Whenever I search for flyer printing tips, I’m bound to find some brochure printing tips instead. It seems that some industries think that flyers and brochures are one in the same, or at least the same design ideas apply to both. But I don’t think so. These are two totally different beasts. Neither one is particularly better than the other, but they do have different functions. Here’s an overview of each.
A flyer is also rightly known as a leaflet or a handbill. A flyer is one piece of paper, usually the standard size of 8 ½” x 11″ (A4). Flyers are best for small scale marketing, or when you have a small region to cover. Flyers are a cheap way to get info out to a large number of people.
This type of marketing piece is called a throw-away, because they’re handed out or hung in public places with the expectation that some of them will only get a passing glance before being thrown away.
If you’re going to hang up your flyer, you’ll only print on one side. If you’re going to be handing out your flyer, you can print info on both sides.
The purpose of a flyer is to offer a small amount of information for a limited time at low manufacturing costs. Flyers are most often used for
* announcements of events, especially concerts or club openings
* product info, such as specs for a new car
* fact sheets handed out at trade shows or conferences
Desktop publishing programs, like Microsoft Publisher and PagePlus, have made it easy for business owners to create their own flyers. But most business owners aren’t design professionals, so they hire professional designers or find commercial printing companies that have designers on staff to create their flyers for them.
And in case you’re wondering about the spelling, a flyer is “an advertising circular” and a flier is “one that flies,” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.
Brochures are also known as pamphlets and are more expensive to print. A brochure is generally a standard-size sheet of paper that has been folded lengthwise two times to create four panels (bi-fold) or folded three times to create six panels (tri-fold).
Brochures are more complicated to print because each panel has its own margins, its own photos and its own headlines. Businesses create millions of brochures each year and sometimes copywriters are even hired to just write brochure text.
Brochures are opposite of flyers in the throw-away category: they’re created especially to be kept and referred to again and again. They’re handed out at the end of sales presentations, as take-away information at trade shows and they’re displayed in racks at banks, doctors’ offices and cash registers.
It’s expected that only people that are interested in learning more about a product will pick up a brochure.
The purpose of a brochure is to follow up after an initial sales contact and to give more-detailed information than a flyer. Generally, brochures are used in direct mail campaigns as the follow-up to a postcard that was mailed out to generate interest.
Once you decide on a purpose for your next marketing piece, you can decide whether a flyer or a brochure is more appropriate for that occasion.