Let’s Talk About Brochure Content

Before we can get into the content, let’s start at at the beginning… the cover. Why would you bother to open this brochure?

A brochure is not a piece that is used to talk about you, it is a marketing piece. It is a very important marketing piece and it should be used to tell the reader what’s in it for them, what problems you can solve for them, why should they come to you. So take out your brochure and look at it really look at it like you never saw it before and be critical. If you didn’t know the company, would you have any reason to open the brochure to find out more?

The cover is important because it should give someone a reason to open your brochure. What’s on the front of your brochure? Is it your photo or a photo of your building? That’s not a reason for them to open your brochure. Try changing it to a compelling photo, or a statement that calls for action, or ask a question… give them a reason to look inside.

Once they’re inside write your brochure in a way that tells them why they should be calling you ,what are you going to do for them. Make sure there is a call to action. For example:

• Call us today for a free quote

• Call us today and let us prove her commitment to you

• Go to our website

• Go to our website and sign up for our free report

Don’t waste this advertising opportunity…you have them looking at your business make them do something to get their information so you have the opportunity to make them your customer. Make sure your phone number and contact information is in more than one location. It should be on the inside and the outside of the brochure. If they want to contact you, don’t make them search for your information.

You can talk about yourself or your business on the back panel, add your mission statement on the back panel or the inside flap from the back panel – BUT the inside spread of your brochure should be all about what’s in it for them, what benefit can you offer them that your competition can’t, what makes you different. Write your content so that it explains what you do, but does it in a way so the read what’s in it for them.

Studies have shown that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, how many employees you have, how many trucks you have, they want to know what you can do for them. For example if their hot water tank or furnace goes out in the middle of the night they’re going to look for someone that offers emergency service, they don’t care how long you’ve been in business or how many employees you have, they only care that you offer 24 hour emergency service – everything else is irrelevant.

Finally, please make sure that your brochure is on quality paper, professionally printed that your margins are correct and that the look is consistent with your corporate image. This is a very important marketing piece for your business, do it right.

So now that you’ve looked at your brochure, if it’s not what you need, re-do it if you need help give us a call . . . we do that.

What Color Do You Need?

If you are designing a file or getting ready to send your artwork to be printed, you should understand the basic definitions of the colors being used and what the differences are. There are 4 basic color types: CMYK, RGB, PMS and HEX.

CMYK is also know as Full Color, Four Color, Four Color Process and Process Color. CMYK refers to the four inks used in printing full color… Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.  

Each process color is comprised of percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks that are printed in transparent dots of ink that blend together to make a color. CMYK printing will produce high quality results, but there is a chance of color variation across different printers and in different print runs. CMYK are the colors used when you send a file to your desktop printer or when you send a file to a printing company to be printed. CMYK cannot be used on a screen or online.

The best file formats for CMYK colors are: PDF, AI, EPS, orTIF; but a JPEG file can also be CMYK.

The RGB color model is an “additive color model” in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors.

RGB colors work great on websites and on-screen, but it is not a good choice for printing. RGB colors should be used for website logos or graphic images, social media, video, photographs online, apps, etc. You will notice that RGB colors appear more vibrant than CMYK colors because they are illuminated on a screen and the screen provides a larger range of color.

The best file formats for RGB colors are: JPEG, PNG and GIF.

A spot color is a special premixed ink that is used instead of, or in addition to, process inks (CMYK).

Spot colors are solid colors of ink. A spot color requires its own printing plate on a printing press which adds to the cost of the printing job. You would use spot color when color accuracy is critical. There are several spot color systems to choose from, but the most widely used is the Pantone Matching System (PMS).

Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a printing industry color matching system used to print spot colors – also called Pantone colors.

Pantone uses 18 base colors to create a range of Pantone colors. The swatches are indicated by a three- or four-digit number followed by the letter C or U. (example PMS 320C) The C stands for Coated and the U for Uncoated and refers to the finish of the paper it is being printed on. Coated are used for printing on glossy surfaces and Uncoated for printing on matte surfaces like letterhead. When you print on a coated surface it adds a sheen to the ink and the uncoated inks are not as vibrant. If you look at the same PMS number in coated and uncoated, there is a noticeable difference.

Hex Colors are Hexadecimal numbers are used on web pages to set colors.

Hex colors are a mix of red, green and blue (RGB) with some conversions. The color is shown by the number sign (#) followed by six letters, numbers or a combination (ex. #66ccc). Hex colors are only used on web pages and should not be used in designing for print.

Most likely, you will never need to use hex color codes, but, you can find free conversion tools online if you need to convert RGB files to HEX by searching, “RGB to HEX” .

Types of Artwork Files

Let’s talk about the basic file types and their common uses. You should have your logo files in ALL of these file types so you have the right file for any situation. You should also have your logo in color, in solid black and white and also in a grayscale file. It is always best to supply the exact type of file needed for a specific job.

This is usually a vector file and is the preferred file type in the marketing field. Vector files are scalable. They will always remain crisp and clean whether 1/4” or 14 feet. Chances are you will not be able to open a .eps file, but your printer or graphic designer will. The EPS file is needed for any promotional item imprint, screen printing or for signs because of its ability to be scaled without loosing quality.

The most universally used file type, a .jpg can be used across most platforms and applications. It cannot be scaled without loosing resolution. This file type is best used on-line and in Powerpoint presentations. It can be printed in high resolution as long as you use it at 100% or smaller and does not need to be enlarged. A jpg file will alway have a white background. It should not be used on a background with color or over an image because it will have a white box around it (unless you have a colored background as part of your JPG image).

The TIF is an image format file for high-quality graphics. TIF files (Tagged Image Format File) are very versatile when used in printing, however they can not be used on web pages.

Best used online. A .png file can have a transparent background so it will not have a white box background like a jpg. It can also be used in print depending on how you are printing. If you are printing to a desktop printer or digital file, it will be fine. It is not ideal if you are sending it to an offset press for 4-color Process printing because a PNG is always an RGB file and is not CMYK.

Portable Document Format – this file type is used across all platforms and captures all of the elements of a document in an electronic image that can be viewed or printed on most computers. It is usually the preferred file type because it embeds fonts and images without attaching the font and image files. If you create artwork in Microsoft Word, you can SAVE AS as pdf. NOTE: For offset printing, if you are using a design program (Illustrator, InDesign, CorelDraw) it is always best to convert all fonts to curves before sending a PDF.

When you area asked for artwork, please pay attention to what you are being asked for, there is a reason you are asked for that type of file. As always, if you need help, contact us, we are here to help you grow your business!