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Lalo Alvidrez March 13th, 2008 02:21 AM

help with brochures
I am wanting to print up some brochures or something similar to set up as a display at a friends store. Was thinking of maybe a card something like a 5x8 instead of a brochure. I will also have demo dvd's to go along with it. Any ideas on how to get started with this? Is there software for printing your own or creating your own? What type of paper do you use?

Martin Pauly March 13th, 2008 07:34 AM

Can't help you much with the design portion of your question, other than pointing to software such as Adobe Illustrator or similar - or use the help of a professional graphics designer.

For printing, I would look at someone like http://www.overnightprints.com because the brochures will look and feel so much more professional than anything your inkjet or color laser printer might produce. Unless you only need a dozen or so, prices for offset printing are very reasonable.

- Martin

Denis Danatzko March 14th, 2008 07:49 AM

Lots of software out there,
if you have $$ to buy it, the time to learn it, and the resources (printer, ink/toner, paper, etc) to print the results. Such desktop publishing software can take a while to learn; they can do more than a novice might realize. Know, too, that many low-to-mid-range printers do not allow bleeds, which limits you to having a border around the edge of each printed page.

A quick primer:
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (and programs like them) are used to either create graphics/drawings (Illustrator) or tweak/manipulate photos or existing drawings (Photoshop).

Programs like Quark/QuarkExpress and Adobe InDesign (if it's still called that) are used to design the layout, and place and arrange photos, text, and drawings on a page. The results can be either a file you print yourself, or a file to be sent to a commercial printing firm. (If sending files to a commercial printing firm, contact them first to learn their requirements; there are things that must be included in the file(s) that you might not think of, e.g. the fonts you want to use. Such pre-printing preparation is often called "pre-flight").

The first brochure I did was a tri-fold including photos, text, graphics, and color backgrounds, printed on a mid-price-range color laser. Actually, the printer did a decent job. Certainly not the same as having film shot, but decent for mailing from my home studio.

As for paper, I used pre-creased tri-fold brochure paper with a glossy finish. I was satisfied with it.

Search the web for "desktop publishing software"; you should find lots of resources.

Good luck if you try it.

Chris Davis March 14th, 2008 09:47 AM

I've used Vistaprint.com many times. We have our own graphic designer now, but before she started I'd just use some of Vistaprints online templates and get great results. Just pick the design you like and add your text.

Jeff Emery March 14th, 2008 04:28 PM

A little different view
Generate interest from the git-go.

Blow off the ho-hum brochure and DVD standard. Make a statement. Create your own video business card (aka CD business card).

The novelty of it all will intrigue them. It costs no more to produce than a brochure/DVD (yawn).

If you don't know what I'm talking about, do a google for video business cards.


Frank Simpson March 15th, 2008 11:38 PM

As videographers we would recommend that someone hire us to make a video of (for instance) their wedding, instead of letting "cousin Earl" do it with his "really fancy video camera".

In the same manner it is wise to hire a professional graphic designer to design a brochure for you. The reason that so many brochures are yawns, as Jeff says, is because they are poorly designed, and even more often, poorly written. This is not the fault of the software.

It is not a brochure's job to "look cool", it is its job to communicate necessary information to the targeted customer in the most effective manner possible.

Sure, you can get the software (yes, Denis, it's still called InDesign) and do it yourself, but unless you are willing to devote AT LEAST as much effort to learning the principals of good design as you are to learning the aesthetics of good lighting/audio/shooting/editing/post production etc., you'll be much better off hiring a professional. In short it takes YEARS to become a competent graphic designer. I speak from experience. Nearly 20 years ago I fell into the industry completely by chance. It was only after about 7 years of doing it daily that I felt comfortable referring to myself as a designer.

Even if your plan is to print brochures yourself in small quantities, you'll want to make sure that what you are printing is a viable selling tool. A designer can furnish you with a pdf that you can print yourself.

"Cousin Earl" can tape your event and even burn you a DVD of it. Many people will say, "it's marvelous"! But we know that it isn't near what it could/should be. Similarly you can "design" your own brochure and folks will "oooh" and "ahhhh" over it, but that doesn't mean that it is an effective collateral advertising piece.

Just my (long-winded!) 2 cents' worth.

Chris Davis March 16th, 2008 07:38 PM

Good point. Hire us. We've got a graphic designer on staff with a degree in advertising, and better yet, experience working for video geeks like myself!

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