These days, with the right tools, anyone can make a brochure from scratch, without hiring a team of professionals. If you feel a little overwhelmed or stuck, don’t worry. This article will guide you through the entire process of making a brochure online for web or for print. It can be used for any type of brochure: promotional, travel, real estate, event, business, etc.
What you need to know before you make a brochure
You need to make a plan first, because, as Benjamin Franklin supposedly said: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
So start with the big picture: decide on the structure of your brochure. Make a page of contents, even if it won’t be a part of your brochure. This way you will have a list of all the contents that should be a part of your brochure and it will ease the next steps.
After you have the structure, you should focus on each “chapter” individually and think about how you want it to look like, what you want to communicate in it, and so on. Decide how you want each page to look and what it needs to communicate, from the front to the back cover. You might change your mind about some details after you start putting together everything, but it will still help you a great deal.
Make a folder where you gather all the elements that will be a part of your brochure. It’s always helpful to know where to find the things that you’re working with. In the folder you should include:
You need to decide if you want the brochure to be informative, promotional, or both. The text should reflect that.
Make sure the texts are clear and grammatically correct, no spelling mistakes. If you don’t have any or little writing experience, you should get advice from somebody who has. You don’t need to hire a professional – maybe a friend or a neighbor can help. Maybe you have a relative who is a smart, hardworking student and has great communication skills.
Add links in your digital brochure: your social profiles, your website, contact email. In the printed version links will not show up, but you will have a digital version, that will drive traffic to your website, right?
If you want your publication to be attractive, fun and fresh, you gotta use images. It would be pretty difficult to tell you what type of images you should use or how many, because that depends on a lot of things.
Some brochures (digital brochures) support interactive features: video, audio and so on. If you’re going to include such things in your brochures, put them in the same folder.
Choose the right brochure design software for you
Once the strategic planning is over, you can roll your sleeves and get to the actual work. To start, you need a design tool. We recommend InDesign if you’re already familiar with this tool, or if you want to learn how to use it.
However, if you don’t know InDesign and if you don’t want to learn a new complicated tool, we recommend Flipsnack for brochure design, because it’s very easy to use. You can even export your design as PDF from Flipsnack and print it later. It’s not as advanced as Indesign, nor will it ever be, but this article is not for professionals. If you’re in need of a simple solution that helps you make a brochure design quickly, then our tool is the right tool for you. Give it a try, it’s very easy to use, you get lots of templates and you don’t need to install anything on your computer to create the design.
How to make a brochure like a pro, without actually being a pro
Since you already have a plan, everything will go smoothly.
When you design keep this in mind:
You’ll have a one page layout (the cover), followed by 2 page layouts and ending with another one page layout (back cover). There are tools, like inDesign, that will let you create beautiful layouts for 2 pages (ex: an image that spreads on both pages in the open brochure). When you save, make sure you save the 2 page layouts as facing pages (each page from the layout as a separate page). If you’re using Flipsnack, you will design each page separately, but you should think about the pages that will be displayed together as a single design unit.
Here are a few more tips:
- start by choosing a standard page size for your design
- make sure the texts are readable – pay attention to the font style, size, color
- the cover is very important – make it beautiful
- when in doubt, choose the “safe option”. Simplicity will always be in fashion
- Ask for a second (and third) opinion. Asking other people about their opinion is always helpful. They might provide you with insightful feedback about the content or the design. They might notice spelling mistakes and help you improve your brochure.
If you’re making your brochure for print and for web, export it twice, with different settings:
- for print save it as PDF with the default High Quality Print settings
- for web choose the web-optimized PDF
Optional: Upload the web-optimized PDF to Flipsnack to create a beautiful interactive brochure, and share it easily – just by using the link.