Done right, print brochures are a beautiful thing.
I’m not talking about those cheap, floppy, so-glossy-they’re-sticky disappointments that you roll up and ram into your bag/pocket/recycling bin, never to be looked at again.
I’m talking about those sexy, perfect bound, semi-matt brochures with the reassuringly heavy paper, that on your kitchen counter, flashing a corner at you, tempting you to read just a little bit more about what’s on offer because you know you want to.
That’s the kind of brochure that tells you a company’s really invested in what they’ve just handed you.
The 3 key elements of a beautiful, effective brochure
Boil it down, and there are really three key components in the creation of an attractive and effective brochure:
- Imagery (photos, diagrams, infographics, charts)
- Design and typography (colour contrast, font type and size, leading, kerning, hierarchy, whitespace)
- Written content (tone of voice, content, terminology, paragraphing, grammar)
So it stands to reason that you’re going to need three different skill-sets – and suppliers – to get the best results for your brochure:
- A photographer
- A designer
- A brochure copywriter
But how do you make sure that the work you get from each supplier is going to come together to make one beautiful, cohesive brochure?
As an experienced brochure copywriter who’s worked with a lot of agencies and freelance designers, I’ve got some tips.
Get everyone involved at the concept stages
It might seem like the easy or sensible option to get one part of your brochure done before moving on to the next and involving another supplier, but it’s not likely to get you the best results.
Why? Because you’re limiting your suppliers’ options.
I spoke to brochure designer and branding expert Col Gray about his experience of working with brochure copywriters. He said:
“The copywriter should be involved right at the beginning. As a designer, working with a copywriter in the early stages can help me achieve far better results.”
Juggling all of your suppliers at once can be a bit of a challenge.
But if you’re working with experienced photographers, designers and copywriters, it gives you scope to get really creative – and to come up with a brochure that really stands out.
I love working with designers and photographers to find out how to bring new and exciting elements to my content.
Hearing their ideas for visual content often sparks new ideas for my writing – everything from tone and style to non-standard punctuation and formatting.
Don’t prioritise images over words
Or vice versa. The key to an effective brochure is to achieve that perfect balance between the written and the visual.
Back to Col Gray, he said:
“If the design’s done first, the copywriter needs to fit their content into the space that’s left. And, if the copy’s done first, the design can be compromised.
“Discussing things early means the design and copy can be developed hand in hand, for a more cohesive result.”
Keep your brochure copywriter involved throughout
What you think will work at the concept stages of a project may not work in reality.
Things change and, when they do, they impact on the other elements of a brochure.
That’s why it’s important to keep all your suppliers involved for the duration of your brochure project. While you’re unlikely to kick your designer off the project until it’s done, some agencies and companies are under the impression that once a brochure copywriter’s produced the content, it’s a finished product.
When it comes to brochure copywriting (and plenty of other kinds of copywriting, for that matter), it’s important to let your writer review the content in situ.
They may spot problems with the design/content integration that you haven’t.
Align your tone of voice and visual branding
A decent brochure copywriter will be able to:
- Create a tone of voice concept for your brochure
- Work with your designer to ensure the tone matches the visual branding
The last thing you want is a super serious, corporate tone of voice, coupled with bright and bold design, and fun and funky typography.
Likewise, you don’t want to match minimalist design with flowery language – a mis-match between your written and visual content is bad news for your reader, which means bad news for your business.
So, how do you get the best brochure copywriting results without compromising on design?
Let’s sum it up.
Getting the best brochure copywriting results is really a question of getting the right person – people – working on your project, and managing them well.
Hire an experienced brochure copywriter, get them involved at the concept stages and keep them involved until your brochure’s signed off.
Work to achieve that perfect balance between visual and written content, get your suppliers to bounce ideas off each other, and keep it creative.
There’s no point to expert brochure copywriting if your brochure looks like a bomb-site. And even the best copy can be ruined by shoddy design and typography.
A cohesive brochure design will always get you the best results.