What is the
purpose of this publication? Who is the audience? How will it be
used? Be as specific as possible in order to more narrowly define
the message and help keep it concise.
purpose of the piece and having an outline of the message will help
decide whether to use a brochure, pamphlet, flyer, or poster. Keep
in mind that there are many options for folding brochures and pamphlets.
It may be helpful to collect several samples to see which ones work
most effectively. Be aware that different folding patterns will
affect the costs of production.
Know who the
target audience is and write for them. Write a message that conveys
feelings, that includes a story or something readers can relate
to about your organization or a resource. Be concise Ė especially
for posters and flyers. Use active, not passive, voice and avoid
jargon and acronyms. Remember to include a contact name and phone
number; a mailing address; and, if applicable, names of project
partners and names and logos of sponsors who made possible the production
of the piece. This may be the only representation of your organization
that a person sees, so they need to know how to get more information.
Do not assume
that using desktop publishing software will solve all the problems.
If budget is a constraint, find a professional and offer to give
him or her credit and referrals. Here are some elements to keep
in mind: Readability: Since the ultimate purpose of the piece is
for people to get information, it needs to be easy to read. Make
sure the font is clear and that it is large enough: 11-12 point
size for brochures and pamphlets is minimum (make cover text and
headlines 3-times larger as a general rule); posters and flyers,
which are read at a glance, should use big, bold fonts not script
or italics. Allow for plenty of white space, which refers to blank
areas that have neither copy nor images. Images: Select only quality
photographs and artwork. Images should be used both to attract readers
to the information and enhance their understanding of the message.
Avoid using photographs, maps and drawings that are inserted just
for decoration and do not strengthen a story. Do not resort to clip
art to just fill in spaces; youíll lose your own personal identity.
Style: Create a style for your organization that reflects your geography,
history, and culture. Consider designing a logo and/or always using
the same stock of color paper. Every piece that is published should
have a similar look and feel so that it is immediately identifiable
to your group.
have at least one person who was not involved in the writing or
design of the piece give it a careful read. Look for typos especially
in names and numbers, verify dates and contact information are accurate,
and be assured the message is clear.
be as easy as making copies or as complex as a four-color production
on glossy paper. What method of printing is chosen will depend upon
budget. If you havenít already, consider seeking the support of
a sponsor or sponsors. Businesses or other organizations may be
willing to help pay for production in return for having their names
on the final product
Make the piece
available to your target audience in whatever way is most applicable:
recruit volunteers to help place pieces in public meeting spaces;
alert members to the pieceís availability via newsletters and on
websites; issue a press release; hold a meeting to review report
findings and have the piece available for attendees to take home;
host a gala donor party or a reception for contest winners; etc.
If the piece will be mailed, and the mailing list is more than 200
addresses, be sure to inquire about bulk mail permits from the post