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How to Make a Brochure with Free Online Tools
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:
1. 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.
2. Draw attention with 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.
3. 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.
4. Use plenty of color
As far as the text, you should include:
- What the customer gets out of doing business with your company - avoid 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 quantity 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.
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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, child care It may take some time to load the templates so you can work on them, depending on your connection (I have dial-up... *shudder*).
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 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.
- Free Brochure Software :: My Brochure Maker
Here is it: my favorite free online brochure-making program, MyBrochureMaker. Design the brochure you want so you can print it at home… it’s easy and it turns out great. Also look at HP products.
4Over4 stands as another resource with free services to make brochures… only they offer a free online proof of your brochure before you start printing. It might end up being helpful!
- 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.
- Prepress - Free brochure template downloads
Here at Prepress, you can download brochure templates for free. All you have to do is register on the site and you have access to a wealth of templates, from stationary to menus.
- Business Card Printing - Brochure Printing