So here's a compendium of some of the tips that helped me.
First, the ever-insightful Seth Godin reminded us that people won't read your brochure. His tips (go to the post for more):
- Use less copy. Half as much.
- Use testimonials. With photos. Short captions. It's hard to have too many of the good ones.
- Make it funny enough or interesting enough or, hey, remarkable enough that people will want to show it to their friends.
- Show, don't tell.
- Use white space
- Stick to two typefaces, and strictly limit your use of bold, capitalization, underline, etc.
- Make the cover as POWERFUL as possible.
- Use a single quality image on the cover. Research suggests that one large image is more effective then several small ones.
- Be easy to identify – use your logo effectively. Develop a consistent theme for your printed material.
- Focus on the reader. It's not about what you offer. It's about what you can do for them. Which of their problems can you solve?
- Looks matter. If you don't have the design skills to create a killer brochure, hire someone, talk to your campus marketing office, or find a design student to help you.
- Don't use a template. You want to stand out from the crowd, using a common template does just the opposite.
- Avoid jargon at all costs. And some of the things you think aren't jargon, are. Instead of talking about the databases you have, tell me how they can help me.
- Just say no to clip art. I don't know about you, but clip art screams amateur to me. If you need good graphics on a budget try iStockphoto.com. It's awesome.
- Get a second opinion. Have someone outside the library look at the brochure and give you a frank opinion.
- Include all your contact information. That means your address, e-mail, IM, phone, URL, etc. These should be on everything you produce.