Using colour in your brochure – what to consider

Using colour in your brochure – what to consider

In our previous post, we looked at five things to remember when designing a leaflet, and one thing that can help any leaflet stand out is colour. Colour is also important to consider when it comes to designing a more detailed brochure. This is mainly down to the increased use images and text and ensuring that the colours used can stand out and won’t clash on the page.

A leaflet is often more about grabbing someone’s attention and providing the necessary information that can generate an enquiry or call to action. Brochures differ from leaflets in a number of ways. Perhaps the most notable is the detail in terms of the amount of text and pages that are included in a brochure. When designing your brochure it is important to understand clear objectives for the brochure before starting the design process.


Are you looking to promote an event or a college or perhaps you are looking to showcase a vast range of products? Whatever it is that you are hoping to achieve through a promotional brochure, one thing that is sure to impact on those who read it is the colour used within it.

Colour plays an important role in the design of any brochure, from the look and feel of the front and back cover, to the general layout and appearance that runs throughout it. It is also important to consider the impact colour will have on text, headers, photos and any other important information that needs to stand out.

So just what do you need to consider when deciding on colour for your next brochure:

Most people tend to quickly scan through a brochure until they reach a page or section that interests them. This is why a clear header is vital. Adding a border around your page heading can help it to stand out as the reader flicks from page to page. Using colours that will stand out from the main background colour is very important when adding a header. It is also important to consider using large, bold text for your headings to help them stand out.

Text Size:
It is important to consider the size of text when deciding on colour. The smaller you go with text, the harder it is to read, and this is particularly the case with lighter colours like white and yellow. Darker colours like black are often a good choice for text in a brochure as readers are familiar with viewing black on a regular basis through books, magazines, newspapers and even websites.

When using black, be sure to stick to 100% black. This is the best black to print with and will be clear and easy to see on the page. To get 100% black you set your CMYK values as follows:

  • • Cyan (C) = 0
  • • Magenta (M) = 0
  • • Yellow (Y) = 0
  • • Black (K) = 100

Avoid Yellow:
Okay, well you don’t have to totally avoid yellow, as it can often work well when used with red to promote any offers but as a general rule yellow is a colour to avoid for text as it can be extremely hard to read, particularly if the text is small or used on a light background.

White on yellow or yellow on white is a complete no-go area!!

Using accent colours can be a great way to get the main message of a page across from your brochure. With readers likely to scan through pages, using accents to subtly highlight the key points of each page can be a great way of getting across your key message. Accents can also work well when used with a call to action such as a price, email address or contact number – something that you want to reader to do when they finish reading a page.

When it comes to saving your design and preparing your brochure for print it is important to ensure the colour has been set to CMYK and not RGB. It is also important to print some pages in a quality colour printer to see how the colour’s look on paper. This is because the colour you see on your screen and the colour that will be printed can be very different.

As a general rule of thumb, remember that CMYK is for print and RGB is for your computer.

Be sure to incorporate the colours of your brand and your logo within your brochure. This doesn’t mean being big and bold and in your face with your company logo. Using your corporate colours can help to generate some brand awareness and recognition. Think of someone like Coca-Cola who tend to have a lot of red and white in promotional brochures. These colours are synonymous with the brand and continue the connection Coke has with their customers.

The quality and finish of paper used for your brochure will also impact on the quality of colour. Recycled paper and thinner sheets can often have less quality in the colour when printed. There is also a risk of some colours showing through on the reverse of pages it the sheets are too thin. Coated paper such as silk or gloss finishes tend to have a much clearer finish and the colour stands out really well with this type of print. While they are often more expensive, the additional quality can make it worthwhile.

For more information on getting the most from your brochure design visit our support page for tips on using colours, fonts and images to get your design ready for print.

For advice on the best style of brochure finish for your next brochure, contact the Digital Printing Sales Team today.


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