Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Make a Tri-fold Brochure & Free Template

So a bridal boutique asked me to design a tri-fold brochure for their business. I've never done a brochure before but I do other things with graphic design so I knew I could come up with something that would look nice. She had a sketch of what she wanted it to say & where so that helped get things started. I ended up moving the text around & re-wording it slightly to tie in with my final design but I think it turned out really nice. So here's how I went about going from a blank page to the finished product below:

How to Make a Tri-Fold Brochure:

0. Decide if you really want to make it from scratch. There is pro's & cons to either. If you aren;t very computer savvy or good with design just getting a template & customizing it might be the better route for you to go. There's lots of modern & inexpensive templates to choose from online, google Brochure design templates

1.  There's lots of brochure sizes these days. So you'll need to decide on the format you want to use or what will best fit your business style, be easiest to print & showcase your information the best? The more modern approach is the single fold brochure like the one pictured to the right from Design Aglow.  So pick a style (the one I made is a tri-fold). Next get a blank sheet of paper & fold it into the shape you decided on & sketch things out including the information & design elements you want to include & more or less where you want them. 

2. On a separate sheet of paper write out the things that you want the brochure to cover. Then go back over what you wrote & ask these questions:
         1. Did I answer all the basic & important questions people need answers to?
         2. Can people tell right away what my business is or what the brochures about?
         3. Did I include contact information like a phone number, website address etc.
         4. Did I balance necessary information & still keep it interesting to read?
         5. If I were a stranger reading this brochure would I keep reading it?
         6. Would I throw it away after reading it or would I hold onto it & why?

*On her brochure she needed lots of information on there but thats not always fun to read. So I used some modern & fun fonts & typography to keep it visually appealing. Make it informative & fun by adding tips, a spot to write their appointment time & resources that apply to the product/service you offer (as a Photographer I might add useful wedding blog links etc). This helps make your brochure more indispensable & more likely to stay out of the garbage.

3. Take the things you decided to put in the brochure & start writing them down on the folded brochure paper. Decide where things look best & where you might need to think of more or less to say to make it fit properly. Decide where a graphic or image might look good. 

4. Download a template or set a template up in whatever program your going to design the brochure in. Theres several you can use, even Microsoft Word if thats all you have. I used Photoshop in this case.  You'll want to make sure its sized to 8.5x11" or check with whoever you are going to print through on the exact size needed & whether they want you to add a bleed. (a bleed is a small margin, usually a 1/4" thats left around the edges of the document. You dont put any text or images in this 1/4" of space, only your background if you have one. This is so that as the brochure prints, & the paper moves around as many sheets go through because it cant be exactly the same every time so this leaves a margin for printer error essentially.) Here's a free download for a Photoshop Brochure Template

*The template is slightly larger than 8.5x11 so make sure to resize it in your program before you get started if you want it that size. In Word page setup & Photoshop Image, image size then make sure its set to inches not pixels & change it. Make sure its also still 300 DPI.

5.  Now you need to decide who your demographic (target audience) will be for the brochure.  Whats important to this demographic? Younger demographics might want it to be more fun & put importance on the overall design whereas older demographics might appreciate it being informational & more easy to read versus too funky with design. 

6.  Whats your business brand? This brochure is an extension of your brand. What do want it to say about your business? Does it tie into the rest of your marketing materials or logo & signage?

7. Find inspiration. If you aren't a graphic designer it might be hard to sit down & try & figure out how to make a functional & graphically beautiful brochure. Don't reinvent the wheel. What type of brochure are you making? Is it modern? Vintage? Colorful? Google it. Modern photography marketing sets. Masculine graphic design (if its something targeting men). For this brochure I googled Marketing Sets for Photography, Vintage Cards, Bridal Business Brochures etc.

Just because you are making a brochure doesn't mean you can only look at brochures. A lot of my inspiration came from looking at Engagement cards of Etsy & different products on Simplicity Design etc. Take the things you like & the things you don't like & use it to get you started on your project. You can make an inspiration board on Pintrest for your brochure so you can keep track of all the things you found & want to use as inspiration. Click here & get one started!
8. Download a few design elements so you aren't limited & can play around to get it right. Some things I downloaded are Fonts & Shapes like the picture frame & chandelier. Click here to go to my Pintrest board with Free Fonts.

9. Try to make sure you balance your brochure. Don't put to much on one side & try to space everything out & keep it easy to read. You want good flow! Don't use 1 font for the entire brochure or if you do use Kerning to make variations in the font (like making it taller or more or less spread out between the letters). the graphic design rule is to limit use to is 2-3 fonts. I used 3 for my brochure including Belta Light & Strangelove which you can google & download too. And remember the font doesn't have to be one color! I used a dark navy color & a sage green to add more definition between the sections.

10. Once you get everything laid out make sure you proof read it! Nothing stinks worse then getting it to print & finding a typo! No bueno. For the record I found over 10 in mine when I proofread it!

11. If you have someone that can re-proof it & give you some input I'd take the time for that. In this case she & I went back & forth & changed a few details to get it right. 

12. Make sure you save to the proper color space...likely to be CMYK but in some cases RGB. Color space depends on the printer & the inks they are using. Reg printers & printing at home would be RGB but for most of the companies that do mass printing its CMYK. They will usually have it noted somewhere in the info on their site so just make sure to double check so your colors aren't completely off when you get your brochures back. Last thing you need to do is sharpen that puppy & ship it out! Make sure you zoom in at 100% to see how the sharpening your applying is affecting the text & don't want to over sharpen it will look icky!

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