“The good is the beautiful.” -Plato

Brochures. They still exist. Businesses started using print advertising around 1910 when printing became more efficient and economical. In the 50s and 60s, companies added more color as the cost for ink dropped. 50 years later, we still have brochures, and they come in all colors and designs.

Are brochures outdated? Can they still grab attention, make a sale?

I think they can, but it depends on the design. If you want me to read the writing on the piece of paper (and I’m not an avid reader), it’s going to take a lot of work. As soon as I see that brochure I need to be interested, and words aren’t going to cut it.

The triangular-folding pamphlet probably grabbed your attention. You wanted to read it without knowing what was being sold. That’s the power of a good design.

When it all comes together, there are a few key elements that need to be involved:

  1. Colors. Bright colors. – If I don’t think, “Ooooohhh, shiny…” I don’t want your piece of paper. I have too much other junk to throw away.
  2. Interesting architecture. – Unless it’s a topic I know and care about, it’s hard to change my mind with words. Let me play with the brochure. Be new, innovative and intriguing. If I’m in a positive mood, the product or service or whatever will be more appealing.
  3. Minimal words. – When do you receive a brochure? It’s probably at the entrance to a store, walking on the street or heading toward some other activity. You don’t have time (or the ability, necessarily) to read what’s in your hand. Tell a story with the pictures, supplement it with the information.

If a business does these things, I (or anybody, really) am more likely to read their brochure. I don’t think print advertising is dead at all. With the right material, it can be a powerful persuasive tool.

I’d like to hear your opinion, though. Do you think brochures and pamphlets are a waste of money? Leave a comment below. If you haven’t yet followed me on Twitter @IllusionofMatt, you can now save a starving child on Mars by doing so. If you like reading my blog, check out some other awesome posts that are soon to come. And you can follow my blog via email. There’s a button on the right of the home page. That’s all for now.

Peace. -Matt