Key Elements of Good Brochure Design
Continuing our series of brochure blogs, we explain some key elements to bear in mind when it comes to writing and designing your brochure.
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Think about your reader and what they need to know, not what you want to tell them.
Think about what you want your brochure to look like. Gather some samples of brochures and decide what you like about them and what works well. Think about your layout. It might help to get some sheets of paper, fold them to make a mock up, and draw out what you want to go on each page.
Use the layout of each page to help people find what they need. Use headings and subheadings to separate text into easy-to-read blocks. Use short paragraphs, bullet lists and questions and answers to help people read your text easily. Get people’s attention by using pictures. Use clear fonts that are big enough to read, and don’t put pale text on a dark background. Have a good balance of pictures and text, with plenty of white space.
Don’t use long, complicated words, management jargon or technical terminology. Keep your sentences clear and short. Keep your paragraphs short. A 2012 study by Christopher Trudeau about language in legal documents showed two surprising facts. Firstly, 80% of people preferred sentences written in clear English. Secondly, the greater the person’s educational level, the greater their preference for clear English. People are busy and don’t have time to wade through lots of dry, complicated text. Even if people can understand complex and wordy writing, it doesn’t mean that they want to read it.
Avoid the passive voice. The active voice is more direct and easier to understand than the passive, for example, ‘Place your artwork here’ is much easier to read than ‘Your artwork should be placed here’.
Check and check again! Check your spelling and grammar, and don’t rely on your computer’s spell check function. Check whether all the wording is clear to read and understand. It can help to print your text off at a different size, or to read it aloud. Ask someone else to check your text for spelling, grammar and sense.