What is a brochure?

You probably know that a brochure is, usually, a print marketing material. But what is a brochure, and how does it differ from other similar materials such as fliers and pamphlets?

Brochures are multi-page marketing tools that usually utilize high-quality graphics and lots of colors.


Brochures can be:

  • Bifold: a brochure folded into two sections;
  • Trifold: a brochure folded into three sections;
  • Z-fold: similar to a trifold brochure, with different Z-shape folding;
  • multi-page booklet

So, if brochures can also come in the form of a small foldable printout you’d get on the street, how is it different from fliers and pamphlets? Technically speaking, fliers have no folds and are printed with less-quality paper/images than brochures.

Pamphlets, on the other hand, are very similar to brochures; many people use the terms interchangeably. The main difference between the two comes down to context: brochures are commonly associated with promotion and marketing, while the primary purpose of pamphlets is informational. Similarly, brochures cover several topics, while pamphlets focus on a single issue. Brochures also always have two or more pages, while pamphlets can also be a single page.

Brochures are a superb way to raise brand awareness since they allow you to present your business in a visually appealing and engaging way. They are usually short but provide enough space to offer more information about your value proposition/product/brand story. Travel brochures are the most common type, but brochures are used across all industries.

Now that we have the exact image of a brochure in our minds let’s dive right into the tips on designing a brochure for effective branding.

Know who/where your audience is.

So if you have a brand and, especially, a brand style guide, it implies you know exactly who your audience is and where to find them in the off- or online space.

And yet, to create a truly successful brochure for your brand, you should dig a little deeper. Consider which portions of your audience would actually be interested in looking at one.

Say you run a small, luxury hotel in the city’s center. Your core target audience might include wealthy business people on short stays and influencers. The former probably won’t have the time or desire to spend time browsing through a brochure – their assistant has likely made the booking anyway. On the other hand, influencers will love a stunning brochure they can look through and (hopefully) share snippets of on their social media.

Therefore, while your hotel may cater to both types of people equally, a brochure should be more geared towards influencers or those who will actually want to read it.

Here’s a fantastic example of a travel brochure for Tokyo. It’s geared towards a younger audience, so the brochure uses pastel colors and a trendy design. Although there’s quite a bit of text, it focuses on a specific topic (traveling on a budget), which is something the readers would be interested in.

Similarly, you should also answer one critical question: do you need a print or digital brochure? If your audience will likely use them in digital format, there’s no point in spending money on brochure printing. On the other hand, if they are the kind of people who would appreciate the physical copy, make sure you know the rules you need to follow for creating print designs.

Don’t overload it with text.

You probably have a hunch on this one: our attention span is pretty short these days: it stands at around 8 seconds which is around the same as a goldfish. Ouch.

Although the numbers for offline marketing are slightly better, you should still stick to short and sweet messaging.

Of course, don’t forget that one of the significant advantages of brochures over, say, Facebook or Google Ads is that you have the space to write more. They’re a great way to tell your brand story and offer more information than a social media post.

It’s also vital to present text in an easy and digestible way – you can imagine that huge blocks of text would hardly entice anyone to read patiently.

This art event brochure is a fantastic example to learn from. Although there’s quite a bit of text (there isn’t even a picture on the front page), it’s presented in an organized, user-friendly way, with sectioning, different font sizes, and a bit of color.

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