TIPS AND TRICKS TO DESIGN A CATALOG OR MAGAZINE
In this section we are dedicated to presenting the main criteria that should be taken into account when designing a brochure. It is necessary that you have the services of a professional graphic designer so that your brochures, whether they are flyers, leaflets and / or leaflets, have a high visual impact and maximum communicative capacity. A designer is the person trained to define which graphic components are in harmony with the identity of a company and to organize the information in the space of a brochure, optimizing its communicability. Our mission, in this sense, is to provide you with the basic conceptual tools so that you understand what the design of brochures consists of and so that you do not feel lost when hiring a designer. You can start taking notes:
Define the message of the catalog or magazine
When you start thinking about the design of a brochure, the first aspect to consider is the corporate message that you want to convey. The designer has to work together with the representatives of a company to clearly establish the message that the company wants to give the public to read the brochures. The notion of “message” has a broad sense here, since it is not about the actual textual content, but about a global meaning to be transmitted through text and nonverbal elements: corporate philosophy and image, effects that are intended to occur in the recipients and specific objective of a brochure (for example, to announce the launch of new products, to inform about the ways in which an organization works, etc.). The definition of the message is of the utmost importance, since it is the initial kick that gives direction to the design of a brochure, both as regards the text and the choice of visual components.
Define the audience to which the catalog or magazine is directed
Every company orients its products and services to a specific audience and therefore it is important that when designing a brochure, the type of recipient to which it is targeted is taken into account. According to the profile of the consumer to whom a company wishes to go, the graphic elements (colors, fonts, vignettes, images, backgrounds, lines, layout, etc.) and the textual contents must be selected. Some of the main variables to consider to define the public are: cultural belonging, social belonging, age, gender and educational level. A brochure designed with the recipients in mind ensures that they feel identified with it (hence, with the company) and that they retain it to establish contact with a company.
Write a clear and relevant text for the catalog or magazine.
The text is a central aspect in all types of brochures, since the function of this promotional piece is to provide sufficient and useful information about a company. Therefore, it is necessary that professional writers are responsible for producing the text appropriate to the needs of a company and the type of brochure you want to make. As for the design task, the text is one of the first elements to count on to define the rest of the visual components and the total layout.
The different brochures (flyers, leaflets and leaflets) have specific rules regarding the elaboration of their texts, as we explain later. However, there are general guidelines that booklet writers take into account to produce effective content. The text of a brochure should be a clear and relevant synthesis of everything a company does and means. Long texts with excessive amount of information are counterproductive, since readers will probably abandon those brochures with very extensive explanations and that demand too much reading time.
With regard to language, it must be simple, understandable, with few technical terms and with maximum syntactic clarity. Thus, it is not only essential to use a medium vocabulary accessible to broad sectors of the public, but also to use a simple syntax (rather short sentences, without accumulation of subordinate propositions, for example). This will avoid confusion and readers can easily and quickly understand the text of a brochure. On the other hand, it is important that the text of a brochure (like any promotional text) is appealing, that is, that it is addressed directly to the reader, to make him feel close to the company. Depending on the type of company and the type of audience to which it points, you can opt for a more or less formal registration.
Select the typeface most appropriate to the message and audience.
This is one of the central aspects of the design of brochures, given the importance of the text in both flyers and leaflets and leaflets. When choosing the typefaces for a brochure that people will pleasantly read the crucial point to consider is the degree of readability. This means that convenient fonts are those that are simple and can be read well in different sizes. Legibility according to the body is important so that both titles and subtitles, central text and contact information can be read without problems. The classic sources continue to be the most effective: Bodoni, Helvetica, Times and Garamond, among others. There are many novel and very striking sources, but they generally present readability problems, especially in small sizes.
To choose the typography of a brochure, the aesthetics of a company must be taken into account. Thus, for example, you can choose typographies with serif (letters with terminations, such as Times) to create a more traditional and formal style, or you can choose fonts without serif (without terminations, such as Helvetica) to generate a more modern style . On the other hand, simplicity as the guiding principle of design is also a valid guideline when it comes to selecting fonts for a brochure. One or two fonts are sufficient to obtain maximum readability. How, then, to avoid monotony? A good idea is to use different variants for the same source: italic, bold, underlined. Finally, we must not forget that there is a contrast between the color of the typography and that of the backgrounds, so that the text can be read properly.
Decide on cutting and folding
In the design of brochures it is possible to take advantage of the different types of cuts. The traditional cut is orthogonal, that is, straight, made with guillotine. But it is also possible to make special cuts according to the shapes and style of a brochure. Thus, for example, a diptych in which rounded shapes and curved lines predominate can have a wavy cut on the front face to reinforce dynamism. It should be considered that irregular cuts are made with punches and are usually more expensive than orthogonal cuts because not all printers make them.
Folding, on the other hand, is an aspect with which creative designs can also be achieved, in the case of diptychs and triptychs (since the flyers do not fold). Depending on the folding chosen, images and text will be arranged in a particular way and lines and other components will be chosen. To know the different types of folding, we invite you to read the section dedicated to specific design of brochures.
Take into account the different panels that the flyer or catalog will have.
Whatever the brochure chosen for a company's promotional campaign, it is essential to consider the number of panels it has and the specific function that each one fulfills (whether on a double-sided flyer, a diptych or a triptych). You can learn more about the role of each panel on the page dedicated to the design of the different types of brochures. What can be said in general terms is that it is absolutely essential that there be graphic coherence between the different faces of a brochure, since it must form an organic unit.
Select the appropriate colors for the magazine.
Full color brochures can be really attractive if you also have a quality design, that is, simple and forceful. It is also possible to obtain impactful brochures with a single color or in black and white, provided the designer is creative. In any case, one of the first points to consider when designing a brochure is the amount of colors that can be used, according to the printing plan and the available budget.
What to do with the multiplicity of existing colors? Designers generally choose to combine vibrant colors with non-vibrant colors. Thus, for example, a triptych for a health institution may have a background in soft green and lines in blue France or in furious yellow. While non-vibrant colors rest your eyes and generate a sense of serenity, vibrant colors manage to accentuate images and parts of the text (either in lines, bullets, titles, subtitles, etc.).
Another possibility is to make a monochrome design: a diptych for a wine company, for example, with the different variants of red. The monochromatic palette is ideal to reinforce the concept of a company in an extremely elegant way. In addition, it makes a booklet easily distinguished and remains in the memory of the public. And now, what colors to choose? In principle, the guiding axis when choosing colors for a brochure is the corporate logo. Taking into account its colors, it is possible to use these colors throughout the brochure (in its different variants), reinforcing the corporate identity, or choosing other colors that harmonize with those of the logo.
In case of having a more limited budget, it is possible to design brochures with a single color, also using the gray range, in addition to black and white. The chosen color, then, must be vibrant, eye-catching, to catch the reader's eye and highlight the most important aspects of a brochure. If, to reduce costs, you choose to make a black and white brochure, the designer will apply his creativity to the maximum to achieve a high impact piece.
Choose the paper for the magazine or catalog.
Designers take into account, among other aspects, the type of paper on which they intend to print a brochure. This is because the quality and style of the paper depends on how a design will look once printed. The resistance of the leaflets to the use of people also depends on the type of paper. We offer here a synthesis of the characteristics of the main papers used to print brochures and how they affect the design:
This is the type of paper par excellence for printing with the offset system, the most commonly used printing method, for its quality and affordable prices. The two best known varieties of offset paper is illustration paper (i.e., with cover) and paper that has no termination. The illustration paper, generally used to make diptychs and triptychs, is a resistant material and of excellent aesthetic quality. Its softness and flexibility, ideal for folding the leaflets, come from the layer of clay and other minerals that cover it.
The illustration paper has two finishes, glossy or matt. The glossy finish makes the colors look much more, while the matte finish, while not highlighting the colors, does allow for excellent readability and definition of the images. For its part, offset paper without termination is cheaper but does not have the appeal of illustration paper. It is a convenient option to obtain resistant and reduced cost brochures (for example, it is widely used in flyers). The designer must take into account, in this case, that the colors and images are not going to look as much as on illustration paper.
This paper is much cheaper than offset paper and this is because its quality is lower. It is less resistant and opaque, which means that it lasts little and that the design does not look too much. It is the paper that is used in newspapers par excellence and is also widely used (with greater weight) in the printing of large numbers of flyers. Even if it is not a paper that optimizes the design, it is possible for a professional designer to achieve a good brochure at a graphic level.
To make special campaigns and high visual impact through brochures, nothing better than choosing to print them on cardboard. It is a type of paper of great resistance (for its thickness) and that allows an impression of excellent definition. Cardboards can have a glossy or matte finish, which, in either case, give incredible visual results. The shine highlights the colors and the matte finish produces a really elegant effect.
Decide the type of laminate to make the brochure.
If you choose to make brochures in cardboard without termination (neither matt nor glossy) it is advisable to laminate them once printed. The laminating process consists of covering the already printed paper with a plastic layer or sheet. In this way the paper becomes more durable and resistant to use and environmental conditions. There is glossy and opaque laminate. The first makes colors and images look very striking, while the second produces a simple and elegant effect. An emblematic case that requires rolling is that of diptychs used as small catalogs. They get maximum strength and unmatched appeal.
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