Print Design 101: 5 Unique Solutions for Brochures, Posters and Beyond

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In a marketing world that sometimes seems dominated by digital content, print can still hold its own. In fact, print design can be refreshing for viewers who are used to seeing digital content everywhere they turn. While digital overload can dilute the impact of a design, a unique printed piece can even complement your digital marketing. How? It connects your readers with an object they can hold in their hands and can help drive them back to your digital channels. 

Your printed message could take the form of a creative poster design, a brochure or a paper mailer. Or it might be a striking mural. It may even be an ad on public transportation. There’s no shortage of possibilities. As long as it’s thoughtful and creative, print can capture a viewer’s attention and lend real weight to your message. 

Looking for inspiration? Check out 5 of our favorite ideas for brochures, posters, and more. 

Break Out of Standard Dimensions

A key advantage of a print brochure is that you have more control over the size and shape. Why? Because you aren’t limited to sizes and shapes that work for screen viewing. Unique dimensions can set your brochure apart, whether it’s conference collateral or a leave-behind for a client. 

This brochure design for Wejo engages its audience with a non-standard layout and unexpected paper size:

photo of Wejo branded infographic brochure

The front of this brochure invites the reader to take a journey, using photography and a centered fold. It unfolds to reveal a roadmap. This layout would be hard to navigate on a screen, but it works perfectly in print. The reader can explore data while moving towards a clear visual end point.

Curious what visual communication can do for you?

Explore Non-Linear Formats

A brochure can be a chance to create a unique kind of interactivity. Intrigue your reader by going beyond the familiar tri-fold format. If you push the boundaries, your audience may even save your brochure as a memento.

This brochure for the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart makes the most of its format:

Photo of green and white foldable, branded brochure

State Academy of Fine Arts Brochure GIF

Bold type and geometric folding allow the text to transform depending on how the paper is folded. The text colors also highlight this feature. The diagonal folds are even echoed in the tilted typography. The more you look, the more unique features you discover.

This brochure design shows how print collateral can be used to its full potential. It creates a memorable tactile experience for the reader.

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Draw Eyes with a Creative Poster Design

A print poster is a great way to elevate your message. Why? Because a sleek and creative design gives viewers the sense that it’s worth the wall space. 

Digital collateral is highly versatile and shareable to a wide audience. But content in the digital space can sometimes seem fleeting or non-permanent. A good poster design can take marketing or conference collateral and make it into art. It will feel important to your audience, for a few reasons. First, a large print piece commands the physical space around it. Secondly, poster also invites a different kind of audience interaction. Other types of print collateral, like an agenda or leave-behind, may need to follow a more straightforward design to streamline the reading experience. A poster could be your opportunity to experiment with a more abstract or outside-the-box concept. 

If used for internal communication, a creative poster design can inspire your team. At a conference, it draws people in for a closer look. A large-scale poster can also be used to show a wealth of data all at once. For example, see this poster for the Washington Technology Industry Association:

This poster visualizes the Seattle tech scene as a broad universe. From major hubs like Microsoft, smaller connected companies radiate outward. With this large print format, readers can actually see the full expanse of the data. They don’t need to zoom on a screen. This creative poster design visualizes the growth patterns of a complex and diverse data set.

Photo of an illustrated poster showing Seattle companies

Pair an Invite with a Take-Home Brochure

If you’re attending a conference or hosting a strategic meeting, think about various ways to engage attendees not only during the event, but before and after it as well. How? Well, for example, you might create an event invitation, an agenda, and a take-home summary report. This creates an experience for attendees that goes beyond a single day. 

This set of collateral for the Downtown Seattle Association includes an invite and a take-home brochure:

Photo of a branded invite for State Academy of Fine Arts

Green and white branded brochure with illustrations

Design a Full Conference Experience 

Print can take many forms. Are you preparing for your employee conference or your booth at the year’s most important convention? In this context, print really shows its versatility. With the right design behind it, print can totally change the attendees’ experience. 

For Knit Con, Pinterest’s annual employee conference, print transforms everything from wall space to attendee gifts:

Photo of Knit Con mural

Photo of branded Knit Con gift display

Print is everywhere at this event. It takes the form of wall art, branded notebooks, and even paper jackets for disposable cameras. From the large scale to the small details, a cohesive print design ties the event together. Everywhere the attendees look, typography and high-contrast colors echo the company’s aesthetic. 

Even for an audience immersed in the digital world, print collateral is still essential to making an impression. A creative poster design or mural will catch their attention at a conference. Then, you have an opportunity to shape their experience with an attendee gift or an agenda. Go outside the box with a take-home brochure design that sets you apart. 

No matter what kind of print design you choose, be bold. In a sea of digital content, print excels at standing out. A high-quality print design lets your audience know it’s worth the space it occupies.

Sheridan Prince

Author Sheridan Prince

Sheridan Prince is a content editor for Killer Visual Strategies. She grew up in Indianola, WA, often exploring the woods with a book in her backpack instead of a map. She has a BA in English Writing, a collection of beloved plants, and a passion for concise, evocative communication in all forms. Before joining Killer, Sheridan worked as a content strategist in the sphere of higher education, and as the editor in chief of a journal for emerging authors and artists in the Chicago area. As part of the Killer team, she believes that the keys to crafting powerful stories and forming strong client relationships are to ask the right questions and listen well. On the weekends, she gets her creative fix from watercolor painting and floristry, and gets her fresh air by gardening, hiking the outdoors and learning about the native flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest.

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