I am an online writer with a degree in journalism who writes on a wide range of topics.
Really, It's Free?
Brochures can be a very important part of your business or organization as far as publicity. You want people to understand your purpose, what you do, and more. And you want your brochures to be nice.
Oftentimes, printing these can be very expensive, whether you're paying someone to design the layout or if you're printing yourself and you suffer the costs of ink and quality paper. But producing brochures doesn't have to be expensive. Thankfully, the World Wide Web offers some alternatives to high-cost brochures.
There are plenty of tools you can use online to make some good brochures without any money or a lot of time. You can create them yourself and even have someone else print them for you. Check out the tips and methods I've outlined below and read up through the links I've supplied at the bottom of the page.
Brochure Design Tips
You might be excited to start generating nice-looking brochures for your company, but before you jump into the online world, glance over these bits of advice I have for you.
Here are some basics concerning how your brochure should work:
- Determine the purpose of your brochure: Why should people choose your company over others? Explain the answer to this question in the brochure and keep your response focused.
- Draw attention to your headlines: Make them sound bold and interesting. However, it's not okay to use all capital letters; this sort of scares readers. Use upper and lowercase instead. Also, try not to make words bold so that when you do, it really catches a reader's attention.
- Keep copy brief: Make sure there's ample space between lines of type so it's easier to read. Also, there should be sufficient marginal space around every fold and side of your brochure.
- Use plenty of color
As far as the text, you should include:
- What the customer gets out of doing business with your company: avoid the overuse of the pronouns "we," "us," "I" or "our."
- The twelve most powerful words in the English language, which are:
- Company information: While the customer comes first, make sure you promote your company too. Explain the business, its history and maybe testimonials or a list of prominent clients.
- Product information: Explain what it's for and explain any warranties or guarantees. Try not to list prices; you want people to contact you so you can engage their interest and have more control over transactions. Speaking with them also gives you the chance to assuage any concerns or uncertainties they may have.
- Contact information: Avoid using staff pictures if you want a more professional image. However, in a close-knit community, it wouldn't necessarily hurt.
Including both prices and staff pictures are tricky because both are apt to change, thus rendering your brochure invalid.
Finally, you may try asking people who know nothing about your product to read over a proof of your brochure and have them explain your company and/or product from what they read.
- A good type of paper to use is 70 lb. (or higher) coated stock for a three-panel, four-color brochure. A 10-point cardstock is best for single-panel brochures to ensure that it won't flop forward in display stands.
- Dimensions are very important. If you try to design the layout yourself, you often have to get down to portions of inches to get your brochure to print out just right. It's good to want to save money, but when it comes to the livelihood of your business, you might want to enlist the help of an experienced designer to help with the layout, if not the production and printing.
- Know your target audience well. You can look up demographic information about what the audience prefers as far as color, typeface, even style. Do some research before starting to make your brochure.
- Proofread! There is nothing that says "unprofessional" like a misspelled word.
- If you need a large number of brochures, it's best to design your brochure online for free, then to take the file to a printer. Mass production of printed items is easier for them and less expensive for you as opposed to you printing hundreds of brochures with your inkjet printer.
Recommended Online Tools
Powered by Doodlelab, this is a Hewlett Packard program that I would say is your best bet for creating your brochure online for free. It's super easy and I think their designs are great. You also print them yourself, which allows for a lot more control on your part.
With MyBrochureMaker you have the choice of making a Brochure with mailing panel, brochure without mailing panel, or flyer.
The program also offers templates with different themes: Medical, contractor, fitness, salon/spa, real estate, nature, travel, business, technology, childcare It may take some time to load the templates so you can work on them, depending on your connection.
Then you press buttons to Edit Outside, Edit Inside and View Both to start editing the text for your brochure. You just click on the boxes where the text goes and type the words. The pictures are already there and the layout is already set up.
Finally, you print your brochure: First, you print the outside on one side of the paper, then rotate it 180 degrees and put the paper back in, printed side up. (HP recommends doing a test print to make sure it comes out the way you want it to on the paper you selected before printing more.) Then you print the inside. And then you're done! You can save your design or ditch it. HP also recommends you use their specialty brochure paper when using their service as well. Depending on how professional the purpose of your brochures are, this might not be a bad idea; I find HP paper to work really well and sometimes you can get it on sale.
At VistaPrint, you have the option of making 25 free, they print them for you. You can also make them in quantities of 50,100, 250 and 500, but they cost more respectively (making 500 costs $250). You can also pay for a document proof in PDF form for $1.99. Hint: Before you start, you may want to register if you are not already a member of the site because they will ask you to do that in the middle of the brochure-making process before you can continue.
You can also just continue as a guest of the site. If you're downloading a template, VistaPrint recommends you use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator for editing.
Here are the product specifications for their printed brochures:
- Full Bleed Size (starting document size): 11.10" x 8.63" (they advise that finished artwork should use the full bleed dimensions for better results)
- Document Trim Size (final size after being cut): 10.98" x 8.50"
- Resolution: 300 DPI
Make sure to keep all text within the safe margins they designated. Dotted lines indicate where a fold will take place. If you don't want text or other elements to appear on the fold, make sure they stay within each panel's safe margin.
When you're making your brochure, you have the option of using one of their templates or uploading your own design (or having them make it for you for $99).
If you're uploading your own outline, you have to make sure it conforms to their specifications, including the size of 11.10" x 8.63"; that all background colors and images bleed to the edges of the document at the full bleed; that all-important text and images are within the safe margin (.137" from the edge of your document); that resolution is 300 DPI at 100%; and that all fonts are converted to outlines (as in Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw). From there they take it, print it, and send it to you in as little as 3 days. If you're using a template, you're in luck because they have a wealth of nice industry designs to use, including wedding, flowers, construction, legal and more. You can even add the ones you love to your Favorites. Once you get a look at the design you think you want, you then enter your text where the sample text is at the left side of the window (you enter it in boxes), initial a box to get online approval of both sides and have it printed and shipped to you!
This is another great and free resource to make brochures... and another Hewlett Packard program. The point of this Web site is to "make cool stuff with your photos." Members are very involved in uploading and sharing their photos with others on the site. You have a blog and you can pay to print certain products, like books, posters and more. You can make your brochures here to print at home or through the company.
The first thing you have to do, however, is to sign up... it takes just a minute to do so. You don't even need to check your e-mail to verify your account.
Once you've done that, you can start making your brochure. This program seems less structured than the others I have listed, but you can use the member network maybe to get some great ideas and even use some of the photos they have posted for sharing to put in your brochure.
Online tools and additional resources
- HP Printer ink and laser toner cartridge and paper supplies
Here you can find the ink and paper you need to print your brochure after you've designed it. HP is a trusted and reliable brand a good place to start printing brochures!
- VistaPrint Brochures
VistaPrint has special offers so you can try the first 25 brochures free. Try your hand at designing your own brochures and having them printed by someone else!
Kristy recommended this link as a cheaper, faster way to print brochures. Thanks!
- Brochure Monster
If you need more help than just cost-efficient brochure printing, you may want to check out this Web site, with lots of resources to help you end up with the brochure you want.
- PrintPlace.com: Online Printing - Full Color, Offset and Digital
This company specializes in printing brochures for a low price. Once you’ve developed your design, you can take it here and choose from a variety of options to get the brochure you want.
- BuyerZone - Free online quotes
At BuyerZone you can get a free online quote of what your brochure is going to cost, with what materials, in what quantity. Understand how the brochure production industry works before you get started.
- Customize 860+ Brochure Templates | PosterMyWall
Create stunning Brochures designs in minutes by customizing our easy to use templates. Download for use on the web for FREE. High resolution downloads start at $2.99 only!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
markswann on August 21, 2015:
Great article! Once you have mastered your brochure designs and want to take it to the next level, you could look at using Video Brochures. They are a great mix of print and tech. Admittedly, they are not as low cost as home design but if you went direct to a manufacturer such as these Oceanstar-gift. You can get the video insert for your brochure at lowest costs available.
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on November 04, 2013:
Dave, thank you for the resource! And thank you all for your comments!
Dave on October 29, 2013:
I'd recommend checking out Lucidpress for making brochures, newsletters, and the like.
Along with being free and online, it always supports collaboration with others.
Art on April 21, 2012:
Having a brochure to pass out is always great. its a way to grow your business, and if u can find tools that are free and help you grow, then its something people should take advantage of.
we get ours printed at http://lecards.com
Chris on March 25, 2012:
Check this on out
vijayalakshmi on February 18, 2012:
make it more clear while explaning the procedure so that it is better understood to continue with your hub.
fulum on February 14, 2012:
ugu on December 24, 2011:
ace jan on December 16, 2011:
thank you for the information. That was very nice. Hope to have an article about flowers to. You can get an idea about this on www.romeesgarden.com I am very interested about that. Thank you!
raised ink business cards on December 08, 2011:
These days you can do so much online. From brochures to even business cards. As for business cards one of my favorite type is the raised ink business cards.
Matt on November 20, 2011:
If you're looking to create free real estate or rental flyers online check out http://www.housingflyers.com/real-estate-flyers.ht... for 8.5"x11" real estate brochures you can download as a pdf and print at home.
GClark from United States on November 15, 2011:
Excellent information and well-written. Thanks for sharing. GC
french dood on November 14, 2011:
kcoool i have dmot twied it vo
Hasan on October 16, 2011:
I barely got anything, buuuut i'll say its good enough :)
gaming cases on October 08, 2011:
Excellent stuff from you, man. I’ve read your things before and you are just too awesome. I adore what you have got right here. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. This is truly a great blog thanks for sharing…
steffi on October 03, 2011:
Thank you for your kind information
gabby on October 02, 2011:
Amanda on September 26, 2011:
Great article. Thanks!
virendra pandey on September 22, 2011:
extent presentation.its benefited me to make idea.
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on September 20, 2011:
kommitted, thanks so much! I think I'll add that to the links :)
kommitted1973 on September 20, 2011:
Great article! The brochure I created and had printed turned out to be a great marketing tool for my business. I found Vista to be a little pricey and I don't really like their quality. So I did some research and found http://www.zoomprinter.com/products/brochures, I was able to get 500 8.5 x 11 for about $200. I was extremely pleased with the fast turnaround and end product.
Shannon on September 04, 2011:
how do you make a leaflet online i really need to know its bugging me
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on September 03, 2011:
Thank you all for your comments! Lukas, look at the Recommended online tools section for some suggestions, like VistaPrint.
lukas on September 02, 2011:
actually, i dont undarstand what kind of program you use? can any one tell me what free program i need to use to make a brochures or flyers?
Awesome Tutorial on September 02, 2011:
thank you for this great post I for sure will be referring to this when i create some brochures for http://www.centecequipment.com . thank you again
Dorcas on August 22, 2011:
Quite useful. Thanks!
akasa on August 18, 2011:
Hi MyBrochureMaker is not working now for free.It needs around 10$ to print a brochure from them.They do not allow even to save that in my pc.i am using now http://freebrochuremaker.net .it is so charm so far.But thanks for so info
Jeff_McRitchie on August 02, 2011:
Very informative. Brochures are a great marketing tool. Who knew they were so easy to make?
get senuke on July 09, 2011:
Great advice, I wanted to get a line of brochures for my business, but was shocked by the prices that some graphic designers were charging. This is a great way for me to take my time and plan it out exactly the way that I want it!
emily on May 20, 2011:
well i dont like to read soo.... i did not read this but if it is a lot then it must be good!
network software on April 23, 2011:
great information for me..thanks
Jerry Brisbane on March 15, 2011:
Thanks for that. Great guide. Good, clean design. Less is more! Well done.
zds on February 11, 2011:
bad and not good
baim on January 26, 2011:
mikey on December 05, 2010:
used skid steer on October 05, 2010:
One way I lowered costs was to buy a used skid steer instead of a new skid steer. Why buy new when the old is still perfectly useful and has plenty of wear in it for half the price. Maybe the army can learn from my example. http://www.texasskidsteer.com
Nikki D. Felder from Castle Hayne, N.C. on September 18, 2010:
I'm a member of a non-profit ministry and my husband in a gospel music minister. I can benefit greatly from your hub and I thank you. Thank You!
Marcel on August 29, 2010:
Very practical information. Very useful, because you point out were you can use it and what the benefits are.
Quick Cash Concept Hub on July 25, 2010:
I am going through all of your hubs and I don't have enough words to praise the quality of the stuff you are providing. Thanks.
Tony from At the Gemba on July 13, 2010:
can get yourself free business cards and everything... wonderful... Good hub, useful if you are starting your own little business with limited funds.
FB Siphon on June 23, 2010:
Its great.Thanks for your recommendation.
adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 14, 2010:
This is another testimony that with the internet, the world is indeed in your fingertips.
.. on June 06, 2010:
i didn't find this program helpful at all .
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on May 29, 2010:
Thank you all for stopping by! Sophie, it depends on the tools you use, but feel free to check out some of the links and look into what you need to do to make a brochure their way!
Sophie on May 26, 2010:
Wait, how do you do it?
Mister Archer on May 21, 2010:
So flipping amazing. It would be great to include some recommendations on where to obtain visual assets. Like an istockphoto or something.
If you're ever in San Francisco, drop me a line and I'm happy to provide you some recommendations on "how to do" SF. http://misterarcher.com/
Foredi from Jakarta on May 12, 2010:
I like the video. I bookmarke it. Glassvisage, nice to meet you :)
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on April 18, 2010:
Thank you all for your comments! I hope that the Hub was helpful :)
Katie McMurray from Westerville on April 11, 2010:
glassvisage, I was looking around your hubs and stumbled upon this one, WOW what a fabulous wealth of information. Thanks for the how to make a brochure online hub! Peace :)
George Poe from United Kingdom on March 19, 2010:
I love this hub. Your writing is original and the photos are beautiful.
Kerry43 on March 17, 2010:
This will come in very handy, thank you
LOLLY on February 28, 2010:
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on February 21, 2010:
Thank you for your posts! GMA and Jesaira and HKrafston, great tips... Thanks for helping to improve my Hub!
harry on February 16, 2010:
Awesome! Excellent info
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on February 09, 2010:
Great Hub! I love Office Max or Impress! I know it is costly but IF you are doing allot of publishing - Microsoft Publisher is wonderful! They offer a 60 day free trial so if you plan your time well - which is impossible to do as an entrepreneur - I know! Publisher is so much more flexible in inserting photos and text boxes and changing the text box size. Rated it UP! Excellent Hub!
Patty Jones on February 07, 2010:
Great Post very helpful
HKrafston from Columbus, OH on February 04, 2010:
I like VistaPrint as well, but they can't do the folding for tri-fold brochures.
Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on February 04, 2010:
Excellent resource! Thanks!
I am bookmarking this one!
Jesaira on January 25, 2010:
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Priscilla Chan from Normal, Illinois on January 08, 2010:
Interesting! I need to have time to read this. I will come back. Thanks.
sarah84 from vietnam on December 24, 2009:
:D merry christmas!
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glassvisage (author) from Northern California on December 21, 2009:
Thanks for the resources!
Designer E on December 20, 2009:
Great Hub for DIY. Another great resource for all of it is http://trusteprint.com They can handle the design and printing. Plus they have free templates that you can use to design your brochures, http://trusteprint.com/download-templates They are pretty affordable and they do amazing design work.
Ang.09@fakediploma on September 20, 2009:
I will be back again to see what else you’ve got going on ...
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on September 20, 2009:
This is very useful and helpful. You explained everything so clearly. Thank you, glass visage. I'm bookmarking this great hub.
Rachel on August 13, 2009:
the web page is to long :-[
ambreen tariq on August 08, 2009:
yup,,its simply amazing. will definitly use to make brocher of my company, thanks a lot friend.
jonty on August 08, 2009:
this is really a wonderful hub....
very informative .... very nicely explained ....
keep the good work up .... god bless you .....
trimar7 from New York on July 23, 2009:
Great resources. I have bookmarked this hub for future use.
Avare on May 13, 2009:
Great hub. Excellent work! Thanks for your work.
UK Magazines on April 29, 2009:
Great information. I would really like to design some brouchers for my company using these.
RVDaniels from Athens, GA on April 23, 2009:
Thanks, it is so helpful to me. I was looking for a way to make brochures to promote my aStores for charity. Basically a way to raise money for homeless and sick kids.
ontheway on April 02, 2009:
How to Make a Brochure with Free Online Tools
well written, I come on , welcome to my hub
kins from shanghai on April 01, 2009:
this is a great article,i want to translate it into Chinese and tell my friends!
Tony on March 26, 2009:
Excellent product. I can think of many uses for it.
JennifersJumpers on March 16, 2009:
Thanks for the info. Free is good!
forlan on March 12, 2009:
nice hubs i want make brochure someday
Brianna on March 08, 2009:
Wow it really awsome and it really helps
E7 on March 07, 2009:
ITS HARD I DONT UNDERSTAND STILL
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teleassistência on February 27, 2009:
Great hub! I'm going to take advantage of this information. Thanks!
bigpicturerick from Citrus County Florida near Ocala on February 27, 2009:
This is really excellent and very helpful to people trying to grow or even start a business on a small budget.
Thank you for such a great effort and for including so many resources.
mike_3d on February 25, 2009:
Very well explained and an informative hub.thank you
Judy Cullins on February 18, 2009:
Great information for copywritiing. I havn't used a brochure for ove 15years. My book How to Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast acts as my living brochure. And, with the world of Web 2.0 people use their useful information to attract sales. Still--helpful.
Judy Cullins at bookcoaching.com
VAerin on January 31, 2009:
Nice! Great tips. I do desktop publishing and all this is great! I offer a lot of tips for VA's, this will help them too! Keep it up. Here is my blog for some other cool tips: http://virtualassistantresources.wordpress.com
nancydodds1 from Houston, Texas on January 30, 2009:
TravelAMP from Around the world on January 08, 2009:
Thanks for the tips. I've bookmarked it for when I need to do a brochure.
Bueller's Way from Massachussetts on January 08, 2009:
Wow, that's an info packed hub! Seems like the costs of running a small business are decreasing every year as new technology and services become available. I'll keep this in mind as another tool to use when I finally start my own. Thanks.
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on January 07, 2009:
Thanks everybody, and thank you Kristy for the extra link!
Kristy on January 07, 2009:
I had researched a lot of printing companies for our brochures and found that http://www.gotprint.com was the least expensive of them all. Additionally, their turn around time is excellent and their quality is flawless!
Kreg Enderson from Phoenix on January 04, 2009:
Great information for getting a great looking brochure fast and cheap.
FunFacter from Canada on December 31, 2008:
In order to implent the ideas Microsoft Publisher 2007 is a good appliaction with builtin templates
Manly on December 29, 2008:
Here is some good advice on how to send it out effectively.
njdiamonds on December 27, 2008:
Thanks for the hub its great, very good information that I will be looking into.
glassvisage (author) from Northern California on December 24, 2008:
Thank you everyone! I hope this helps you all in some way :)
nachmieter on December 24, 2008:
I will try this for my Nachmieter-Blog! Txs for sharing.
andy on December 23, 2008:
thanks for your shareing
lillian9534 on December 21, 2008:
Great resource and very timely for me. Thanks
christinerange from Columbus, OH on December 20, 2008:
A really nice hub - very informative, indepth, yet easy to follow. Thanks, this is a terrific resource especially for many of us brick and mortar businesses who are looking for ways to cut costs.
Laura Izett-Irwin from The Great Northwest on December 07, 2008:
This information came up for me at the right time so thank you.