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How to create professional company brochures with Microsoft Publisher

If you own a small business, printed materials such as brochures and flyers can play a critical role in how successful you are at selling your products and services. With Microsoft Publisher, you can create professional looking marketing materials yourself.

To have the greatest impact, marketing materials should primarily focus on how your business can benefit your customers.

Effective brochures and flyers involve the reader and encourage them to take action. Use action statements, with strong verbs, to encourage the reader to act. Here are some examples:

Call in today

Place an order now

Visit our website

Telephone us for a free consultation

1. Using Publisher designs

When you create a new brochure or flyer from the New Publication task pane in Microsoft Publisher, you will be prompted to choose one of Publisher's designs. There are hundreds of designs available, but just from these three flyer designs you can see how the impression your flyer makes changes according to the design applied.

When choosing a design:

Try changing the colour scheme to alter the look of the design; the Publication Designs task pane provides numerous options

Make sure the design reflects the service or product you are offering

Find a design that is flexible enough that you can use it in all of your marketing materials

Adding design elements
There are useful pre-designed elements you can add to your brochure or flyer that will draw attention to what you want the customer to do. For example, you could include an order form.

To add one of these elements to your brochure, go to the Insert menu and choose Design Gallery Object. You could then:

Choose Sidebars to highlight special points of interest.

Choose Coupons to create a special offer voucher.

Choose Attention Getters to do exactly that!

Choose Reply Forms to create a response or order form.

With this sample coupon, you overtype the text with your own, and position the item wherever you choose in your publication.

Using the design checker


On the Tools menu, select Design Checker.


To check for specific problems, click Options, then click Check selected features and choose what you want to search for.


Select the pages you'd like to check and click OK.


When Design Checker finds a problem you can either fix the problem and continue, or choose to ignore it.


Click OK when the check is complete.

2. Ensuring readability

Publisher's built-in layouts have been carefully designed, but here are ways to make sure you don't spoil the effect when you start adding your own content.


Try not to be too symmetrical with your layout. A bit of asymmetry can add visual interest and hold the reader's eye.

Right-aligned text, used carefully, can be visually interesting.

Don't use vertical lines to indicate the fold in a brochure - it can be difficult to fold exactly on a line.


Have as much white space as you do text and graphics to make your publication easier to read.

Never use block capitals for a paragraph of text as they are difficult to read in large quantities.

Take care when using decorative fonts - and never use one all in uppercase.

Best text practises

Avoid typing two spaces at the end of a sentence as you might do in other documents; after formatting they could look like large gaps.

Try a Serif font, for example Times New Roman, for the body text in your publication, and a plainer Sans Serif font such as Arial for all the titles.

Use bold and italic text for emphasis only.

3. Printing your flyer

The easiest and most flexible way to print your publication is to do it yourself on a desktop printer. That way you can quickly print additional copies whenever needed.

Consider the following when printing your own publication:

If you are printing something smaller than postcard size, print multiple copies on each page. To do this, click the Change Copies Per Sheet button in the Print dialogue box.

To print a draft copy of your publication without the graphics, choose Print from the File menu and then click the Advanced Print Settings button. On the Graphics and Fonts tab, click Do not print any graphics and click OK.

Think creatively about the paper you use for your publication. Would the design lend itself to coloured paper? Would it look sharper on glossy paper?

If you need the highest quality printing or a large number of copies, it may be advisable to use a commercial printing service. Publisher 2003 can help prepare your publication for commercial printing:

When you start your publication, set the output to Composite CMYK. To do this, click the Advanced Print Settings button in the Print dialogue box.

On the Separations tab, choose Composite CMYK from the list of Output choices.

Save your finished document as a PostScript file. To do this, choose PostScript from the Save as type list in the Save As dialogue box.

If you have software that can create a PDF file of your publication, this will create a file format most commercial printers should accept. If not, find a printer who works with Publisher PostScript files.

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