Print Promotional Tools for Artists: Brochures
Aletta de Wal | Artist Career Training
Brochures are great promotional tools for artists with a reasonable budget and graphic design skills (or someone who has them).
Brochures Say “Real Business”
Since brochures take a bit more time, money and energy to create and produce than flyers or postcards, discerning readers are likely to take you a bit more seriously.
It’s About Your Audience
You should have this memorized by now, but it bears repeating – any marketing activity starts with your audience.
Here are the questions to ask yourself before you get to the design stage:
• How do you show them that you care about them?
• What are the benefits of what you are offering?
• Where are they most likely to see and read your brochure?
• What information do they need and in what order?
• What will get them to take action?
Include a Call to Action
Once you have someone’s attention, your next goal is to make it easy for them to take action. What do you want the reader to do:
• Call you? Then make sure to provide your phone number(s).
• E-mail you? Then make sure to provide your e-mail address.
• Register? Then make sure to provide a website link or instructions to call or e-mail you.
• Meet you? Then make sure to provide the address, telephone number and map or map link so they don’t get lost.
• Pass the brochure on to others? Then make sure to provide more than one.
If you are thinking these instructions are obvious, good for you – as long as you use them. This is one of my pet peeves: I get interested in a piece of art and then I have to work to reach the artist to get what I want. At the very least, include your contact information on everything you send out. Don’t be lazy – you may lose out to another artist out there who takes better care of their audience.
Why Use Brochures Instead of Rack Cards?
Brochures have the advantage of more “visual real estate” than rack cards to get your message across. Like rack cards, you can promote your art, gallery tours, portraits, private lessons and workshops. In the extra space, you can add a bio, and tell a story about your work, awards and honors or highlight your special talents with testimonials.
Design Brochures With The Future in Mind
Brochures are a bigger investment than the promotional tools we’ve covered so far. If you want to stretch your budget, and keep a consistent look, create or commission a template you can use more than once for each event or promotional purpose.
• Showcase your brand. What makes you and your art distinctive? How can you make your logo, type font and colors a core element of the design?
• See your brochure from the reader’s eyes. Decide what you want on the front and the back. Choose the best placement for your headline, contact information, text and images. If you have a 2-panel or double-sided brochure, check that it “reads well” no matter which side it opens. Decide which way you will fold a 3-panel brochure to guide the reader.
• Design for the total picture. Consider each panel and the overall effect, once the brochure is open. If you use titles that are large and bold make sure they read well no matter how the brochure is opened.
The good news is that you can still use brochures in racks if you design them to rack specs.
Get Help When You Don’t Have the Time or Skills to Do-It-Yourself
Remember, if brochures eat up your precious studio time, are technically beyond you, or frustrating, please let get help.