Visual Design: Project 6 - Brochure

Project Overview

Brochures can be found everywhere, describing tourist destinations, providing information about services, or giving an overview of an organization. A brochure is traditionally a paper collateral that informs people about a product, service, or location. Informing with a brochure can be quick and cost-effective. In working with clients, you will further enhance your design and technical skills by creating a brochure, using advanced image manipulation techniques and page layout design. You will create a paper brochure for physical distribution and an interactive digital brochure for distribution on the web.

Student Product: Brochures

Project Goals
  • To create and build a tri-fold brochure for a client
  • To build an interactive web-based version of your client brochure
  • Use color management, filters, and retouching tools to create a graphics element
  • Conduct a client review of brochure project
  • Write a short reflection on the process of creating the brochure

Project Objectives


At the completion of the project, you will have developed the following skills:

     Project Management Skills [Rubric]

  • Designing for a client
  • Conducting review sessions
  • Tracking milestones
  • Managing files and using file-naming conventions
  • Repurposing content

     Design Skills [Rubric]

  • Designing tri-fold layouts
  • Designing interactive brochures
  • Redesigning based on feedback
  • Reusing content
  • Creating designs that meet client requirements
  • Creating comps
  • Understanding sustainable design principles

     Research and Communication Skills [Rubric]

  • Analyzing and evaluating brochures
  • Questioning to focus and clarify
  • Presenting designs to a client
  • Gathering and synthesizing information from a client
  • Creating compelling brochure content
  • Giving and receiving peer review comments
  • Reflecting on how to improve product
  • Conducting focus groups

     Technical Skills [Rubric]


  • Using color management tools
  • Using filters
  • Using blending tools
  • Transforming images
  • Retouching images


  • Understanding InDesign frames
  • Using placeholder text
  • Designing in columns
  • Using character and paragraph styles
  • Wrapping text around objects
    (including using anchors)
  • Applying effects to text
  • Placing objects on page
  • Creating shapes and borders
  • Creating interactive documents
  • Exporting multiple versions of the brochure for different screens

     Acrobat Pro

  • Using commenting tools

Student Product:  Brochure
  • Create an informational brochure for a client (an organization, business, club, etc. - of your choice)
  • Create three design comps for your client, using Photoshop and InDesign, and present these comps in PDF format
  • You may use the InDesign templates for 3-fold brochures
  • Peer Review (see process below)
  • Reflection Paper (see requirements below)
  • Rubric

Project Steps

Planning and designing a brochure

  • To Consider:
  • • Purpose of the brochure:  Is it clear and effective
  • • Graphics:  Make sure they are compelling
  • • Design principles:  Use white space, typography, and color effectively
  • • Cost of printing:  How is it affected by color choice?
  • • Content:  Is it well written, copy-edited, succinct, and to the point?

Discuss information your team needs from your clients about the client’s goals and target audience of the brochure. Discuss the interview questions and add other questions you feel might be necessary to build your understanding of your client’s needs.
Building a brochure
Use of tri-fold layout with six panels, and tips for constructing a tri-fold:
  • The first panel, or cover, should grab attention, like an advertisement.
  • The second, third, and fourth panels (the inside of the brochure) should contain the bulk of the content.
    Headlines, graphics, images, and content can spread across all three interior panels, not just each individual panel.
  • The fifth panel is usually a good place for customer testimonials or endorsements.
  • The sixth panel is a good place for a “call to action”:
    a statement that tells the audience what they should or need to do.
As you research content, evaluate the validity, currency, and bias of the content you are including, specifically when you find the information on the web.  Some items for you to consider include:
  • Content bias
    • Can you tell why the site was created?
    • Is an organization associated with the site, and if so, what type of organization?
    • Is it clear which portions of the site’s content are fact and which are opinion?
    • Is any bias presented in the information?
    • Is there a hidden purpose?
  • Content currency
    • When was the information first placed on the page?
    • When was it last revised?
    • Are there any other indications that this information is current?
    • What is the quality of the related links?
  • Content source
    • Who is responsible for this site?
    • What qualifications or expertise does the author have to write about the topic on this site?
    • Does the site include a way to verify the legitimacy of the author, such as an e-mail address, phone number, or mailing address?
    • Who sponsors this site?
    • Has the site been reviewed or won any awards?
    • Are any other sources cited on this site?
    • What is the domain extension of the site?
    • What does this extension tell you about the site?
  • Content Corroboration
    • What other sites have information on this topic?
    • Is the information the same?
    • Are these other sources valid?

Write the brochure content according to your client’s needs. Conduct a review cycle within your team and use the Acrobat comment tools for this review. Each team should be reviewing for content and copy-editing. You might want to make specific team members responsible for reviewing different components of the writing. Get approval for their final copy from the client.

As you implement your designs, you might need to use one or more of these advanced image manipulation techniques, depending on the needs of the client: 
Create any needed graphics elements identified in your final comp. Create a rough prototype of both formats of the brochure and plan a focus group session to test the brochure focus and content appropriateness with the target audience. Synthesize feedback from focus groups to incorporate into your brochure. Create your brochure layout design and combine your content and graphics elements in InDesign. You might find the following advanced layout techniques helpful:
Create a tri-fold layout in InDesign and build your brochures, incorporating any graphics elements you created earlier.

Print a draft and fold your brochure to make sure you have the correct paper size and layout dimensions for your design. Make any necessary corrections. Once you have the brochure properly aligned and folded, print the finalized brochure on the paper approved by the client.

In order to create the interactive web-based version of the brochure, you will need to use the interactive documents features in InDesign.  Use the following guides in order to:

• Create buttons for navigation between pages
• Add page transitions between pages
• Insert audio clips and movies in the brochure
• Create simple animations
• Add hyperlinks to websites or other pages in the document

Create the interactive web-based version of the brochure. Test each page of your interactive brochure by using the Preview panel in InDesign. Using the following guide, export an HTML file with embedded CSS or a Flash Player (SWF) file to show your client.


Reviewing a Brochure

Client Review

Have a debriefing session with your client for reviewing the final brochure and to discuss your experiences. Some areas you might focus on include:
• Communication:  Considering the different methods of communication, which was the most effective? Was there enough communication during the project cycle? In what ways were communication challenges resolved? What are ways communication with clients should change (or not) the next time a project is started?
• Deliverables:  Was there a schedule of deliverables established? Did the client receive the expected deliverables on time? Were the deliverables the quality they expected? Were they in the expected format? Can the client suggest ways to improve the process of delivering materials?
• Feedback:  Did the client feel they were given enough time and consideration for their feedback? Did the design team consider their feedback? How could the feedback process be improved?
• Final product:  Does the final product address the target audience? Is the final brochure what the client expected? Why or why not?

Using the following worksheet, brainstorm client interview questions, this time focusing on debriefing questions.

  • Peer Review
    After the process and product have been reviewed with the client, partner with another student group and hold a peer review session in which each student group presents its brochure. Use the following peer review process:
    • When presenting the group’s work for peer review, state the purpose, audience, and goals of the document and point out any concerns.
    • After being presented work by a designer, the reviewing group’s first response should be to reiterate the purpose, audience, and goals as they understand it.
    • After the designing group’s purpose, audience, and goals are clear, ask questions of the designing group, make comments, and offer suggestions.
    • To conclude, the designing group will summarize the suggestions and offer a plan for revision.

    The Reflection Paper:
    Write a 1 page reflection paper about the process of creating your product, identifying areas for improvement for your product and process.  Reflect on how you employed design, project management, and technical skills you have learned in this and previous projects.  Reflect on what skills and techniques you want to learn next to further your knowledge of design and print production.


    Presenting Your Work


    Tri-Fold Layout Resources: