Brochure Designers

Brochure Design Criteria

Types of Brochures

Advantages of Brochures

Brochure Design

Bi-Fold Brochure Design

Flyer Design

Tri-Fold Design

Brochure Design Criteria

In this section, we present the main principles, which are worth taking into account when designing a brochure. It is necessary that you rely on the services of a professional graphic designer, for your brochures (be it flyers or bi-folds and/or tri-folds) to be of high visual impact and maximum communicative capacity. A designer is a person qualified to define which graphic components are in harmony with the company identity and to organize the information in the brochure’s space, optimizing its communicability. Our mission, in this sense, is to provide you with the basic conceptual tools for you to understand what the brochure design is and not to feel at a loss when hiring a designer. You can start taking notes:

Define the message

When you start thinking about the design of a brochure, the first aspect to be taken into account is the corporate message, which should be communicated. The designer has to work with the company’s representatives in order to define the message clearly, which this company seeks to get across to the target audience that will read the brochures. Here, the notion of “message” has a broad meaning. Since, it does not refer to the textual content itself, but to the overall meaning, which has to be conveyed by means of a text and non-verbal elements. For example, the corporate philosophy and image, the impact, which the company aims to make on the recipients, and the exact objective of a brochure (e.g. announce the launch of new products, inform about the company’s modes of operation, etc.). Defining the message is of utmost importance, since it is a starting point, which predetermines the design of a brochure, both in terms of text, and in terms of visual elements and their choice.

Define the public

Every company targets its products and services at the determined audience, which is why it is important to keep in mind the type of the target recipient, while designing a brochure. According to the profile of a consumer, to whom a company wants to turn to, the graphic elements (colors, fonts, bullet points, lines, layout, etc.) and the textual content will have to be selected. Some of the principle variables to be considered for defining the public are the following: cultural background, social background, age, sex and educational level. The brochure designed with the target recipients in mind guarantees that they will identify themselves with it (and thus, with the company) and that they will keep it in order to contact that company.


Edit a clear and pertinent text

The text is a key aspect in all brochure types, since the function of this promotional piece is to provide sufficient and useful information on a company. Therefore, it is essential that the professional editors work on the content in order to produce an adequate text, appropriate to the necessities of a company and the type of the brochure to be created. What concerns the design task, the text is one of the primary elements, on which the rest of the visual components and the overall layout depend.

As we will explain below, different brochures (flyers, bi-folds and tri-folds) have specific rules of the text elaboration. Undoubtedly, there are general guidelines, which are followed by the brochure editors for creating effective content. The brochure text should be the clear synthesis, pertinent to everything that a company does and intends to say. Long texts with excessive information are counterproductive, since the readers will probably give up reading the brochure with very extensive explications, which requires too much time. What concerns the language, it has to be simple, understandable, with few technical terms and with the maximum clarity of syntax. Thus, it is fundamental not only to use a vocabulary, which is understandable for the vast majority of the audience, but also a simple syntax (rather short sentences, without the accumulation of subordinate clauses, for example). In this way, misunderstandings will be avoided, and the readers will be able to easily and quickly understand the text of a brochure. On the other hand, it is important that the brochure text (as well as the entire promotional text) is appellative, that is, that it turns directly to a reader in order to make him develop closer ties to a company. According to the company type and the target audience type, it is possible to opt for a more or less formal register.

Choose fonts

This is one of the central aspect of the brochure design in view of the importance of the text both in flyers and in bi-folds and tri-folds. When choosing fonts for an easily readable brochure, it is crucial to keep in mind the degree of legibility. This means that the reader-friendly fonts are the simple ones, which remain legible in different sizes. Legibility, depending on the point size, is important, so that both titles and subtitles, central text and the contact information can be easily read.

The classic fonts are still the most effective: Bodoni, Helvetica, Times y Garamond, etc. There are many modern and striking fonts, but they are generally hardly legible, especially small-sized fonts.

To choose the fonts for a brochure, the aesthetics of a company should be taken into consideration. Thus, a designer can opt for Serif (letters with small projecting features, like in Times) to create a more traditional and formal style, or can opt for fonts without serifs (without projecting features, like in Helvetica) to create a more modern style. On the other hand, simplicity as the guiding design principle is a valid rule for selecting brochure fonts. One or two fonts are sufficient to achieve maximum readability. How to avoid monotony, then? It is a good idea to use different formatting of the same font: italics, bold, and underline. Finally, do not forget that there is a contrast between the font color and the background color.

Choose the cutting and the folding

In brochure design, various types of cutting can be used. A traditional cutting is orthogonal, that is, straight, done with guillotine (paper-cutter). However, it is also possible make special cuttings according to the forms and the style of brochure. For example, a bi-fold with predominant round shapes and curved lines can have a wavy cut of the front panel in order to enhance the dynamism. It should be taken into account that curved cuttings are made with the help of a register punch, and they are usually more expensive than orthogonal cuttings, since not every printing house provides this service.

Folding, for its part, is an aspect, which also helps to obtain creative designs in the case of bi-folds and tri-folds (given that flyers are not folded). According to the selected folding, the images and the text are correspondingly arranged and the lines and other components are chosen. To get you acquainted with different types of folding, we invite you to visit the section dedicated to the specific brochure design.

Keep in mind different panels

No matter which type of brochure was chosen for a company’s promotional campaign, it is fundamental to consider the number of panels it has and the specific function each one performs (be it in a flyer, a bi-fold or a tri-fold). You can find more information on the role of each panel on the page dedicated to the design of different brochure types. Generally speaking, it is absolutely indispensable that there is a graphic coherence between different panels of brochure, since it has to create an organic unity.

Choose colors

Full color brochures can be really attractive if they also rely on the quality design that is simple and convincing one. It is possible to make impressive brochures with only one color or in black and white, always when a designer is very creative. In any case, one of the primary issues to be considered when designing a brochure is the number of colors, which can be used, according to the printing plan and the allocated budget.

And what about a multitude of colors? Generally, designers opt for combining vibrant colors with non-vibrant (dull) colors. Thus, for example, a tri-fold for a healthcare institution can have a soft green background and lines in bleu de France and violent yellow. While the dull colors make your eyes relax and give the feeling of serenity, the vibrant colors place and emphasis on the images and the parts of text (with the help of lines, bullet points, titles, subtitles, etc.).

Another possibility is a monochromatic design: a bi-fold for a wine-making company, for example, in different shades of red. A monochromatic palette is ideal for reinforcement of the company’s concept in an extremely elegant way. Besides, it makes a brochure stand out of the crowd and easily sink into the public’s mind. And now, what colors to choose? Initially, the guiding principle for choosing the colors of a brochure is a corporate logo. Keeping its colors in mind, it is possible either to use the same colors in the entire brochure (in it various shades), reinforcing the corporate identity, or to choose other colors, which are in harmony with those of the logo.

In case of a limited budget, it is possible to design brochures in only one color, using also the range of greys, in addition to black and white. Therefore, the selected color should be vibrant and striking in order to catch the reader’s eye and to highlight the most important aspects of brochure. If, with the aim to reduce costs, a client opts for the brochure in black and white, a designer makes the most of his/her creativity to create a high-impact piece.

Choose paper

Designers take into account, among other aspects, the type of paper, on which a brochure will be printed. It is due to the fact that how a design will look like when printed depends on the quality and style of paper. Durability of brochures also depends on the paper type. Below we offer information on general characteristics of the main paper types, used for printing brochures, and how they affect the design.

Offset paper

This is a paper type par excellence for printing with the offset printing press systems, a method of printing most commonly used due to its quality and affordable prices. The two most known types of offset paper are the coated offset paper or illustration paper (that is with a coating) and the uncoated groundwood-free offset paper. The illustration paper is a resistant material of an excellent aesthetic quality, generally used for printing bi-folds and tri-folds. Its softness and flexibility, which come from the layer of clay and other minerals, covering it, are ideal for brochure folding. The illustration paper has two types of finishing: gloss or matte. The gloss finishing makes the colors shine much more, while the matte finishing, though it does not bring out the colors, still ensures excellent readability and the definition of images. For its part, the uncoated offset paper is less expensive, but does not have the attractiveness of the illustration paper.

It is a convenient option for obtaining inexpensive durable brochures (for example, it is widely used in flyer design). The designer has to keep in mind that in this case the colors and the images will not look so impressive as on the illustration paper.


This paper is much more economical than the offset paper and this is explained by the fact that its quality is poorer. It is less resistant and opaque, which means that its useful life is short, and the design does not look that impressive. This paper is used in newspapers par excellence and, on a large scale, in printing large quantities of flyers (the paper of bigger weight). Although this paper type does not make the design look its best, it is possible for a professional designer to create a good brochure at the graphic level.


To conduct a special campaign of high visual impact by means of brochures, nothing beats printing them on cardstock. It is a highly resistant type of paper (due to its thickness), which allows for a print of excellent definition. Cardstock can have a gloss or matte finishing, which, in any case, produces unbelievable visual results. The gloss finishing enhances the colors and the matte finishing creates a truly elegant effect.

Choose the laminate type

In case of opting for cardstock brochures without finishing (either matte, or gloss) it is recommended to laminate them once printed. The process of laminating consists in covering the already printed paper with the layer or coating of plastic. By this means, the paper becomes more durable and resistant to the wear and tear, and environmental conditions. There are two types of lamination: gloss and matte. The former makes the colors and the images look very appealing, while the latter creates a simple and elegant effect. A paradigmatic case is the lamination of bi-folds used as catalogs. They get maximum durability and incomparable appeal.

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