Embrace white space
Marketing brochures can be expensive to print, which helps explain why some designers feel forced to fill up every inch of available space on a brochure. It also explains why companies and CEOs feel like a brochure is a failure if every inch isn’t fully covered by some marketing message. But, in actuality, no one will read a print brochure that is filled to the brim with information – that’s just intimidating to many consumers.
Too much to read = nothing is read. This has been studied and cited in more marketing research and articles than I can count. You can never have too much white space (space not filled with text or images).
If nothing else, give your brochure at least a 1/8-inch margin around the perimeter. What’s better is if you have text and images that stand alone as their own design elements with plenty of white space around them.
Research what your customers want to know
The information in your brochure will vary depending on what kind of brochure it is. A brochure used in direct mail, or designed to bring in new customers, should have different info than an informative brochure that will be given to existing customers.
You can survey new customers to ask them what brought them into your store. What info did they use to make that decision? Ask existing customers what more detailed info they’d like on their purchases. Then use the info you’ve gathered to write your next brochure.
Decide on the best fold for you
Now, I’m talking logistics. There are a variety of ways a brochure can be folded:
As you can see, there are at least 7 types of brochure folds. The most common are the tri-fold and the bi-fold. The bi-fold isn’t shown in the photo because it’s quite simple – just fold a piece of paper in half and you’ve got a bi-fold. Accordion folds and gate folds are probably the next most commonly used folds for brochures.
The fold you use depends on factors such as: how much content you have (the number of panels needed) and the type of paper you’re using. A thick, coated paper wouldn’t keep its shape as easily in a map type of fold. If you’ve got a large image or chart that you want to show on one panel, then the right angle fold would be best since it can be unfolded to show one large panel. There’s no right or wrong way to choose a fold – as long as your content is presented in the most logical fashion, you can’t go wrong.
Use a compelling image on the front panel
The biggest mistake brochure designers make is only putting the company’s logo on the front panel. The front panel is the only side of the brochure that is used to pull in the consumer. Which do you think will make someone browsing by your brochure stand pick one up? Your logo, which probably has no relevance to that person, or a photo that makes someone want to open the brochure to learn more about it?
Credits to http://www.whatsthebigidea.com/brochure-design/brochure-design-tips.html for the very note-worthy tips.