29 11 2009

In Chapter 7 of the textbook Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics by LInda P. Morton, the author goes through the in’s and out’s of designing a brochure.

1.)  “The first step is to make format decisions including paper size, number and type of folds.” Decide in what way you will distribute your brochure. If you want to send it through the mail then you will need to make sure it meets mailing regulation sizes. A typical business envelope is 9 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches, so one will need to make sure that the brochure will easily fit inside.

2.)  The second step is to “decide on the number, shape and treatment of panels. Each side of a fold is called a pannel.” The book talks about four different ways you can fold a brochure:

  • The first is called a gate fold.  This is where the inner section is twice as big as the outer two.  As you can see in the picture below, this type of fold opens like a gate.
  • The second type is called a tri-fold.  This is the most commonly used way to fold a brochure.  The right panel will fold over the inside panel, and then the left panel over the right, as show below.  Chances are if you have ever picked up a brochure, this is probably the type you have looked at.
  • The third kind is a french fold.  This is where the paper is folded in fourths and opens up like you would a map.
  • The fourth kind of fold the book talks about is a book fold.  Which is folded in half like a book.

There are a number of other ways to fold a brochure that the book does not talk about.  Here is a link to many other folding options.

3.)  The third step “is to select margin and gutter options and add them to your comprehensives.”  You want even margins on each panel and you will need to make sure the words to not get folded in the panels.  “Allowing an equal margin on each side of folds, results in the gutters between each panel being twice as large.  The following suggestions help to avoid this problem:”

  • “Trim the outside edges of the paper after it’s printed so that doubling outside margins leaves small gutters at folds.”
  • “Treat every other panel as a bleed so that the entire gutter is folded to go with surrounding panels.”
  • “Treat panels that are viewed together as spreads that cross gutters.”

4.)  The fourth step is to determine and prioritize the brochure’s content.  Choose the most important information and place that on the cover panel and work your way down from there.

5.)  The fifth step is to create thumbnails of how you want your brochure to look.  Make sure you make multiple thumbnails so you can choose your best design.  This is almost like doing a pre-rough draft.  You can eliminate some of your biggest design problems by simply laying out your design before you actually start on the brochure itself. Keep in mind the multiple design elements such as :
-Unity- the ability for all itmes in a layout to appear as one visual unit
-Alignment- refers to the layout of items along invisible but easily identified lines.
• “Horizontal alignment places emphasized items of a layout straight from left to right, creating a visual line horizontally on the page.”
• “Vertical alignment places emphasized items of a layout straight fromt op to bottom, creating a visual line vertically on the page.”
• “Diagonal alignment places emphasized items of a layout from a high position on one side to a ow position on the other side, creating a visual line diagonally on the page/”
• “Curved alignment place emphasized items of a layout in a curved pattern often outlining curved art. This creates a visual curved line on the page.”
-Proximity- refers to unifying items by placing them physically close on a page.
-Harmony/Consistency- refers to treating items similarly on a page or throughout publication.
-Direction- refers to using design items to direct the eye from one item or unit to another
-Proportion- the size relationship of one item or unit to others or to the whole.
-Contrast- the element that permits one item to stand out clearly from others.
-Rhythm- suggests a flowing quality and assists readers’ eyes in moving from one item to another.
-White Space- frames and helps hold the design together.

Quotes gathered from Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics