Using templates to do your own brochure designs

Brett is your typical twenty something entrepreneur. Young and energetic, he has the drive to make his fledgling travel company into something amazing. If only he could bring in some more business, he could start expanding the company into its true potential. "When a good friend suggested making some brochures, I was intimidated, but that was nothing compared to my worries when I got a quote on a set of professionally made brochures".

And Brett isn't alone. The sheer volume of brochure templates that exist are testament to the growing need for a do-it-yourself approach to advertising. Everyone wants to save on the cost of hiring a professional agency, but it can be intimidating to take responsibility for the entire advertising campaign. For the average business owner, designing and producing brochures is a pain. Not many business owners will jump at the chance to create their own advertising materials, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the extra effort.

Whether you have a huge budget or are scraping together pennies to finance your brochure campaign, read on for some helpful tips to create your own top quality brochures.

With inflation and increasingly sophisticated technologies, the price of creating advertising materials has increased. Gone are the days of having to fork out a small fortune to have professionally made brochures and advertising materials. With some time and patience, you can create your own! Use one of the many free templates, or pay for a professional or customized template.

Templates have revolutionized the way most people approach many technical jobs. Before the dawn of neatly organized and formatted templates, people had to painstakingly lay out, write and design their own CV's, resumes, format their own letters and even design their own brochures! Luckily, the internet has brought with it a multitude of templates for any task you could imagine. There are even templates for tasks you couldn't have imagined!

So, you have potentially thousands of brochure templates to choose from. How do you go about finding the best templates for your brochures?

With Google of course! A good place to start is the standard Microsoft templates. Microsoft Word offers a few great brochure templates to choose from. The advantage of using a Microsoft template is the extra support you get. Also, knowing that the brochures you intend to use have passed the stringent Microsoft quality standards is a great starting point. Microsoft brochure templates are tried and tested, and best of all they are very user friendly and easy to use.

But the sky is the limit for brochure templates. Many more options are available if the Microsoft brochure templates aren't tantalizing you. There are many private companies who charge a small fee for brochure templates, and many of these are professionally designed.

You can search by the format of template you are looking for, bi-fold or tri-fold brochures are the most commonly used. You can also search specifically for E-brochures. One day, most brochures will be downloaded and printed from the comfort of the client's home. Even if you choose one of the other types of brochures, creating an e-brochure can go a long way towards making your advertising material accessible to many more people, at a fraction of the cost. Electronic brochures require no printing costs on your part!

Some general tips for creating fabulous brochures from templates:

  • Keep the design simple: Balance text heavy areas with loads of white space to allow the eye some rest, and make sure your design flows smoothly. The eye should have a clear point of entry onto the page (usually a bold headline). Bear in mind that choosing a simple template does not necessarily mean that you will end up with a simple brochure. Half the advantage of using brochure templates is how easy they are to customize. Luckily, brochure templates take care of many of the design aspects that you might not have thought of.

  • Copywriting needs to be simple and easy to understand. The general tone of your advertising copy will vary depending on the nature of your business of course. But if you are selling candles, there is no need for quantum physics or similarly complicated explanations. Keep it simple!

  • Images in your brochures should be visually impressive. Showcasing the best aspects of your business can be a fun project to undertake. Using photographs can be one of the best ways to showcase your products or services and keep the brochures interesting. Some brochures even come with images for your use, and there are also many stock photo libraries (some of which are free) to choose from if you are struggling to find good pictures to use.

  • Injecting some personality into your brochure is important. If your company is filled with young people and caters to a younger clientele, then your brochures should reflect that!

  • Don't skimp on the brochure printing: The first thing people notice is the overall quality of the brochure. Have your brochures professionally printed and take the highest quality paper, ink and settings you can afford. While many brochure templates give the option of self-printing, it's worth the extra expense for better quality.

If you have found a good-looking brochure template, then half the battle is already won. Using various search terms can lead to very different results. Just keep in mind what your ideal finished product will look like, and manipulate the different elements of the brochure until you are happy. Above all, play around. Experiment with different templates and brochure formats until you find something eye catching. Have fun with this project and you might even find you have some talent at creating fabulous brochures.

For Brett, the templates he used to create his brochures worked perfectly. "Not only did I do a good job, but clients commented on how original my brochures were. If only they knew that there is probably hundreds of business that used the same template!" Brett credits his great brochures with the increased business he has been enjoying since passing out a few hundred brochures.

Choosing to use a template to create your brochures can be a very rewarding experience. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised!

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