Spreading the word: Designing brochures
Look before you leap: Identifying your target market
Unlike most products, travel and leisure experiences are intangible and cannot be brought to potential customers. Rather, people must be enticed to come to the product. This is usually done via brochures that illustrate the features and benefits associated with a particular tourism attraction or service.
The volume and range of tourism brochures is enormous, and in many cases your brochure will only have a few seconds to grab the attention of potential visitors. This means that you will need to design promotional materials that are attractive, distinctive and particularly suited to your marketing purposes.
Some issues to consider when designing brochures are:
Moths to a flame: Brochures that attract visitors
Effective brochures have the following characteristics:
- The brochure is distinctive
- The cover page stands out from those of competitors (eg. attractive and appealing design).
- Headlines are fresh, provocative and reflect the content of the brochure. The use of analogies and word plays can be effective provided they are not too 'clever'.
- Logos are used consistently.
- Themes are carried throughout all promotional materials.
- The brochure content is relevant and appealing to the target audience.
- The headline attracts the attention of the desired audience.
- The headline summarises the major benefit/attraction of the product:
- Text is written in short simple sentences using a conversational tone – For more detail see:
- Information is relevant and specific (eg. directions, admission prices, times of opening, contact details).
'Escape to the Tablelands: Nature's air-conditioned wilderness'
- evokes images of cool, pristine wilderness areas
'Nearest telephone: 50km'
- suggests peace and tranquillity
'The ultimate family adventure'
- suggests a fun, active experience suitable for the whole family
- The arrangement of typeface and illustrations is uncluttered.
- The text is logically presented and easy to read.
- Typeface, size and overall style is fairly consistent.
- Separate services/products/features are delineated by boxes, headings, lines and white spaces.
- Brochures that are mainly text need a large heading to attract attention;
- Illustrations will capture attention provided they are simple and large enough for people to decipher;
- Illustrations need to be useful and must relate to the content; and
- Photographs are particularly effective
- Most tourism advertising relies on visual images and colour for creating images and impact (eg. pristine white sand against the clear blue ocean; colourful parrots amongst verdant green leaves; clear blue skies over green rolling hills; bright splashes of colour to indicate fun and adventure).
- Photographs should be sharp and have high colour contrasts.
Substitute tour guides: Brochures for self-guided attractions
Brochures or leaflets can also be used for self-guided exhibits and trails. This format is particularly appropriate in settings where the use of text would detract from the objects or attractions on display. The added advantage of presenting information in a brochure is that it can be taken away as a souvenir of the visit.
Good self-guided brochures have the following features:
- They are designed in the same format and style as other information in the exhibit/attraction.
- They include diagrams and/or maps to enable visitors to choose where to go and what to view.
- Information is clearly numbered and is easily matched to the feature being described.
- The use of the brochure is catered for in the overall design of the exhibit. In particular, there should be adequate space and lighting for visitors to stand and read without blocking the view and access of others. The provision of seating at key points in the exhibit/trail to enable visitors to rest and catch up with reading is also recommended.