Wondering if brochures are still appealing in 2020? The answer is a resounding “YES”!
Even in today’s digital age, print brochures are still featured prominently and provide valuable and tangible information at the point of sale – an advantage that digital advertising cannot offer. Printed books won’t disappear; likewise, brochures are here to stay.
Brochure design software helps marketers and designers create eye-catching and informative brochures that resonate with the target audience and turn prospects into clients.
No matter if you are a startup, an SME or a corporation, we show you how to create a brochure using the best brochure design software.
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What Is Brochure Design Software?
Brochure design software enables your design team to create stunning brochures that provide all necessary information about your product or service in a visually pleasing way.
Software for brochure design contains creative templates and tools for a multitude of purposes, saving your creative team hours of work. Additionally, good design software offers the right balance of offering a wide range of templates as well as plenty of customization options, so that your brochure stands out from the crowd.
Whether you are using free brochure design software or a subscription-based provider, make sure that the design tool offers all of the necessary features needed to distinguish your product and appeal to your target audience.
Furthermore, take a look at the current skill base of your staff. For example, if your staff is already using Adobe Creative Cloud, there might be no need to invest in additional online brochure design software.
On the other hand, if your company does not have the necessary creative resources, finding an easy-to-use brochure design software becomes essential. In the following section, we dig a little deeper by introducing you to the brochure design workflow before taking a look at our Top 10 brochure design software.
Brochure Design Workflow: How to Design a Brochure
To determine the best brochure design software for your team, review the steps involved in the design workflow and consider how they apply to your own team’s structure.
The choice of the right brochure maker will help you streamline your processes, freeing up resources and resulting in better quality and more consistent output.
In the following section, we break down the design workflow into three consecutive steps:
1. Briefing and Concept
Whether you are creating a product brochure or even an entire product catalog, treat the graphic design process as a project in its own right. Every design project requires advanced planning from the marketing team as well as cross-functional collaboration – mainly with the design department and content creators.
In the initial planning stage, outline what needs to be reflected in the brochures. This is not an easy task and requires attention to detail. Creating brochures is a full-scale project that involves selecting which products and services will be featured, choosing the pictures to be used, determining the overall size of the brochures, and using convincing language and a call to action that converts readers into customers.
To get started with the briefing and conceptualization phase, we recommend the blog article How to design a brochure: the ultimate guide. This blog helps you translate your company, products and services into one unique graphic design that tells your brand story.
2. Creating the brochure design and content
Once you have outlined your briefing and concept, it’s time to really get started. Brief your copywriters according to your requirements outlined in Step 1. Copywriters need to understand the products or services, target audience, tonality and the required amount of text to be written for each section.
Even more important, a brochure stands and falls based on its visuals. Therefore, ensure that your design team has all of the necessary information that it needs to get started. This not only includes images but also font sizes, color schemes and other visual effects that you want to capture. Close collaboration with the design function is crucial to success.
3. Approval of the brochure
In a perfect world, copywriters and designers would understand all your instructions, send you the results and you could immediately start printing – unfortunately, this is not how the process usually works.
Typically, you need to go through several review rounds and sometimes chase decision-makers and superiors in order to receive final approvals. This is not only time-consuming and nerve-wracking, but it can turn into a real bottleneck that delays and can even ultimately threaten the entire project.
Online proofing software such as Filestage can make the difference. With Filestage, content creators can easily share the brochure with everyone who needs to review and approve the file.
The invited reviewers can leave their comments and annotations directly on the brochure on a centralized platform, as well as discuss changes with others in real-time. If reviewers are happy with the brochure, they can approve the file in just one click.
With its easy-to-use features and intuitive interface, Filestage streamlines collaborative work and therefore supports all your print and web design workflows.
Now that we have an overview of the brochure design workflow, we are going to take a closer look at graphic design tools and brochure software in the following section.
Get an Overview of the Best Brochure Design Software
“What is the best software to make a brochure?” “How do I design a brochure?” “What is the best free brochure maker?” There are a lot of important questions you may be considering regarding the choice of the right print or digital design software.
Therefore, we are going to list the Top 10 brochure design software here. However, it is important to mention that there is no single one-size-fits-all solution. The best software choice always depends on your company’s specific needs.
While some companies need simplified brochure software, others may require a more sophisticated and customizable software for brochure design. In the following, we are going to take a look at 10 of the most commonly used and best software to create brochures.
Adobe InDesign – full customization
We start off our Top 10 list with one of the most commonly-used creative tools. Adobe InDesign is part of the famous Adobe Creative Cloud whose creative software solutions are renowned for their endless customization options.
Adobe InDesign is a layout and page design software. Professional layout and typesetting tools allow your creative team to create stunning stationery, flyers, posters, brochures, annual reports, magazines and even books.
Adobe InDesign has a steep learning curve and is best suited for SMEs and larger corporations that have in-house design departments. Adobe InDesign is available at $20.99/month.
Adobe Spark – easy to use design software
Adobe Spark is another creative software made by Adobe. While Adobe InDesign has a rather steep learning curve, Adobe Spark caters to beginners with no design knowledge. Therefore, it is the perfect solution for startups and smaller companies.
Adobe Spark allows users to create high-quality social media graphics, websites and even short videos. These visual stories are perfect additions to your brochure creation software. Adobe Spark also comes with valuable design collaboration tools that allow you to share results instantly.
Adobe Spark is available at $9.99/month.
Canva – free online design software
Canva is one of the most popular high-quality design tools that caters to people with no design knowledge.
Its interface allows users to choose the best template for their individual needs and easily drag and drop pictures and other visual elements to create a unique piece of art for brochures, social media or any other purpose. Canva offers numerous design templates that have deep, but easy-to-use, customization options.
While the basic plan is free, you can also choose a Pro Plan at $12.95/month for up to five people if you need unlimited access to its premium tools and content. The enterprise plan starts at $30/month and includes built-in workflows and design review functions.
Edraw – design and management tools
Edraw by Wondershare offers a wide range of valuable design tools that help your design department create diagrams or infographics that make your brochures stand out.
The Edraw suite is a combination of useful design and project management tools that allow you to create stunning visuals and to streamline your graphic design processes.
Edraw´s design tools can be purchased individually so that you only pay for what you need. For instance, Wondershare Edraw MindMaster is available at $59/month.
FlipHTML5 – free digital brochure design software
FlipHTML5 is a free digital design software and magazine creator for Windows users. If you plan to create digital brochures or magazines that contain interactive elements and media, including videos, links, images or sounds, look no further.
The basic version of FlipHTML5 is available for free. To eliminate ads and gain access to advanced features, you might consider the subscription plans. The Pro version starts at $12.50/month and offers a multitude of additional features.
Flipsnack – digital flipbook maker
Flipsnack turns boring PDFs into eye-catching digital brochures and magazines. With Flipsnack, you can start a new design from scratch by using the drag and drop editing tools.
With more than 15 customization options, you can choose the desired functionalities, colors, sizes, languages, effects and much more. You can even add videos and other media to your PDF flipbook.
The basic Flipsnack version is available for free. The starter pack at $14/month gives you plenty of publishing and sharing options.
Lucidpress – brand template software
Lucidpress offers a brand template software solution that helps individual content creators, teams and enterprises create high-quality customized designs. Additionally, this software allows teams to collaborate efficiently as well as to scale production.
You can easily get started by choosing between hundreds of templates. If you need more customization options, you can make use of the drag and drop editor and brand asset hub. Lucidpress ensures more brand consistency throughout all your media.
In addition to a free version, Lucidpress offers several other packages. Teams can start with as low as $10 per month in order to create stunning documents with unlimited pages and gain access to premium templates.
MyCreativeShop – 3,500 brochure templates
With MyCreativeShop, you can easily create stunning print marketing assets such as brochures, flyers, door hangers and much more.
More than 3,500 templates are available for a multitude of brochure types. Additionally, MyCreativeShop’s proprietary editing tool allows you to make further customizations to fit your needs. Furthermore, you can then print or share your project any way you want.
MyCreativeShop is available at $19.95/month and offers unlimited projects and downloads.
Scribus – open source desktop publishing
Scribus is an open source desktop publishing software that offers a wide range of professional publishing features, including CMYK colors, spot colors and ICC color management. It also allows more advanced teams to get creative with advanced creation tools such as vector drawing.
With Scribus, damaged documents can be recovered with a simple text editor. Everyone who has ever experienced unrecoverable documents knows the value of this feature. Scribus is available for free.
SmartDraw – for diagrams and templates
Whether you need diagrams or templates for your brochures, SmartDraw has the answer. SmartDraw is easy to use and has more powerful drawing tools to offer than Microsoft Office or Google Workspace.
SmartDraw offers a wide range of diagram templates that will add value to your brochures, no matter if you need to create economic charts, cause and effect diagrams or visually appealing infographics.
A one-time single-user purchase costs $297. Additionally, you can buy annual plans for five or more users starting at $595.
Bonus: Filestage – for review and approval of brochures
No matter what kind of brochure maker design software you use, Filestage simplifies the review and approval process of your brochures and any other content you produce.
The cloud-based platform streamlines collaboration within teams and makes it easy for reviewers to leave clear feedback directly in the file as well as discuss comments in real-time.
Furthermore, Filestage streamlines your daily work with task automation, customizable workflows and in-built versioning of files. These features help you to save time in tasks like setting up approval workflows, inviting reviewers or reminding colleagues of deadlines.
Since Filestage centralizes the review and approval process of all files into a single platform, it’s easy for project managers to keep an overview of all ongoing projects.
Free Brochure Maker and Brochure Templates
Attentive readers may have noticed that many of the providers mentioned above offer free brochure makers and brochure templates.
In the following section, we summarize the best and most useful free brochure solutions.
Canva offers a free, basic plan that includes hundreds of brochure templates for a multitude of purposes.
With more than 800 brochure templates, Lucidpress makes your brochure stand out from the crowd.
Flipsnack offers free brochure templates for different industries, including business, fashion, travel, marketing and many more.
Template.net offers more than 100,000 ready-made templates, of which brochure templates make up a huge part.
If managed poorly, graphic design can eat up the resources of the marketing and design departments. In today’s fast-paced environment, we all need to make use of scarce resources in the best possible way.
To streamline your design workflow, utilizing design software in combination with review and approval software is an indispensable asset when making a brochure. Overall, your team can produce more consistent, higher quality output in a shorter time frame.
We hope this gives you a little bit of insight as to how to best structure your design workflow in order to unleash the full creative potential of your marketing and design teams, as efficiently as possible.