A homemade brochure can be an excellent showcase for students who want to exercise their artistic, writing and research skills. It is also a relatively easy project that can be made using materials found in most homes, or via almost any kind of graphic design software.
Things You'll Need
Letter size sheet of paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches)
Black ink pen
Step 1: Layout
The standard format for a brochure uses a letter sheet (standard printing size) folded twice, so it is divided into three equal parts. When folded this way it is the perfect size for fitting into a business envelope. A letter size sheet is 8.5 by 11 inches, so you can mark the folds at the 3.7 inch and 7.3 inch measurements along the long side of the paper. Once it is folded you can see that there are six panels for you to fill, three on the front and three on the back of the sheet. Use a pencil to mark your template so you know where each panel is when the sheet is unfolded. For example, you can write "front cover" on the front panel, "inside left," "inside center" and so forth.
Step 2: Research
The purpose of a brochure is to sell something or to inform, whether that is an idea, a product or a destination. For a travel brochure you will want to research the destination carefully and thoroughly. Investigate the major attractions and think about why someone might want to visit there. You will also want to find beautiful and relevant pictures to fill your panels. Look in travel magazines for inspiration and for pictures to cut out and use. If you find some ideal pictures in a book, you can photocopy or trace them for use in your brochure.
Step 3: Writing
Your language should be simple yet persuasive. If you are completing an assignment, make sure you include all the information required. Then you can plan out what else you need.
- Your cover panel should have a simple title in large writing. You might also want to add a catchphrase.
- The panel that folds inside the brochure should have your "big picture" information, outlining the basics of the destination and why someone should go there.
- The three inside panels can either be used as a single big panel or divided up with separate information. For example, if you are presenting trip packages, this is where you will outline each option.
- The back of the brochure (the center back panel) can be used for more detailed information, such as directions, prices or regulations. This is also a great place for statistics, such as how many people visit each year, average temperatures, peak travel times, etc.
Step 4: Pictures
Your pictures should be bold and crisp, without too much detail. They need to be easy to understand on a small, crowded surface as well as interesting and clear at a glance. Choose pictures that are relevant to whatever you are promoting in the brochure. You can cut pictures from old newspapers and magazines, photocopy them from books or print them from the Internet. Tracing or freehand drawing can also be very effective, particularly if you have odd spaces to fill in your brochure.
Try to pick photos that will not clash with each other. They also need to be relatively different. Don't just use six pictures of the beach. Add pictures with people enjoying different activities.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
It can be tempting to let the pictures overwhelm the text, but you need both to find balance for a good brochure. It is best to keep the text in small chunks, with dark lettering on a bright background. You might want to write out your text roughly and cut it out in small boxes so you can determine the right positioning on your brochure.
- Use your template to shift around your pictures and the blocks of text until you are happy with the result.
- Mark the positions of all your images and text blocks on the template.
- Use a fresh sheet of paper to make the final brochure. If you must mark it, use your pencil very lightly and erase the marks afterward.
- Carefully paste your pictures in place and use a black ink pen to write the text.
If you are worried about your handwriting, you can write your text on a separate sheet and then cut and paste it into place. Another option is to type your words on a computer and print them as a block of text. Use the margin settings on your word processing software to manage the width of your text blocks.
Step 6: Computer-Designed Brochure
If you are using a computer, it can still be very helpful to have a physical template in front of you. This makes it easier to visualize how the final brochure will look and where everything should fit. You can make a brochure in any graphics design program and most word processing programs, including Microsoft Word.
- When starting a new file, choose an A4 or letter size template and set it to landscape.
- You will probably have to make two files, one for the front of your sheet and one for the back.
- You can either print them double-sided on a single sheet or put the sheet through twice to be printed on both sides.
If you don't have a color printer, you can design your brochure on your computer with the text in place and leave spaces for the pictures. After you print, you can cut relevant pictures from magazines and paste them into place.