Printout and Distribution of Brochures

Since the beginning of the project it is necessary for the graphic designer to take into account the type of printout the brochure will take, given that this will, to a great extent, condition the design. The designer will decide, together with the company’s marketing representatives, the most suitable printing option fitting the type of campaign to be launched, the company’s budget and the different costs. Here we give some basic tips to take into account when designing a brochure and reflecting it on paper.

  • First of all, a thorough search must be done in order to find the printer’s offering the best price and quality. The graphic designer is authoritative enough to help in this search, given that he has the necessary knowledge to understand all the technical printing aspects and knows different printer’s. The elements to bear in mind when asking for a printing estimate are the following: type of brochure, type of paper, number of colours, type of cut, coating, fold, printing system, number of copies, time span and type of delivery. Each company, according to its needs and budget will eventually choose the best price/quality printing style. It should be mentioned that a good printout is essential to profit from all the effort and investment spent on designing a brochure.
  • Once the designer knows the printing conditions, he will be able to fully develop his design ideas. As we have already mentioned, the type of paper, its weight, colours, coating, cuts and folds change significantly the design possibilities and the way in which it will finally look. We invite you to read our section on design criteria, to know more about this topic.
  • Most brochures are created with offset system. This system prints with oil and water inks, based on four core colours(with which all the rest are formed): cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Nowadays, there are two types of offset: traditional and digital. In the traditional offset system the inked image is transferred to a plate. From the plate the image is transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface (paper). Given the preparation costs, offset printing is only used in high volume printing, given that few brochures do not justify the costs.

Digital printing, on the other hand, avoids all the metal plates preparatory phase. A brochure is printed directly from design files, which, in turn, saves time and money, given that the creation of plates is usually more costly. Besides, digital offset printing has the advantage of personalising each printout. Each copy of the brochures can be unique, given that changes can be introduced directly on digital files. This printing system is generally used in small and medium size print runs.

In either case, offset printing is the system of choice in brochure design because it can be used with any type of paper and colour, it is quick, good quality and it can be done in different quantities.

  • Two elements the designer must take into account before finishing the design of a brochure are: crop mark and bleed. Both are related to cutting paper once printed. Crop marks are thin lines indicating where the cut is to be made. On the other hand, and in order to prevent the cut from damaging the image, it must be extended some milimetres. This is called bleed.

  • Before completing the whole print run, it is necessary to make a proof print. In so doing, the quality of colours and image can be tested, besides checking that there are no other mistakes. With a proof print you make sure that brochures printout is successful.

For brochures to consolidte a company’s image it is necessary to promote them adequately. This means that once printed, they must circulate among actual and prospect clients. A good means of distribution is mail. To such ends a list must be drawn including actual and prospect clients, who with the necessary advertising may become new customers. For this type of delivery brochures must be standard sized, otherwise, there might be problems with mail or delivery may turn out to be very costly.

Personal distribution may be done in commercial gatherings with the aim of advertising a company’s services and products. Another choice is leaving brochures on display stands within stores for people to look and take. With the adequate publicity, brochures will afford the company a strong position in the market and within the targeted public. Certainly, it would be ideal if toghether with brochures there was a complete graphic system: logo, Web page, banners, envelopes, letterheads, personal cards, posters, etc. Thus the image of a company would settle among consumers, for good.