How To Design a Brochure in Photoshop

Designing a brochure

Designing a brochure in Photoshop is a bit of a challenge. You can learn how to use any number of graphic design tools to create brochures - and any other promotional materials you may need - in an online design class.

If you have Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress or some other kind of layout program that would be your best bet for designing a brochure for printing. But for those who love Photoshop and want to design a brochure using it, by all means, do so. Just follow these steps.

Step 1

Sketch out a rough mock-up of where you want certain design elements to go, such as your logo, photos and text. Be sure you consider which panels will be facing the readers at any given time. By sketching this out on regular copy paper and folding it like a real brochure, you'll get a good feeling of what information should go on what panel.

Step 2

You'll work on the front of the brochure first. You'll need to create two Photoshop documents – one for the back of the brochure and one for the front.

Step 3

Open a new Photoshop document and set it to regular copy paper size, 8.5 x 11 inches.

Step 4

Set the dpi to 600 for the most clear, sharp brochure features. 300 dpi is the minimum for photos and graphics, and since your whole Photoshop document will be used, it's best to double the dpi.

Step 5

Convert the color mode to CMYK if this brochure will be printed. If it's going to be an online brochure or a PDF, you can keep the color mode on RGB.

Step 6

Insert guides at 3.6 inches, 3.85 inches, 7.15 inches and 7.4 inches. This will give you the template for a tri-fold brochure with 1/4-inch gutters. A 1/4-inch gutter is best for printing so that you can account for any printing "creep" (when the printer slightly moves the paper as it's cutting).

Step 7

Place text boxes and photo boxes where needed on the front panels. Each panel should ideally be its own container of information. If needed, you can use two of the inside (back) panels to create a bigger panel of information.

Step 8

Use headings at the top of each panel to clue readers in to what each panel contains.

Step 9

Save the document as a PSD.

Step 10

Create a second Photoshop document by repeating steps 2 through 9. This will be the back of your brochure.
Print out a test copy of the front page. Flip the paper around and print the back page on the same paper to make sure the columns align and that everything printed where you thought it would.

Even though Photoshop isn't the best layout program to use for brochures, it can be the best program for brochures that are photo heavy.  You can learn how to use other programs or how to use Photoshop to the best effect by taking online classes in art and design.

For more information about printing brochures, check out Print Place.

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