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The importance of superb brochure design

Promoting yourself properly – “brand awareness”

It’s the Holy Grail (of publicity) isn’t it?  To project the right image, to the right people, who want to buy your products and services.  And since people began thinking about such things, they’ve been asking themselves the simple question – how?

The marketers tell us we need a “brand” – something we all intuitively understand but find it hard to define precisely.  When you think of the brands you like, or the places you like to shop (in-store or on-line); and then factor in the brands you don’t like or places you don’t like to shop, it can be very revealing. Go on, try it.  Write down on a piece of paper the name of the brand or shop or retailer or whatever they are, and next to that name write down why you like or don’t like them.  Be as specific as possible.  Try and get ten of each – it shouldn’t take you too long – and then look for patterns.  And then ask yourself the question – what would people write about your company’s products and services?

The brand can be the most valuable asset on a company’s balance sheet, and it’s therefore no surprise that people are so protective towards it.  As long ago as 1900 John Stuart, the Chairman of Quaker, said “… if this business was split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trade marks, and I would fare better than you …”

Was he right?  Let’s look at companies that we’re all familiar with.  For Coca Cola the brand contribution to overall market capitalisation is over 50%. For Disney it is almost 70%.  For McDonalds it is over 70%.  Think about those numbers for a moment!

Here’s a good link if you’d like to delve a little deeper.

So what actually makes up a brand?

There are several components, here we list a few of the more obvious ones:

  • Name
  • Logo or symbol(s)
  • URL
  • Slogan or catchphrase or tagline

If you’re interested in some more detail, click here for some excellent background data and food for thought.

There’s something that all of these particular elements have in common – the visual angle.  And that’s where design comes into its own …

A picture paints a thousand words …

How many times have we heard or read that?  Often enough, perhaps, to think that there might be some truth in it?  You can have the best products, you can even have the makings of a truly great brand, but if your material (web site, leaflets, product guides etc.) don’t look the part, then how effective will they be?

When it comes to print design for your brochures, it’s really important to get it right.  This is what your potential clients will look at, this is what they’ll remember about you, and this is part of what they’ll make their buying decisions on.

So it’s not just about “making the logo bigger”, it’s about carefully considering the impact you want to have on the readers of your printed material. Check out this link for a good place to start:

Effective print design

And finally … 3 quotes to end on …

  1. “People ignore designs that ignore people” (Frank Chimero)
  2. “Good design is obvious.  Great design is transparent” (Joe Sparano)
  3. “A camel is a horse designed by a committee …” (Alec Issigonis)

Makes you think?

We’ve finished on print design for now; in our next article we’ll be looking at the topic of promotional gifts. Learn more about our brochure printing services here