Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing the right text and typography, part of Designing a Brochure.
- In this chapter, I'll talk about the elements that make up the design of a brochure. Typography, I believe, is the foundation of all good design, and brochures are no exception. So, I'll start with the type. Here are some things to think about. You only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention, so be concise. If there's too much text squeezed into the brochure, it will alienate your reader. Either cut the text, use a larger or different format, or migrate some of the text to the company's website.
This isn't about dumbing down, this is about communicating clearly, and being considerate of your readers. As the designer you need to read the copy and understand it. Determine what is the most important message and think about how to break it into easily digestible chunks that more clearly and effectively communicate the message. Use devices like subheads, pull-quotes, and call-outs to make the text seem more approachable. This tri-fold brochure contains a lot of text, but it's made approachable by the clear hierarchy and use of color to aid navigation.
Think about the pacing. Evolve a story over a series of panels. You might pose a question on one of the early panels and then answer it on a later panel. In general, the first panel should grab attention. The second, third, and fourth panels contain the bulk of the information. The fifth panel is a good place for testimonials or endorsements. And the sixth panel is a good place for a call to action as well as your contact information. When it comes to choosing typefaces, keep things simple.
Two fonts should, in most cases, be enough. Choose contrasting typefaces and assign a specific role to each. Headings and subheadings in sans-serif, body copy in serif. Or vice versa. Ask yourself, does the basic message come across in the headline alone? You can't guarantee that people will take the time to read the full text, so make sure the reader can tell, at a glance, what are the most important parts of the message, and keep it simple.
Two or three levels of hierarchy should suffice. Change the size only when the message changes. Otherwise you'll confuse the reader. And be mindful of the small details. Think about the letter spacing, the word spacing. If you choose to hyphenate your text, then control how it hyphenates, don't rely on default settings. Make sure you're using the right sort of dash. Some designers tend to think that such small, seemingly petty details are beneath them, but ignore these details at your peril.
Every element down to the last apostrophe needs to be clearly communicating the message.
- Generating ideas
- Working with templates
- Choosing the right text and typography
- Choosing colors, images, and printing and folding methods
- Creating single-fold, trifold, double parallel fold, and broadside brochures
- Placing and styling text
- Scaling and cropping images
- Preparing a brochure for print