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The NextDayFlyer’s Complete Guide to Creating an Effective Brochure

As far as marketing materials go, brochures have long established their advantage in the game, and they are likely to remain a valuable tool in a business’s bag of tricks. But r you’re new to the said game or just want to take a quick refresher course on brochure printing, we got you covered. We created a comprehensive guide to creating your own brochure, complete with essential design elements and tips you can easily apply.

9 Tips on How to Create an Effective Brochure

  1. Identify your audience and your message. The direction and success of your brochure relies heavily on the message you’re putting out there, so it’s crucial that you identify your target audience before you design the content. You can target specific segments of your general audience such as age range, people who sport a particular lifestyle or interest, or those who fall into a pre-determined buying cycle. You can imagine that a travel brochure targeting backpacking millennials would be packed with activities versus one that offers group tours to people who are around retirement age.

  2. Write clear and compelling copy. A gripping headline will help you catch your audience’s attention even when you leave your brochures on a display rack unattended. But your brochure’s copy doesn’t end at the headline. Keep your momentum by writing crystal and concise descriptions of your products or services and be mindful of the flow especially when you’re describing a timeline or a set of instructions. Ultimately, create a clear call to action, something that would drive your audience to your website or speak to your staff.

  3. Use sharp, meaningful images. Your brochure is a perfect canvas to showcase your products and your brand. Depending on the goal of the brochure that you’re creating, you may opt to be straightforward with simple product shots to go with your copy or be extra creative with stylized setups. If you’re selling an experience such as travel destinations or services, feature meaningful photos of the trade or sneak preview of the tour.
    Consider hiring an experienced photographer to help you style your shoots and build an archive of product shots you can use across your marketing materials. Otherwise, explore affordable options like purchasing stock photos. Keep in mind that it’s possible for your competitors to get the same idea and it may be a challenge to standout if you end up using the same free images in your brochure.

  4. Dress it in your brand elements and colors. Your brand logo and colors function as your brand’s face and in a sea of brochures; they can help you stand out and get noticed by your target audience. Just like with images, make sure that your logo and illustrations are in high resolution. As for colors, it is recommended that you stick to two, three tops, that contrast and complement each other. Of course, it’s always helpful to learn about color theory when designing marketing materials and use it as a guide to create a balanced palette.

  5. Decide on the brochure fold. The way your brochure folds and unravels can elevate your reader's experience from reading mere marketing copy to a brand story. That said, a brochure fold can help keep your message as straightforward as possible. You may also create a brochure without folding it, depending on your intended use and execution. We’ve listed below the most popular brochure folds and sample applications to help you envision your own brochure.

  6. Maximize free design templates and tools.. It can be intimidating to create a brochure when you have minimal design experience but these days, there are plenty of resources you can use to get started. Skip the blank slate and make use of our free online design tool and free design templates. These are premade templates that you can customize by personalizing text, switching up colors, and changing the fonts, among other things.

  7. Familiarize yourself with paper stock, cardstock, and coating varieties. The texture of your brochure can convey the value you place on quality. It will be worth your while to learn the different options available to you, whether you’re using paper or slightly thicker cardstock. Coating such as gloss and matte can also give your brochure a nice upgrade as they make the paper look more premium and sophisticated.

  8. Make room for a digital bridge. Increase your brochure’s mileage by incorporating digital details to your content. Aside from the mandatory inclusion of contact details such as your email address, social media handles, and your website’s URL, you can also add QR codes to redirect your readers to virtually any page on the internet. While it’s common to link QR codes to a website or online store’s homepage, you can also redirect them to an online catalog where your audience can see your complete product line and even more photos. You can make this online catalog available for download so it’s easier to pass around.

  9. Work with professional printers. When it comes to printing marketing materials, finding a reliable printer is half the battle. A responsible and competent printer will walk you through their printing process and quality control protocol, involve you in the prepress stage especially during proofing, and discuss with you your options for paper, coatings, delivery timelines, and bulk discounts that are on offer.

9 Brochure Folds and Where to Use Them

Brochure Folds

  1. Half-Fold. Also known as the bifold, create the easiest brochure fold by folding the paper into two equal panels. Perfect for: simple product presentations, events, and programs

  2. Trifold. The basic trifold is achieved by placing down a sheet of paper horizontally and folding into three equal panels — fold the right panel to the center of the brochure first and then fold the left panel to close it. Perfect for: company brochures, restaurant or café menus, and travel and tourism

  3. Z-Fold. A type of trifold brochure, you can make a Z-fold brochure by folding a sheet of paper into three equal panels and then forming an accordion. Perfect for: spa and wellness businesses, educational programs, and tech brochures

  4. Gate Fold. The gate fold entails dividing the sheet of paper into three parts and giving the center panel the biggest share. Complete the form by folding the left and right panels toward the center. Perfect for: real estate, new product releases, and art exhibits

  5. French Fold. Great for adding flair to your brochures, create the French fold by folding a sheet of paper in half vertically, and then folding it in half horizontally. Perfect for: music or art festivals as it gives you the option to turn the entire inside panel into a poste

  6. Accordion-4 Fold. The accordion-4 fold brochure is formed by folding a sheet of paper into four equal panels that fold on top of each other and looks like a fan when opened. Perfect for: instruction manuals, list of products and services, city tour guides

  7. Roll Fold. Fold the sheet of paper into four equal panels, take the rightmost panel and then fold it inward to the left. Once the three panels have been folded to the left, fold the leftmost panel on top of the brochure to close it. Perfect for: pharmaceutical brochures, appliance manuals, and detailed handouts

  8. Double Parallel Fold. The double parallel fold can be achieved by folding a sheet of paper in half and then folding it again in the middle until you get four equal panels. Perfect for: medical brochures, tech products, corporate or organization profiles

  9. Double Gate Fold. Create a double gate fold brochure by making a standard gate fold and then folding the piece in half. Perfect for: film screenings, gallery guides, and travel brochures

Print Your Brochures With NextDayFlyers

At NextDayFlyers, we take your projects as if it were ours, and we make brochure printing easy every step of the way. Our online design tool is available for free as well as our premade design templates which you can use to design your brochures, regardless of your design experience. We also offer an ample variety of paper stock, cardstock, and paper coating options so you can give your brochure the premium feel you want your customers to experience.

Got questions? We’ll help you get started! Call us at 855-898-9870 or send us an email at and we’d be happy to help you translate your brochure ideas from concept to crisp, high-quality prints.