The world of desktop publishing has been exploding for years, and its gotten to the point where you can create your own brochure materials without having to go to a graphic design professional.
Many online professionals (jakesavin.com) follow these trends and are able to nudge you in the right direction about the way publishing is changing. All you need is a few good ideas and a basic tool or two, and you should be able to get your message out to the world.
Print or Digital?
Your first consideration is whether you are aiming for a print or paper brochure, or a digital document. While there is definitely still a small place for paper documents, the hot approach these days is to go with digital. It’s an easier format to distribute and it allows for a greater range of multi-media content.
If you do go digital (recommended for our purposes here) you need to establish a file format. Paper brochures don’t have this issue but digital or online content can take various forms. What works best?
The usual form for a universally readable brochure would be a PDF, though newer formats are starting to gain in popularity. Animated documents with flippable pages are one option that makes it feel like a “real” brochure rather than a stale text file. You should also choose a format that can be read instantly by a reader, not necessarily downloaded to their hard drive. Even a small delay can turn off a casual visitor. Something that can be embedded directly into a web page means instant reading, and better engagement. This is often where PDFs fail.
Plan It Out
A brochure is meant to be a relatively short document that highlights the key features of your event, business or project. It’s not a catalog or a documentary, so keep it brief. That usually means a bit of planning to establish what your main message is, and the best way to present it.
It should be clear and on-point, and definitely allow users to contact you once you’ve gotten their attention. Phone number, email and even social media contacts should be there.
Find a Tool
You no longer have to cobble a document together from scratch. Excellent tools can be found that do much of the formatting work for you, leaving you to just drag-and-drop and add your content. A classic tool for building brochures is InDesign, which can be used for both paper and digital documents. It’s not horribly expensive though there are cheaper or free options if you look around. Yumpu is a nice one if you are going for the flippable animation format.
Use Exceptional Media
There is a huge market out there for free or low-cost stock photos that can really give a professional look to your brochure without having to hire a photographer. That can be your first place to find images.
For unique shots you can’t find anywhere else, like photos of your location, products or employees, you’ll have to learn a few picture-taking tricks of your own. It’s not that hard at all to create lovely photos or video that will catch your audiences’ eye.