There are still many benefits to having a brochure for your business in the digital age. Brochures are fairly inexpensive and allow you to have something tangible to pass out when you meet a potential client or set up a booth at a networking event. You can capture a lot of information in one small pamphlet and use brochure ideas to brand your business and show what you do, why you do it, and what sets you apart.
There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States and the industry is growing at a steady 3.4% each year. While a brochure can set your business apart, a poorly done brochure may create a lack of trust between you and your target audience at worst and, at best, make you look amateurish. Fortunately, there are dozens upon dozens of brochure ideas featuring well-made designs from which you can learn.
We’ve narrowed it down to 11 brochure ideas we find inspiring.
1. Corporate Half-Fold Brochure
This example of a corporate business brochure found on Behance takes a different approach than the traditional tri-fold brochures. The half-fold design and full image on the front cover give this brochure the look and feel of a glossy magazine. It looks professional from start to finish. A half-fold design works well for sharing blocks of information such as the background of the founder or big projects the company completed.
2. Academic Brochure
This academic brochure template would work well for a school, daycare or museum. The layout highlights features of the institution and also allows room for descriptions. The layout is a traditional tri-fold. You could also adapt this template to businesses such as antique stores or other specialties. The interior layout features sections so you can add an image and text.
3. Creative Cutouts
If you run a creative business, you might want to get a little creative with your brochure. Out of all the brochure ideas we looked at, the cutouts were most interesting. In the example above, the brochure has a cutout of the store logo: a woman holding a cupcake and the words “Skinny Blonde,” and the cutout holds the brochure together in front. It’s a cute use of their logo.
4. Color Gradients
Adding a color gradient to your brochure provides a subtle but interesting effect that grabs attention. The color can either go from darker to lighter or from one color into another, such as blue into green. A color gradient look works especially well for travel businesses, but it could be used for any type of business you’d like. Try to stick with colors that go with your general color scheme for brochure ideas with color gradients.
5. Informational Brochure Ideas
An informational brochure typically has a very specific layout and features, such as data visualizations. This informational brochure is a traditional tri-fold design with blocked areas for text, images and visuals. An informational brochure works well for business models where your product or service requires a bit of explanation. You could also utilize information to show your commitment to quality or customer service and even throw a few testimonials in there.
6. Image Heavy Bi-Fold
Images have a stronger impact and say more than hundreds of words. If you have some beautiful, relevant photos, then an image-heavy bi-fold brochure may be just what your brand needs. One thing to keep in mind is that your images should be unique. Don’t fill brochure ideas like this with stock photos, or you’ll risk looking inauthentic.
7. 3D Pop-Up
Want to make a huge impression on potential clients? A three-dimensional, pop-up brochure sets your brand apart and brings things such as furniture designs and interior decorating to life. Some other businesses that this type of brochure works particularly well for include real estate agents, yard services and day care centers.
8. Unique Shapes
There are times when using an unexpected shape for your brochure works particularly well, such as when you’re trying to reach a niche audience. If the topic naturally lends itself to a specific shape, then create a mini-brochure in that shape. Just realize it will likely cost more to make such a brochure because of the level of customization. In the example above, Volkswagen uses the shape of a leaf to highlight the green points of their vehicles.
9. Contrasting Colors
Grab the reader’s interest with bold, contrasting colors on your brochure. In the example above, black and white contrast sharply on the facing pages of the brochure. A pop of orange draws attention and also contrasts with both the black and the white. Bold contrasts show that you are a bold company. This type of designs works well when you want to get the message across that you’re up on current trends and moving forward with strength.
10. Transparent Elements
You’ve probably noticed the online trend toward portions of the page being transparent to allow other elements to peek through. But why not use transparency in brochure design? In the example above, the designer adds elements to the page and makes them partially transparent to create a trendy look. A trendy design works great for gyms, dance studios and creative-type businesses such as paint-and-sip or pottery classes.
11. Simplistic Flat Design
Sometimes you need to get your message across quickly and without all the bells and whistles. When you just need to get the message out there, a simplistic, flat design still looks professional but doesn’t distract the reader from pertinent information. The brochure above uses primary colors and flat icons with text. There aren’t any photos or three-dimensional elements. Everything is laid out neatly and simply with ample negative space.
Although studying different brochure ideas is one way of gaining inspiration for your own product, you should also pay attention to your client base and your business. You may already have a style and tone which define your brand. If you always use specific colors and flat design, now isn’t the time to deviate from your standards. On the other hand, if you’re still looking for your style, studying what others have done and learning from their successes is a great place to start.