or triple letter size. These brochures can be folded in different ways, more or less standardly. They are usually printed in full color in thick coated paper, although they can also be made in black and white or one color on offset paper, thicker than usual. Both two-page and three-page leaflets are usually printed on high quality small or medium print runs, and handed out in business exhibitions, by mail or through exhibitors.
Apart from the designer’s creativity, your design needs to follow these basic guidelines, to get really amazing two and three-page leaflets:
1. Writing a representative, brief and clear text:
the text included in a two or three-page leaflet is an essential component. It must be a brief, relevant text (introduction, aims, products, contact information, news, etc.), using clear syntax and vocabulary (terminology needs to be avoided) and, above all, the way of expressing must represent the corporative philosophy. You can choose a formal or informal register, always according to the type of company and target public.
2. Laying out text in the panels:
the front panel must show a clear and attractive phrase, for the public to open the leaflet and keep on reading. On the inner faces, text must be organized using titles, subtitles, paragraphs and bullets, to make reading easier. On the back face, contact information must be included.
3. Choosing appropriate typography:
typographies determine readability, and, in turn, readability determines if a person keeps on reading a brochure or not. Thus, classic typographies must be used (Helvetian, Times, Arial, for instance), since they make reading pleasant. Using more than two typographies is not convenient, because it may lead to confusion. To distinguish titles and subtitles from the body of text, using different styles is valid (bold, italic, shaded, etc.). The typographies chosen must fit the organization’s aesthetics and be harmonic with the other graphic items of the brochures.
4. Showing strong and harmonic images:
both on the front and inner panels, including images calling readers’ attention and breaking monotony is necessary. However, choosing few relevant images is essential, that is to say, the ones representing corporate values and products. Besides, they must be harmonic among them and also with the text to get an excellent quality brochure. Not only pictures and drawings can be included but also computer graphics making it easier to understand it, specially on brochures promoting technological or technical products. Of course, the logo must be present on the front part to reinforce corporate identity.
5. Choosing an appropriate color palette:
if brochures will be printed in full color, it is necessary to choose a set of colors to apply to typographies, backgrounds, lines and images from the different panels. Respecting company’s colors is ideal, to consolidate its graphic identity. In the case of single-color brochures, the color better representing a company can be chosen and combined with greys and blacks, resulting in a smart and affordable design. Colors can be applied in different shades and the strongest ones can be combined with the softest to get a highly attractive and balanced design. For maximum quality brochures, you can choose special Pantone colors, both silver and golden, fluorescent and pastels.
6. Taking into account the different panels as part of an organic whole:
although on two and three-page leaflets, each panel has a certain function, using an unique criterion as regards colors, shapes, lines, backgrounds, images and typographies is essential to get a brochure having graphic sense and able to consolidate corporate identity. Once the general style of a brochure is determined, each panel may have a touch of distinction, making it unique and striking. The main criterion for the front face is that it needs to be attractive, powerful and clear (it must have brief phrase, coherent image, corporative colors). Inner panels must have a balanced diagram, a text with a good layout, enough blank spaces, some product, service or facilities images or people’s pictures and other graphic items (lines, bullets, boxes, etc).
7. Thinking about how to fold it:
two and three-page leaflets are brochures characterized by its folds, so the designer must consider this aspect when designing. The type of fold chosen will determine how to lay out the text and the brochure visual components. Two-page leaflets are usually folded as a book, although they can also be folded diagonally or in half, but not a exact one. Three-page leaflets are standardly folded as a roll, but they can also be folded as a zee or a gate. Some really creative folds can be suggested, as long as they allow to get a readable and easily transported brochure. A novel fold will make brochures more attractive.
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