Need To Grow Your Business With Brochures?

How to Effectively Design a Brochure

Having a killer website is integral to the success of your online marketing campaign, but your collateral advertising material is just as important. Whereas websites are great at providing general information, brochures offer a value in that they offer more detailed information on a specific product, service or event. A brochure should be designed well so that it has staying power. The best part about a brochure is that the recipients can hold onto it and refer back to information now and in the future. In order to convert leads into sales, you must design a compelling brochure in order for it to achieve your goals.

Here are some tips when designing your brochure with the trusted name in printing and mailing solutions: Your Marketing Stuff.

Sizes and Shapes

First, it’s important to determine the size and shape of your brochure. The most common size for a marketing brochure is 8.5” x 11” laid horizontally, also known as landscape, and folded into three panels. If you have a lot more to say than this size allows, go with a legal size paper, 8.5” x 14”, also positioned in a landscape mode. The sheet is folded in half, from right to left, then in half again, also right to left. This “double parallel” fold yields four panels.

The larger brochure size is sought after by many marketers because one of the panels can be utilized as a “tear-off,” perfect for a coupon or a reply card thanks to a perforation or simple dashed lines.

In addition to those two sizes, there are other shapes and folds that can make your brochure stand out, such as map folds and gate folds.


The material you choose for your brochure is equally as important as the content you print onto it. The material of choice for brochures is paper or card stock, with or without a coating. FYI, our standard brochures are printed on a 100# gloss paper, most frequently with a UV coating for extra protection. If you’re on a budget, go with an 80# gloss paper.

You could also opt for cover stock, a heavier option that looks particularly professional when printed with or without a gloss. This will depend on your audience, so be careful in considering to whom you’re appealing.


In designing your brochure, take these factors into consideration:

Fonts: Stick to one or two fonts for your brochure, tops. Certain fonts play well with others, so stay within the same font family if you want to make the most visually appealing impact. You can do well with just one font and adding in some bolds and italics to differentiate.

Readability: Consider who will be reading your brochure. An older audience may appreciate a simple font in a larger size, while a more youthful audience may appreciate something more playful. Make sure your graphics are in high resolution, typically 300 DPI (“dots per inch”).

"Bleed”: When a color continues to the very edge of paper that is called a “bleed” and it looks more professional than a white border. But a printing press cannot apply ink to the edge of a paper, so we will address this by printing oversize and trimming back. The most common bleed size is .125”. In order to print a finished brochure that is 8.5” x 11.0” with color running to the edges (“full bleed”), the brochure must be originally designed at 8.75” x 11.25”. After printing that 1/8” will be trimmed off to the correct size.

Distribution: Consider how your brochures will be distributed. Some brochures will sit on a desk or a counter until they are picked up by an interested party, while others will be part of your marketing portfolio, a package you hand out to a prospective customer. Still other brochures will be mailed.

Brochures in the first two categories can be designed with text and graphics on all panels. These same brochures can also be mailed if inserted into an envelope. Just keep in mind the size of the envelope that might be necessary for an unusually sized or folded brochure.

Brochures that will be mailed can be designed as self-mailers that do not require an envelope. They do, however, have other design considerations, such as a minimum paper weight (80# book), but one of the panels must be left blank to accommodate the mailing address. Self-mailer brochures will also require, at minimum, two wafer seals (“tabs”) located along the top edge. That means that the panels must be designed so that the final fold is on the bottom.

If all this sounds pretty technical, don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Your Marketing Stuff can help you create a stunning and compelling brochure, step by step. Get started now!