Printing Brain Guide – Top 10 Leaflet Design Hints and Tips

Printing Brain Guide – Top 10 Leaflet Design Hints and Tips


Printing a leaflet and want to make sure you get the best results from it? Follow this checklist and you shouldn’t go far wrong.


leaflet in a leaflet rack

How do you stand out from the crowd..?

1. Objective & Audience
Clearly define what the leaflet’s for. Set out what your goals are so you can run through them throughout the design process to make sure you’re on target when it comes to printing them. Also, work out who your audience is and make sure everything is targeting them – that includes everything from copy and pictures through to distribution points. The style and content of your leaflet will be tailored to appeal to them.

2. Your Headline Contains your Key Message
Chances are your leaflet will be competing with many other leaflets. If there’s something unique about what you’re selling, draw attention to it in the headline. Keep it short and to the point – and punchy. Make sure the top third of the front of the leaflet conveys this key message as, in some sales racks, that’s the only part that can be seen by your customers.

3. Reinforcing Pictures
Pictures are used to reinforce the message – so make sure they’re appropriate to your audience and display exactly what you’re wanting to sell. Avoid cluttered images as they can reduce impact. Always make sure you include a map!

4. Short, Sharp Copy
A leaflet can’t contain everything you probably want to say – so be selective. Make sure your copy is easy to read and is ‘skimmable’. Keep sentences short and break up blocks of copy by using small paragraphs. Use headings to help they eye find what it’s looking for more easily. Use a serif typeface as it’s easier to read.

5. Use Colour
There’s a reason most leaflets are full colour – research shows a 50-70% increase in retention of full colour leaflets over black and white. Perceived value is higher in your customer’s minds so they tend to keep hold of them longer.

6. Size Matters
It depends on what you’re using your leaflet for and where it’s going to be displayed, but conventionally, most leaflets tend to be A5 (folded down from A4 or A3 size) or DL size (1/3 A4 folded). Producing leaflets this size should make them fit in nicely with most distribution racks and are a convenient size for most readers.

7. Stiffer the Better
Floppy leaflets hide your message, slip from racks and might even get removed if they interfere with other leaflets. Make sure you print your leaflet on the right paper weight and cutting is done down, not across the grain. Don’t make your leaflets too tall and fold them down the left hand side.

8. Offers and Vouchers
Incentivise customers to pick up your leaflet by adding in offers or vouchers. Make sure you advertise them prominently on the front cover and it might be an idea to use the whole leaflet as the voucher as that keeps it lying around at home, reminding customers you’re there! Track response rates of your leaflet (to calculate a basic ROI) by adding in voucher codes and leaflet codes.

9. Clear call to action
Check over your leaflet, make sure you’re clearly asking readers to take an action – then run through everything that they’ll want to see to take that action. Phone numbers, addresses, maps, opening times, email addresses, website addresses – can all be easily missed off.

10. Checks and proofs
Copy check again and again – and get someone else to have a look too. Spelling mistakes and bad sentence structure can put off readers and reduce comprehension of your sales message. If you’re self-checking, leave a good night’s sleep before you re-check; It’s amazing what a fresh pair of eyes will spot that you missed before. Similarly, before you start printing, make sure you see at least a pdf proof before you push the button – mistakes are cheap to rectify before they’re printed, but costly afterwards.

For more information on creating artwork for print, check here…