How to make a brochure in 7 simple steps

Brochures are a perfect choice to communicate in a concise way what your business is all about. Whether you’re looking to offer more detailed information about your services, use it as a menu, or simply make more of a connection with customers, a brochure gives you the space to tell your story. And they’re easier to make than they might seem. Just follow these steps to create a brochure that showcases your business or product in the best light.

What is a brochure?

A business brochure is a printed marketing document or promotional material used by businesses and organizations to convey information about their products, services, or brand to a target audience. 

Brochures typically consist of folded sheets of paper that contain text, images, graphics, and other visual elements designed to inform, engage, and persuade the reader.

Business brochures serve various purposes, including:

  • Marketing and promotion
  • Information dissemination
  • Event promotion
  • Educational materials
  • Brand awareness
  • Sales support

If you’re wondering how to create a brochure, we’ve got you covered! Next up — what to include in your brochure, how to make a brochure layout, and a step-by-step guide on how to create a brochure from researching the audience to printing your brochure. 

What should be included in a brochure?

To create a unique brochure about your business, you’re going to need some content. So before you get started, create a folder where you’ll have these essentials at hand.

Content for the cover page of your brochure

The cover page of your business brochure is like a welcoming handshake for your readers. It’s where you start building that important first impression. Here’s what you should consider putting on the cover page of your brochure:

  • Your logo. Put your company logo right there, front and center. It’s like your business’s signature, ensuring people know it’s you. It’s important that your logo is in the highest resolution possible so it comes out well in print. Don’t have a logo yet? Read our article on how to choose a logo for your business and check out our Logo Design Services
  • Catchy headline or slogan. Think of it as your brochure’s friendly ‘hello’. A catchy headline or slogan, placed near your logo, can pique curiosity and get folks interested.
  • Great visuals. Choose images or graphics that relate to what you do. Make sure they’re clear and sharp.

Content for the insides of your brochure

Once you’re all set with picking the assets for the cover page of your brochure, it’s time to think about all the things that’ll go inside it. 

Here are some of the brochure must-haves you must add to the folder before you start designing the marketing material…

Images. Select a few of the best photos of your products and services; and maybe even one of yourself or your team. Again, make sure they’re high quality.

Copy (text). Your message is important, so spend a little time drafting what you want to say in advance – you can make tweaks later. Your copy should include these basics:

  • Intro/About us. The introductory section of your brochure serves as the opening statement, providing readers with a concise overview of your company’s mission and values.
  • Services/Products. Within this section, your brochure should offer a comprehensive overview of the range of services or products that your business provides. It is imperative to include detailed descriptions and highlight key features for each offering. And remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, so toss in some eye-catching images.
  • Benefits. This is where you show how you can make their lives better. Explain how your services or products can solve their problems or meet their needs. 

If you want to make the brochure packed with information, you can also add the following elements to it:

  • Testimonials. If your business typically has a longer sales cycle, consider including social proof in your brochure. This can help expedite the process by reassuring readers that your product or service delivers genuine benefits. Include quotes or testimonials from satisfied customers or clients. Use real names and, if possible, photographs of the people providing the testimonials.
  • Team. Drive even more trust towards your brand by putting a face to the name. Show off the key members of your team by providing their brief profiles or photos, qualifications, expertise, and roles within the company.

VistaPrint Tip: Brochures are typically short and concise, so don’t go overboard with copy — that’s how to create a brochure that’s effective and leaves a lasting impression. 

Content for the back of your brochure

For the back of your brochure, prepare a solid call to action (CTA) and contact details. 

  • Contact information. Include your business address, phone number, email, and website URL. Social media handles or links to your profiles.
  • Call to Action (CTA). Encourage readers to take action, such as contacting you, requesting a quote, or visiting your website. Use action-oriented language, like “Call us today” or “Visit our website for more information.”

VistaPrint Tip: To ensure that your business brochure doesn’t end up in the recycle bin right after a quick glance, consider including something that would inspire the reader to hold onto it for a while. How to create a brochure with a long lifespan? Depending on your business or product/service, add a collection of useful resources, a map, or even a mini-calendar (those used to be particularly popular back in the day!). 

How to make a brochure layout

Creating an effective brochure layout is crucial in crafting a compelling marketing piece for your business. 

To achieve a layout that engages your audience and conveys your message clearly, you must gather and refine all the content you want to include in the brochure (if you follow this guide to making your brochure great, you should have already done it by now!). Ensure that your content is concise and directly relevant to your message.

With your content in hand, start creating a clean and reader-friendly brochure layout. This is where the art of design comes into play. We’ve got a full guide on how to design a brochure to help you dive into this part.

1. Plan the information hierarchy

Establish a clear hierarchy for your information. Identify the most critical pieces of content and arrange them logically. Use headlines, subheadings, and body text to guide readers through the information.

2. Implement a grid system

To maintain consistency and visual appeal, introduce a grid system that serves as the foundation for your layout. This grid will help you align text and images consistently throughout the brochure. Think of it as the invisible structure that keeps everything in place.

3. Craft smooth page transitions

Consider how the pages of your brochure flow from one to another. It’s essential to ensure that readers can easily follow the logical sequence of information as they progress through your brochure.

Be mindful of how your layout will appear when the brochure is folded (we discuss different brochure folds later in this article). Ensure that crucial content remains visible in each panel, providing a seamless reading experience.

4. Create text boxes and image frames

For a polished look, use text boxes to contain your written content and image frames to hold images and graphics. Consistent spacing and alignment will give your brochure a professional appearance. It’s your answer to how to create a brochure that doesn’t look too cluttered and provides information in easily digestible chunks.

5. Strike a balance between text and visuals

Avoid overwhelming your readers with an excessive amount of text or images on a single page. Strive for a balanced layout where text and visuals work harmoniously to convey your message effectively.

How to create a brochure step-by-step

Okay, your preparations are complete, what’s next? How to create a brochure, actually? Let’s now answer this question and navigate the process of creating your business brochure one step at a time.

Step 1: Determine the objective of your brochure

Before you get to the how to create a brochure step of the process, you need to first clear the “why create a business brochure” part. 

Clarifying the purpose of your brochure is a crucial step in ensuring its effectiveness. You can better emphasize the key messages you intend to convey by pinpointing your objectives. 

Begin by considering what you aim to accomplish with your brochure…

  • Is it primarily to promote a particular service, perhaps highlighting its unique benefits? 
  • Or are you looking to introduce your audience to the exciting new features of a product you offer?
  • Do you envision your brochure as a means to provide essential information about your business or organization? This could include details about your history, mission, values, or the range of services you offer. 
  • Alternatively, are you aiming to use the brochure as an invitation, encouraging people to attend an upcoming event hosted by your company?

By exploring these questions, you’ll clarify your purpose and lay a solid foundation for crafting a brochure that effectively resonates with your target audience.

Step 2: Understand the likes and dislikes of your target audience

To better grasp how a business brochure can help you achieve your goals, take a closer look at your target audience. It’s important to understand what they appreciate and don’t appreciate when receiving marketing materials.

Ultimately, you want to ensure that the time and effort you invest in creating a business brochure are worthwhile. After all, you wouldn’t want your hard work to end up in the trash right away due to a lack of reader engagement.

Before moving any further, you need to figure out the following…

  • The specific demographic characteristics of the people you want to reach with your brochure.
  • The key problems or challenges your audience faces that your product or service can help solve.
  • What kind of information your audience is likely looking for in your brochure.
  • The communication style that appeals to your audience. Is it formal, informal, friendly, or professional?
  • The incentives or triggers that prompt your audience to engage with your business. Is it discounts, convenience, or other factors?

When you address all of the aforementioned questions… Take a break and be brutally honest with yourself: Do your target readers actually read brochures? 

This self-assessment will be your compass in finding creative ways to grab their attention with your marketing materials.

Finally, note where your audience is most likely to stumble upon your brochure. Knowing these spots will be invaluable when deciding on the right type of brochure to use. 

With all this knowledge, you won’t struggle with how to create a brochure that matters to your potential clients. 

Step 3: Create an outline of your business brochure

Now that you have a firm grasp of your audience and objectives, it’s time to chart the course for your brochure.

Creating an outline is your compass: it will help you with content organization, format selection, and audience engagement. Moreover, it can help you prevent the omission of critical information and keep your content focused.

With a roadmap in place, you can avoid unnecessary revisions and ensure that you stay on track with your messaging goals. Finally, you can budget time, budget, and manpower for brochure creation more efficiently. 

Aim to make your outline as detailed as possible for the best effect. Add the following elements to your brochure outline when planning how to make a brochure:

  • The various sections or topics you intend to address.
  • The primary points you wish to emphasize.
  • Any visual elements, such as images or graphics, you plan to incorporate.
  • A compelling call to action (CTA) statement.

Step 4: Create the copy and the visuals for your brochure

Once you’ve laid out the brochure outline, it’s time to begin transforming it into the actual draft of your brochure.

To make your brochure copy more engaging, try to…

  • Divide your text into bite-sized paragraphs. Extensive chunks of text can overwhelm readers, potentially causing them to lose interest. Fragmenting your content enhances readability and keeps readers engaged.
  • Connect with your reader personally. Employ second-person pronouns like ‘you’ to directly engage the reader, infusing a sense of intimacy into your brochure.
  • Opt for active voice over passive voice. Writing actively adds vigor to your copy and enhances its readability.
  • Embrace brevity. Clarity and conciseness are paramount. Convey essential information succinctly while avoiding unnecessary details, ensuring your message remains impactful.

As for the visuals…

  • Consider creating custom images. Hire a professional designer (you can check our 99designs by Vista services for that!) to help you produce illustrations that differentiate you from your competitors and aligned with your brand. 
  • Avoid using stock photos that your competitors might use. Otherwise, you risk not standing out with your business brochure. 

For both copy and images, you should always double-check that the content you add to your brochure is relevant to the message you want to convey, on-brand, and accessible to your target audience. 

For more detailed information on how to create a brochure, pick images for your brochure and write a compelling brochure copy that converts, check out our guide to business brochures

Step 5: Choose the fold of your brochure

Brochure folds, such as bi-fold, tri-fold, and Z-fold, offer distinct layouts, each suited to specific communication goals. 

A bi-fold consists of two panels, making it simple and cost-effective. It’s ideal for conveying essential information when you have limited content or want to focus on a single message.

An example of a bi-fold business brochure

Bi-fold business brochure via VistaPrint

On the other hand, a tri-fold, with its six panels, provides more space for content. It’s versatile and commonly used for brochures that balance visuals and detailed information. This format is great for product catalogs, event programs, or service offerings.

An example of a tri-fold business brochure

Tri-fold business brochure via VistaPrint

Lastly, the Z-fold is known for its eye-catching presentation. It zigzags when unfolded, revealing three panels on each side. It’s excellent for storytelling or to guide readers through a sequential narrative, like a journey or process.

An example of a Z-fold business brochure

Z-fold business brochure via VistaPrint

Choosing the right fold depends on your content and objectives:

  • Use a bi-fold for simplicity and clarity.
  • Use tri-fold for versatility and balance.
  • Use Z-fold for impactful storytelling or sequential information.

Step 6: Choose a brochure template and customize it

While you can design your brochure from scratch, you don’t have to start from a black page. Instead, you can browse the gallery of ready-made brochure design templates, pick the one you like best, and edit it to match your brand. 

A selection of ready-made business brochure design templates

A selection of ready-made business brochure design templates via VistaPrint

Remember, when designing your brochure for print, make sure it goes all the way to the edge (full bleed size) while keeping important text and images safely inside the designated area. Also, remove any die lines from your template to avoid accidental printing.

Product specs for a bi-fold brochure

Product specs for a bi-fold brochure via VistaPrint

Product specs for a bi-fold brochure via VistaPrint

Product specs for a tri-fold brochure via VistaPrint

Product specs for a Z-fold brochure

Product specs for a Z-fold brochure via VistaPrint

Step 7: Order a test print of your business brochure

Before finalizing your design and sending your brochure to print, it’s highly advisable to create a test copy for thorough evaluation. This step is often underestimated but holds significant importance in ensuring the quality and effectiveness of your brochure. 

Printing can sometimes yield colors that differ from what you see on your computer screen. By producing a test copy, you can assess if the colors in your brochure match your brand guidelines or design intentions. 

Besides, printing a test copy provides a real-world preview of how your brochure’s elements come together. As well as that, you can assess the overall appearance of your brochure by checking the paper stock, texture, and finish to ensure they meet your expectations. 

A printed test copy is also an excellent opportunity for a final proofread. Review the text for typos, grammatical errors, or any content-related issues that may have been missed during the digital review. If you’re working with a client or a team, a printed test copy can be a tangible item for review. It allows stakeholders to provide feedback based on the physical representation of the brochure, which can be more informative than reviewing digital mock-ups.

Printing your brochure

Once you’ve approved your brochure design, it’s time to print your brand-new marketing materials. To ensure the highest quality of your business brochures, order brochure printing services from well-known, trusted printing companies like VistaPrint instead of printing them yourself at home. 

When sending your brochures off for printing, you’ll be prompted to choose paper stock, paper thickness, and brochure size when unfolded. 

Brochures usually come in four types of paper stock, each with its own pros and cons:

  • Glossy paper: Great for brochures with vibrant colors or big photos, but it can be a bit reflective and tough to read in bright light, so not ideal for text-heavy designs.
  • Matte paper: Perfect for simple black-and-white designs or high-contrast color combos. Some think it looks more professional than glossy, making it a good choice for a corporate feel.
  • Uncoated paper: Feels natural and easy to read and write on. It’s versatile and handy, especially if you want to scribble down contact info at an event.
  • Recycled paper: It has a textured finish and is eco-friendly since it’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled material. A solid pick if you’re aiming to be more environmentally conscious.

Conclusion

It’ll be exciting to see your brochure come to life in print, but the real rewards come when you start putting it to work. You can display them at well-chosen locations to attract potential customers, hand them out at your place of business, or take them to trade shows. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll find your brochure is one of your proudest and most versatile marketing materials.

Ready to get started on your brochure?