If you’re in the business of creating brochures—even if that isn’t the main focus of your business—you know how important it is to get all the details right. Keep reading for some of the most important things you’ll need to keep in mind when designing and printing a brochure for your customers.
Discuss and Agree
Before you begin, make sure you sit down with your customer and discuss their needs and the needs of their business. Since anyone with a laptop can create a brochure, you need to show them that you have specific talents and capabilities beyond the range of the average creator and that you can be attentive in your role as a designer.
To showcase your commitment to their project and better understand their goals there are several questions you should always ask, including:
- What is the budget?
- What is the timeline?
- Is this a one-time project or will it be re-printed?
- What design are they looking for? Booklet, trifold, bifold?
- How many pages will it be?
- How much of the brochure will be text?
- How many photos or illustrations?
- How many colors?
Balancing Design and Cost
Once you understand what the client is looking for, you now have the challenging task of coming up with a design that meets their expectations and stays within budget. Often, customers come in asking for full color brochures printed on thick, glossy paper and they don’t know or understand that these aspects of their brochure can double, or even triple, their expenses. Use your initial meeting to explain to them a little bit about ink and paper costs, how colors or monochrome designs will affect their budget, and how you can help them substitute similar design elements at a more affordable price. Our helpful guide to creating a logo that your client will love is a step in the right direction.
Spellcheck and Proofread
Whether your customer provides the text or you do, it’s essential to check, double check, and triple check for grammar and spelling. Compare the final text (in the brochure) to the original text to make sure that it’s the same and point out any errors to the client before any major printing starts. You should also have the client read through the final version for any factual errors about their products or service and sign off on this final copy. With their ultimate approval, your business and reputation is safer if they’re dissatisfied with the written content.
Working with your customer to determine the type of paper most appropriate for their project is crucial. They may already have something in mind, but you have the knowledge of how it will affect the final product. Heavier paper will cost more to mail, so customers who are planning mailers, but didn’t consider this cost need to be informed. Lighter weight paper might tear more easily, but it’s more affordable to print.
Paper cost is going to be a big part of their budget, so keep the customer informed about the different options they have and any alternative solutions you have that can solve their problems. Point out the pros and cons of different paper weights, paper sizes, and paper colors.
Ink and Toner
Quality ink is the key to a successful brochure because the saturation, longevity, and durability of their brochure is dependent on how well the ink or toner seeps into the paper. Discuss the different color systems (CMYK, Pantone, Etc.) with your customer and tell them what style you work with. Since color printing is often more expensive, talk to your client about using discount Ink cartridges instead of OEM cartridges to find a solution that meets their budget.
Make Their Dreams Come True
Many clients come to you with an image in their head of their finished brochure. Often, the creation in their mind is impossible to recreate with their budget. Use these tips when talking to your customer and help them mold a realistic vision of their brochure into reality. Take client design, materials, and budget into consideration, to ensure happy and satisfied clients.
Amy Trotter is a freelance writer from Santa Monica, California. Her insider knowledge of art, marketing, and technology has allowed her to help private clients for over 5 years in growing their business and implementing the best marketing practices.