From the extremely gaudy to the extremely cheap, all it takes is a word processor and a printer to create a bad business brochure that will drive customers away from your products.
The really unfortunate thing is that most small business owners have the creativity and resources to create a high quality brochure themselves. All they lack is an understanding of the common mistakes and problems that can turn an otherwise effective brochure into a total disaster.
We've got a big collection of bad brochures that have been sent to us over the years. Here are a few of the brochure mistakes that will get a business into our brochure hall of shame:
Brochures have a natural flow. For example, the first thing the reader sees is obviously the cover. But the second panel he sees isn't the left panel of the flip side – it's the left panel of the same side the cover is on (unfold a brochure and see for yourself.) Can you get creative with your design? Yes – but before you fool around too much make sure you know how it will affect the overall flow.
Hard to Read Fonts
Your affinity for cursive, Gothic style fonts should have no bearing on the font choice for your brochure. If your font is hard to read, then guess what? No one is going to read it. A much better option is to select clear, crisp fonts that are easy to read at a glance.
Too Many Fonts
In fonts for brochures, less is more. Although it's tempting to think that changing your font from one section to the next enhances the design and creates natural boundaries for each section, readers are much more appreciative of brochures that enhance readability by using fewer font selections.
Too Many Words
Using too many words in your brochure is just as bad as using the wrong words. Remember: Your brochure is not an information piece – it's a selling tool. Prospective customers don't want an exhaustive description of your company as much as they want to learn about the benefits of your products and services. Limit the feeling that your brochure has too many words by designing it with lots of white space and using bulleted lists.
Low Quality Print Options
You can completely negate the impact of a well-designed brochure by choosing low quality brochure print options. Paper weight, paper finish, ink colors – it all makes a difference in communicating professionalism and value to prospective customers.