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How to produce the best quality brochure content

Putting together a brochure or booklet can be a daunting process if it's your first time. Here we've put together a handy checklist of how to go about putting together captivating content for your promotional marketing material.

In the Beginning...
The first real thing to establish is the format of your brochure. This may largely be determined by any budget you may have for the project. If you have a lot of products and services to promote then it may be a good idea to break them down into sections within the booklet, or perhaps think about organising a folder with individual inserts detailing each specific area. At this stage it's worth looking around at your competitors to see how they go about promoting themselves. Make a list of good and bad points and establish early on how you would ideally like to see your own brochure.

Forward planning
The next step is to produce a rough page plan of your brochure, at this stage it doesn't need to have any finished copy but just a general page by page sketch of what is going to go where. Making an actual dummy out of blank sheets of paper that can be scribbled on will give you a good visual representation of how things are going to flow.

Putting the words together
Probably the most daunting task with brochures is collating the copy and trying to decide where and how it should all fit into the great scheme of things. You may actually find the majority of the information you need already exists in various places e.g. the company website for example or in excel spreadsheets. The best text file format for brochure designers to work with is in a word document. It's not a good idea to supply hand written scribbles or printed out letters as this information is going to have to be keyed in before any design work can start and will need to be charged for. If you are really struggling with the composition then it's advisable to use the services of a proffesional copywrighter. Brochure designers can offer this as an additional service.

Get the picture
Probably the most instantaneous thing that is going to really improve any brochure design is the images used. Getting a friend to take some product shots on their camera phone is no substitute for having some quality professional photography commissioned. Or if budgets are more tight take alook online at royalty free image libraries such as istockphoto to see whether they have some suitable imagery that could be used in your brochure from only a few pound per image. Another important point is to make sure any images supplied are of a high enough resolution to print well. Cutting and pasting some jpgs off of your website isn't going to be good enough. Images need to be saved as jpgs at maximum resolution in CMYK format, 300dpi at the approximate size that they are going to be used at. Alternatively and at no extra cost brochure designers have an extensive library of royalty free stock imagery available to any design clients, which can really dramatically improve any brochure design no end.

Supply and demand
When you have the nuts and bolts of your raw brochure together put everything in a folder and zip it up to reduce file size, if it comes in at less than 2mb you should be able to e-mail it accross without any problems. If the file size is coming up quite large with all images then you can either put it onto a CD and mail it out or use a ftp file server service such as to upload your files. When brochure designers have the brochure content, the design work can begin and once layed out the brochure can be saved as a low res pdf for client approval. Any amends and edits can then be carried out - if neccesary the services of a sub editor can be used to maintain any grammatical consistancy to the document - before finally creating print ready PDF files ready for print.

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