Posted on

Marketing Series: Maximizing your Print – Brochures (part 2 of 2): Design Your Brochure for Maximum Impact

maximizing your print - brochures

Get the Most of your Print Marketing Series – Brochures (part 2): Design Your Brochure for Maximum Impact

In Part 1 (read it here), we covered the many ways a printed brochure can optimize your exposure in ways digital tactics cannot. Additionally, we covered some of the best ways a brochure or flyer can be utilized – such as a postcard-sized leave-behind, a co-branding initiative, a mailer and more. Below, we cover how to design your brochure to maximize its potential.

Lay it Out Carefully

How you design your brochure must be thought out carefully. There are plenty of half-fold, tri-fold, full-page templates available on the Internet to help you design your brochures with perfect print-ready precision. It’s a good idea to utilize a half-fold brochure template to ensure that your brochures are printed perfectly. Simply download a PDF. Then, place it in a separate layer in your preferred design platform so you can easily follow the bleed, fold, and margin guidelines. Once designed, you can delete the template layer.

Choose the Right Size When You Design Your Brochure

When choosing the right size for your brochure, you need to take into consideration what you’re going to use it for. Are you hand delivering them? Will they be sitting in a brochure holder or on a reception desk? You need to choose the right size for message as you design your brochure. If you are planning on including a good amount of detail, a smaller brochure size, like a 5.5” x 8.5” or 8.5” x 11” half-fold or tri-fold brochure, may not have enough room for your information and you risk making your brochure come across as overwhelming and cluttered. However, if you are promoting a big sale, or new product, an 8.5” x 11” half-fold brochure could be perfect!

If you design your brochure for a direct mail campaign, there are certain Canada Post specifications you need to know (or you can of course get the highly knowledgeable Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard team to do it for you). The advantage of knowing these measurement or “quiet zone” specs up front can save you hundreds of dollars as you go to print and mail it. The difference of a ½” too tall or too long could bump you from standard “short and long” postage rates into oversize increasing your postage costs dramatically. Similarly, a slight tweak in your print file – as small as ¼” could mean your printer can get more on a page and possibly save you money or print  costs.

Choose the Correct Paper and Thickness

Too thick, it might not fold correctly. Too thin and its longevity and durability could be challenged. After you design your brochure so masterfully, it would be a shame to let the paper choice take away from the artistry. The paper you choose for your brochure needs to be thin enough to easily fold (and to fold cleanly without cracking the paper or the ink), but also thick enough to feel substantial. A non-folded brochure or a half-folded brochure – because it is only folded once – can be a bit thicker than tri-fold comparatives. if you plan on mailing your brochures, you should likely stick to thicknesses at or above 100# Text for durability and integrity in transit.

[Hint: Request a sample of various paper stocks and thicknesses from your local printer. Want one from us, click here and we will happily mail you one out today (or stop by and ask for one).]

Design Your Brochure Using Eye-Catching Images and Colors

Whatever the purpose and campaign you are designing for, you will want to design your brochure so it stands out. To accomplish this, include a color pallet that directs the eye to your brochure while also successfully reflecting your branding. Don’t forget to include contrasting text from that of the background. Make it easy for your recipient to read your message. If your brochure has lifestyle photographs or imagery, ensure the print quality is a minimum 300 DPI or higher. You want those pictures of people, food, animals, nature, etc. to “pop” off the page.

Provide a Call-To-Action and Give Them an Offer

This is a no-brainer but we shed a small tear every time we see a marketing piece with no clear purpose. Make sure you include appropriate offer and call-to-action. An irresistible call to action is key for every type of marketing material. Design the content of your brochure so it gives your audience something to act upon and that this action’s purpose is to drive responses.

Also, you want to include an offer. It doesn’t have to be flashy. It just has to help in breaking through the inertia of non-action. Solve a problem. For example, don’t just say, “visit us today” in your brochure. Make them want to know more. Do more. You want to give your audience a reason to visit you perhaps using timeliness language such as, “don’t miss out on our Fall into Savings Event.” Then, as an additional incentive, possibly include a coupon or a promo code. These further incentivize them to take action. And, as a silver bullet in your marketing strategy, they assist you in tracking the success of the print investment.

Post Press

At Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard, we offer favourable prices on high-quality brochure printing. Want help to design your brochures? We are also experts in designing for Canada Post guidelines in targeting, size and quality specifics and mail preparation.  We offer marketing solutions to fit any of your local marketing goals! Click here to contact us to get started on your multi-faceted brochure campaign toda

Posted on

5 Design Tips for Crafting High Impact Letterheads

What is letterhead – and why is stationery, such as letterhead, so important for your business? What purpose does it serve? Why should you care about an old piece of paper? You may think of letterhead as a relic of carrier pigeon days, destined to be forgotten and tossed aside like common junk mail – Don’t worry, we’re not going to let you make that mistake.  

The fact that most business communications are done digitally these days gives traditional print a massive boost – the presence commanded by a quality, well-designed letterhead conveys distinct importance. Think of how much more impact an employee bonus letter or business reference would have when presented on company headed paper. When standing out is as easy as putting in a little extra attention to detail, why wouldn’t your business want to take advantage of this tried-and-true tactic? 

Keep reading for 5 tips on how to create high impact letterheads! 

1. Letterhead Lends Itself to Brand Consistency 

When designing your letterhead, find peace in knowing that you don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel. Your company’s signature branding exists for a reason, and it makes creating new collateral a whole lot easier. Use your existing logos and brand colours in a fresh way for new impact that aligns with your business. To read more about the importance of brand consistency, check out this article we wrote about how it can be the key to your business success. 

Don’t forget that brand consistency goes beyond colours. When coming up with the layout of your letterhead think about the way it will be used: How can you design your letterhead in a way that will best represent your message? We’ll touch more on layout and formatting shortly.  

2. Letterhead Design is all in the Details 

By looking into the possibility of creating custom letterheads in the first place, you’ve already shown that you are someone who pays attention to the details. It only takes a couple of seconds to make a first impression and these seconds’ matter when you are setting the tone for a customer’s experience. Show your audience that you go above and beyond for quality service by presenting your company in a visually appealing, organized manner. 

Think about what information is important to include in your design; You may want to have your contact information and location where its memorable and accessible to the reader or alternatively create a simpler design with your company name. Ultimately your design is all about what’s going to work for your business, so consider these factors when drafting up a sample. 

3. Choose Stationery that works for you 

Maybe it doesn’t make sense for your business to design a custom letterhead, but you can see yourself getting tons of use out of envelopes or notepads. You do you! The key to becoming successful is by customizing your approach in a way that most benefits you and your clientele.  

Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard offers a variety of stationery such as envelopes, notepads, and business cards to suit your needs. Browse our website’s products and solutions and our value-add  services to get more inspiration about the available options.  

4. Explore Different Letterhead Layout Options 

When it comes to the nitty gritty of design, the possibilities are truly endless. To provide an entry point for those who may have never ventured into the world of letterhead design before, here are a couple of ways you could start to format your layout:   

  • Full border
    Decorate the outside border of your paper with colour and design in a consistent square shape, leaving the middle free for any text or images you may later want to share. 
  • Graphic border
    Use shape and colour around the border of your text for a unique look. 
  • Header and footer
    Keep your design to the top and bottom of the page, leaving the middle and sides available. 
  • Background graphics
    Watermark your paper with graphics in a muted shade so that text can be written over top.  Think you might like some help? Our graphic design professionals will make sure your business stands out visually across all advertising and marketing platforms, we offer graphic design services for all kinds of projects! 

5. Pick your paper wisely 

Your paper is the foundation of your letterhead so choose wisely! Pick from light to heavyweight stock and different textures and colours. Generally, the heavier a sheet is, the more important it feels. Want to add a tactile pleasing touch? Embossing or debossing adds a little extra. Distinguish your design with a satin, matte, or glossy finish to make the colours pop and there you have it – the ultimate finishing touch!  

Post Press 

Feeling ready to create your own letterhead? We can’t wait to help you dive in. Contact the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard today to chat about how we can help you achieve your goals. 

We Design. We Print. You Profit! 

Posted on

Marketing Series: Maximizing your Print – Brochures (part 1 of 2)

blog - brochures

Positioning Your Brochure for Optimized Exposure

Brochures are designed for instant and tangible delivery of your marketing communications. Brochures are ideally positioned to assist your building of a strong customer base. This begins with a locally focused marketing strategy. Depending on your business, going bigger and extending your brand across several communities (or nationally) can be beneficial. However, this isn’t always a possibility if you own a smaller sized business with a local focus. If you forget to market to your community, your community can’t help you spread the word. This is where brochures can come in handy as part of your overall marketing mix.

While online marketing is becoming increasingly popular, the best way to reach your local audience is with marketing materials you can touch, hold, and hand-out. Materials like an interactive, detailed, and professionally designed half-fold or trifold brochure. But before you even begin creating your brochure you will need to choose an effective local marketing strategy.

Face-to-Face and Leave Behind

Creating long-lasting relationships with your neighboring businesses can be a key to your success. Take the time to get to know the businesses in your area. When you make a connection with them see if they would be interested in leaving some of their business cards or brochures on your front desk or entrance area. Then, in exchange if you can leave the same in their location. Be sure to find a complementing – or even opposite non-competing – type of business. Making connections like these with a local business is a great way to boost your brand’s exposure and credibility.

The stronger your company’s presence is locally, the better chance your brand will become recognizable on a community level. Of course, building a local presence and a memorable brand can be successfully accomplished using direct mail. But, because you’re in the neighbourhood, don’t forget about local events or the customers walking in your doors. You can leverage brochures in your lobby, at special events, neighbouring businesses, and even prospects that pass by? You interact with people and businesses every day, so why not let them get to know you and your business a bit better. Hand out your brochures and share your brand. Chances are they will remember their experience and your company. And, now they have a tangible reminder which also solidifies the imprint in their minds bout your business. Knowing you and your business is a start and it moves down the funnel increasing the likelihood of them becoming customers.

Target Your Perfect Customers

As technology advances every day, so do the options to target certain audiences. One of the tried-and-true ways to market locally is by creating a list (possibly to be mailed, called, digitally targeted or otherwise) consisting of people or businesses who matter the most to your business. And are geographically positioned near your business. Give everyone within a certain radius news about who you are and what you offer. For example, say you are looking to promote your restaurant grand opening, you could send out a brochure highlighting key information about menu and location.

Mail them

We’ve mentioned above that direct mail is a perfect tactic to get your brochures out there. You can leverage Canada Post to reach every home or business in a certain radius. Neighbourhood Mail (Unaddressed) allows your printed brochure to be in the hands of your closest potential clients or customers. Did you know the average consumer won’t travel more than 20 minutes to eat out, shop, or visit a place? In fact, the closer they are to a place, the more likely they are to visit it.

People receive over 150 emails or digital messages daily while only receiving on average 15-20 mail pieces each week. You can use this exclusivity to cut through the digital noise and get your message across economically.  Direct mailing your brochures is an affordable way to reach a large audience, easily and efficiently making it the perfect tactic, particularly if your company is just starting out. To make this happen, simply choose the size and prepare your design for your brochure mailers in accordance with Canada Post guidelines and then choose your letter carrier routes or postal codes. Canada Post has tools allowing you to can also target certain demographics within your chosen carrier routes.

Mine Your Business

We mentioned reaching out to a targeted audience near your business’ location. Depending on your business, reaching individuals who surround their ideal customers can be a gold mine for your business. Mining your own customer addresses and reaching out to their neighbours via hand-delivered or mailed brochures is made easier due to the credibility of them physically being able to see the merits of your work. This is particularly successful for visible outdoor service companies such as painters and landscapers. If you already have customers that live or do business at 123 Any Street, then the likelihood is that those living or doing business at neighbouring 125 and 121 might also have need for your goods or services. Choose a certain radius that surround your existing customer address and target accordingly. Send them a brochure marketing that you just did business at their neighbour’s home and you have a special offer for them!

Post Press

At Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard, we offer favourable prices on high-quality brochure printing. We are also experts in designing for Canada Post guidelines in targeting, size and quality specifics and mail preparation. We offer marketing solutions to fit any of your local marketing goals! Click here to contact us to get started on your multi-faceted brochure campaign today!