One often overlooked aspect of graphic design is typography. How you choose fonts, the contrast in sizes between body copy, headlines and subheads and the style of paragraphs will all alter the overall impression of a document, and will make a big difference to the way people read it.
One of the common problems with brochure design, is that effects are applied to type in an effort to make the document “stand out”, without the designer realizing that it actually works against them.
The primary objective is to make sure that the typography adds to the impression the piece makes. The average person sees around 7,500 marketing messages per week, so the last thing you want to do is create a document that is hard to read.
One of the best ways to make it easy to read is to limit the number of fonts to two (perhaps three if you really have to) within a brochure. If you use more, it begins to look untidy, with different fonts competing with each other. This means people are likely to put off reading it ‘until later’ – which of course, never comes. Clean and easy on the eye is ALWAYS better.
It is also important to stick to convention, unless there is a GOOD reason for making a change. By convention, I mean the way people EXPECT to read. Ragged left, for example, may make your brochure appear different, but if the eye has to make large jumps to find the beginning of each line, it is hard for people to read.
People are used to starting each line at the same level, so don’t make them work unnecessarily hard to figure out a new way of doing things.
On the subject of convention, if there is a paragraph space between the copy and the subhead, people will struggle to know that the particular copy ‘belongs’ to the heading above it. Keep the body copy directly beneath each sub-head and you’ll make it easy for people to see what belongs where.
And finally, identify the key benefits and advantages of the service or product, and design the brochure so that they get priority. Always give your reader a clear place to start and finish. You should lead them THROUGH the brochure so they will read it all, easily and comfortably.
And of course, finish with a call to action, which tells people how to take the next step and obtain the benefits on offer.