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Home > Writing Advice & Resources > Writing Effective Brochures (Pt. 2)
Writing Effective Brochures: What Goes Where? (Pt.2)Updated Feb 2006
see Part 1 of this article
In Part 1 of this article, we explored a method for organizing information in an 8 ½ X 11 2-fold brochure. Now we'll look at some common layout problems and see how to solve them.
Problem #1: Detachable Registration Forms
If your brochure is used to publicize a specific event, you may want to include a detachable registration form. On a 2-fold brochure, this will usually go on the rightmost inside panel. The main thing to remember is that once the form is detached and submitted, the reader will also lose whatever information was on the back of the form. In a worst-case scenario, the missing information can be things like:
If you've set up the brochure as described in part 1 of this article, then the information on the back of your registration form will either be the detailed description of benefits to the reader, or some of your product/service information. Not good information to lose!
There are three ways to eliminate, or at least reduce, information loss when using detachable registration forms:
Problem #2: The Pages Look Empty
If your brochure looks sparse and empty, the first step is to decide if there's more you can say. Are there additional benefits of using your product or service? Can you give more product details?
If there's really nothing more to say, here are some suggestions for filling up the page:
Problem #3: Your Pages Look Crowded
It's harder to make a crowded page look good than to fill up an empty one. Some tips for organizing a crowded page:
Problem #4: Some Information Just Doesn't Fit
Most of the brochure comes together nicely, but there are one or two points that just won't fit into the overall flow. You know the information is important, but you just can't see how to work it in without distorting things. When this happens, try using a sidebar.
One last tip for making sure your brochure is effective: put it away for a week, then read it as if it had come from a stranger or competitor. What's missing? What's not properly explained? When testing your brochure this way, pay attention to your first impressionsthey will often show you what needs correcting.
You can also ask semi-strangers to read your brochure, then give their impressions of your business. Be cautious of asking close friends to critique your brochure; friends are often reluctant to hurt you by pointing out problems.
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