A pamphlet is a printed message. Its content is primarily a brief discussion of a subject of interest. Pamphlets are published usually in the form of booklets consisting of only a few pages. Pamphlets are useful in business communications. They can be used to educate, inform, persuade, or entertain your intended audience. In this article, you will learn how to design a pamphlet.
- Identify the purpose of the pamphlet. As with any type or form of written communication, knowing the purpose of the printed pamphlet is the foremost important step in pamphlet design. Specify whether the purpose of the pamphlet is one or a combination of the basic rhetorical purposes: to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to actuate, to motivate, or to inspire. At this stage, too, decide whether the pamphlet is for free distribution or for sale.
- Identify the reader. Who will be reading your pamphlets? Different categories of readers will mean different manners of presenting your message. For example, younger audiences will have a greater need for graphics and visuals, besides text, to be able to understand your message. They will also need a writing style that uses language simpler than that for an audience consisting of academics. Understand who your target readers are.
- Decide on the physical aspects of the pamphlet. In making such a decision, remember to consider your primary purpose for the pamphlet, as well as budgetary constraints. Decide on the size on the basis of amount of content or length, as well as portability. So-called pocket sizes (9.5 cm by 14.6 cm) are as common as the standard fold (13.7 cm by 21.6 cm). For larger pamphlets (e.g., catalogs and portfolios), you can choose A4 size, which is essentially a spread of A3-size paper folded in half. Decide also on the type of paper to use for the inside pages of your pamphlets, as well as for the cover. Keep in mind that different paper types bear different prices. Glossy paper, for example, costs more than ordinary book paper, yet glossy paper is more durable.
- Write and draw. Keeping your audience’s reading needs in mind, write—or hire someone to write—the text content of your pamphlet. Use bulleted lists, if needed. Prepare the images and complementary graphics that will go with the text. Don’t include any graphic or photograph just for the sake of sprucing up a page in your pamphlet. Make sure that all graphics (including diagrams, illustrations, flowcharts, tables, figures, etc.) will assist the reader in understanding the pamphlet’s content better. Have the cover of your pamphlet designed, too.
- Lay out the content. If you are doing it yourself, always keep in mind some basic principles in good page layouts. For example, remember to maximize white space. Place your graphics or images in strategic locations on the page so that they will reduce monotony without sacrificing readability. Use a font type and size that is easy to read. A serif font such as Times New Roman may look elegant and formal, but serif fonts tend to slow down reading. This is not saying that you should not use serif fonts because there are other factors that affect readability. If the length of your pamphlet’s content justifies it, include a table of contents so that your reader can easily find the sections they are interested in, as well as instantly understand the structure of your content.
- Submit your manuscript or file to your printer. Have your printer provide you with a draft. Most printers always do.
- Proofread your draft. Never skip this step. Even if you feel that your text and layout are already perfect, proofreading will still reveal some irregularities that will need to be corrected. Once everything is order, give the go signal to have all copies printed.
Designing a pamphlet is easy to do if you start out right. As discussed in this article, everything begins with your clear understanding of the overall context and purpose of your pamphlet. So, start with that and follow the advice in this article to be able to design your pamphlet well.