Posted by on 27th June 2023

Brochure design tips for either print or digital applications

Watch out for these 10 points below. Having worked for many of the worlds top companies I know. The biggest mistakes that are usually made during a brochure production are as follows.

  1. There is no reference or URL/link to your brand/company YouTube channel.
  2. No reference or URL/link to your UK company LinkedIn page or other essential social media channels.
  3. If you are using recycled paper or card at your printer’s, you need to add an FSC logo/ Recycle logo – with info on the exact materials used in print production. Plus, recycling instructions depending on local laws, brochure design tips can help.
  4. There are no folios or page numbers, essential with page spreads, when used as PDFs for landscape online for easy identification of content.
  5. You design an A5 brochure, with body copy text far too small to read when printed. Not very accessible.
  6. The photography has not been cleared for copyright, or human content GDPR regulations, or model release form that has been signed.
  7. The photography has not been properly credited.
  8. There is no allowance for print production cascading, where pages get progressively narrower towards the centre of a wire stitched publication, you’ll lose content.
  9. You skimp on proof reading by not employing a professional proof reader. Resulting in major faux pas that is spotted a month after publication by a member of the public.
  10. Most paper and card products are not actually white, they’re creamy coloured. So along with RGB photography used during the design stage, plus this cream paper, you end up with dull looking photos. Get a printed proof made on the paper are card you intend to use. This is called a wet proof or machine printed proof.

I could go on and bore you with another 20 of these brochure design failure tips, please get in touch if you want to learn about them.

Brochure Design fit for Industrial Production

Many ‘design people’ out there claim to be design-for-print experts these days. With modern software, brochure design is far easier and modern print shops are generally helpful with inexperienced designers. However there is no substitute for a graphic designer who was originally trained as a printer and has actually operated multi-colour industrial printing machines for a 12 year period, gaining a full understanding of what is possible with the modern printing process. My brochure design tips are on this page.

Make your brochure spreads look like adverts or banners so you get maximum usage

Make your brochure spreads look like adverts or banners so you get maximum usage


Make your brochure spreads look like adverts or banners so you get maximum usage

Icons work well in brochures


Library photos can help and they are cheap

Library photos can help and they are cheap


Exhibition graphics

Exhibition graphics


Make your brochure spreads look like adverts or banners so you get maximum usage

Make photography work


Make your brochure pages look nice for those curved page moments

Key differentiation of my service to other design agencies

My key selling point is experience. From my first event flyer design in 1977 until now I’ve been immersed in the world of design for printing. That folks is a staggering 45 years. Read on for brochure design tips.

Learning the basics about typography is very important for a brochure designer

Learning the basics about Typography is very important for a Brochure Designer

Designing a Brochure for a B2B Print Run

The specification will be CMYK or 4 Colour Process, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. This is required for most print production systems. How many designers do this design part in RGB and get it approved by a client and then wonder why the client moans about dull colours, or rejects the print run entirely? It’s safe to say that practically everywhere I’ve worked I’ve seen this happen.

Graphic ideas can be sourced internally

When you run out of budget and there is no more money for library photography, look at your company videos. They will have been shot in HD hopefully. There is a goldmine of static imagery waiting to be grabbed and used in your new brochure design.

Who are my heroes in Graphic Design?

Neville Brody, Paula Scher, Massimo Vignelli, Otl Aicher, Wolfgang Weingart, Shigeo Fukuda and Milton Glaser. Organisations and bodies that I respect. London College of Printing, Pentagram and Bauhaus.

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Contact Laurence Dunn here

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Laurence Dunn
Marketing in Essex
One Hub 7th Floor, Maitland House,
Warrior Square

City of Southend-on-Sea SS1 2JY
United Kingdom