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Printing a Brochure: Desktop Publishing Tips and Techniques

written by: Haley Montgomery•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/7/2010

If your next desktop publishing project is to print a brochure, read on to discover three tips for making your brochure design more effective. You'll read desktop publishing tips for choosing your brochure's format, color and paper.

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    Tips for Printing a Brochure

    When your next desktop publishing project requires you to print a brochure, there are many variables to consider before beginning. Read on to discover how these three design decisions can make your finished piece more effective in meeting the project goals: 1) Selecting an appropriate brochure format; 2) Determining color selections for your desktop publishing design; and 3) Choosing the best paper for printing your brochure.

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    Select an appropriate format.

    If your job is to print a brochure for a company or organization, selecting the format of the piece is one decision than can determine its effectiveness. When deciding on the format for your brochure desktop publishing project, consider the actual size of the finished product, whether the color bleeds (or extends to the edge of the paper), and the configuration of the folds.

    Knowing how the brochure will be used and how it will be delivered to its recipients is important information for determining the finished size. When printing a brochure, consider if it will be hand-delivered or mailed to your target audience. Ask yourself whether the brochure will be included in a standard envelope, whether it will be a self-mailer, and if there are any postage size requirements for mailing options that fit within your direct mail budget.

    In addition, determining whether the color on your brochure design will bleed will effect what kind of desktop or offset printer is required to print your brochure. Also, review the amount of information that needs to be included in the brochure and the order in which you prefer the recipient to view it. These factors will help you decide on an appropriate folding configuration. Whether you choose a standard tri-fold or bi-fold, a gate-fold or an accordion-fold, this design decision can encourage the viewer to absorb your information in the way you intend and increase the effectiveness of your brochure.

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    Determine color selections.

    Color is one of the most influential aspects of any desktop publishing project and can greatly effect how you print a brochure. Your use of color might determine if printing a brochure in-house is feasible or if working with a professional printer is required. Often, if large areas of vibrant color are included in your brochure design, the project might benefit from choosing a specific Pantone color that can be printed by a professional printer to achieve the best color coverage and density.

    However, if color placement is more limited or if your piece is printed in black and white, standard desktop printers can create a high-quality finished brochure. When choosing colors for your brochure design, make readability a priority and also consider color choices that will reflect or enhance the image of your client's company or organization.

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    Choose the best brochure paper.

    When printing a brochure, the choice of paper can set the tone for how the recipient views the brochure and the company or organization providing it. In addition, various papers can enhance or deter the effectiveness of how your brochure information is read and presented. There are many colors, textures and weights of paper available for printing, whether you print a brochure on your desktop printer or use a professional printing company.

    Issues like whether the brochure will be mailed or included with other promotional items can help you determine the weight of the paper used. In addition, textured or colored papers can provide added interest to your brochure and help it stand out. However, those types of paper options can hinder readability or reduce the quality of any photographs used in your brochure design. Be careful to put readability as a high priority when choosing the best brochure paper option.

    By making wise design decisions about format, color and paper selection when you print a brochure, you can ensure that it will effectively achieve your desktop publishing project goals.