Sunday, October 19, 2014

Brochures and Color Printing

A well-executed brochure that is rich with expert copy, smart design, and produced by a quality printer is an excellent way for any organization to demonstrate their superiority. Unfortunately, many companies commit major errors in the design and execution of their brochures. Avoiding these pitfalls will save you time and money.

Before you print your brochure, identify a primary objective behind this publication. Too often business owners forget what they are tying to accomplish with their brochure and, as a result, they fail to effectively communicate with their audience.

The primary purpose behind any brochure design is to increase awareness. Gain the reader’s attention quickly by being clear, crisp, and concise. Remember you’re specifically trying to gain the attention of current and future customers, so consider what topics, images, and issues will best solicit their attention. In addition to your short, tightly focused text, you also need to rally your audience by giving them a cause to unite and mobilize around. Encourage the reader to make a call, to visit your store, to schedule an appointment—some course of specific action the reader can take.

Another common mistake is designing your brochure graphics before you’ve composed the text of your brochure. Everything on the brochure should be working together to convey one central message that should be something of specific interest to your target audience. For example, it’s often helpful to identify a problem the reader may have that your offerings can help solve. Don’t simply plug your product, but demonstrate the benefits of your business by identifying the customer’s needs. This helps the customer understand what you offer, as well as conveys your keen understanding of their needs.

It’s often helpful to have an employee or even a customer generate your brochure’s copy, as it can be difficult for business owners to strike the right level of prospective when writing about their own companies. Employees and customers may also be far more complimentary of your business than you might think, so the results may surprise you. Just remind them to keep it short. It’s tempting to detail the many honors your company has received over the years and the countless things your organization does so well, but a brochure is not the appropriate context for exhaustive information. Streamline your approach and strip your message to the core. Needless to say, you should also proofread each newsletter before you distribute it. Find somebody in your office who is a stickler for grammatical accuracy and can give your prose one final polish before you print.

Even the commercial printing company you use should be contributing toward the message you’re sending. If your campaign is built upon quality and integrity as key components of your business, a good printer will supplement this message by finding a high-end paper and color scheme that will reflect this message. Reading is a visual experience and also a tactical one, so even the texture of the paper that your brochure is printed on will send a message to your reader. Be sure all elements of the brochure are working to your advantage. The manner in which you distribute the brochures will also influence the paper that you use, so be in conversation with your printing service to be sure they know exactly what you intend and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Online printing services are becoming increasingly popular, but unless they have an outstanding reputation, avoid sites that don’t offer detailed samples of what you’re about to get. After all, seeing an image on your computer screen isn’t the same as seeing something actually printed and being able to hold it in your hand. A good printing service will have lots of sample brochures for you to select from, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

If this process becomes too time consuming for you, put a team of graphic designers in place that you can turn to for all your printing needs, and let them focus on dealing with the printer while you focus on your business.

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