Photoshop Guide: Designing a Light Magazine-Style Two-Fold Brochure
The typical brochure templates from your desktop publishing applications are always boring and of course totally not effective at getting the results that you want for a printed advertising and marketing tool. What you typically need to be successful with brochures are flashy styles like magazine styled covers and content that catches reader’s attention and of course impresses them enough to get picked up and kept.
In this guide, we will show you how it is possible to create your own light magazine style two-fold or half-fold brochure using Adobe Photoshop. Most of the best special effects for imagery (and even text) can be found in Photoshop, that is why it is a great tool to use, even if you are just an amateur at this. Follow the steps below and you will discover how easy it is for you to create the right magazine style for an effective two-fold brochure promotional print.
1. Firstly, we will setup the two-fold brochure document. In actuality you can specify any width and length for a brochure that you wish, especially if you are printing with a professional printer. However, if you are printing at the office or at home with a typical consumer printer, then it is best to stick with standard paper dimensions that you can fold. In this example, we will be using a standard paper dimension (letter size). Just adjust the values below if you want to customize your printing, but these settings should be enough to get you started.
a. Width: 11 inches
b. Height: 8.5 inches
c. Resolution 300ppi
d. Color Mode: CMYK
2. Next, we will add margins. You will want these as they will help you position your design features correctly, without having them get too close either to the edge of the brochure or to the fold. Start by pressing CTRL+R to bring up the rulers. Then, using your mouse, click and drag guidelines from the vertical or horizontal rulers into their place. Count ¼ or 0.25 inches from the each edge of the document.
3. Of course, also add in the center guideline for our design. For our dimensions, this is exactly 5.5 inches from the vertical edge of the document. You might also want to add 0.25 inch security guidelines (to the left and to the right) to make sure no design element gets too close to the supposed fold.
4. Great! Now, first we will be creating the outer part of the brochure. Which means that the left panel will be the BACK of our brochure design and the right panel will be the FRONT or the COVER. In this design, we will use different background colors for the front and back cover designs. So first we create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. We name this “BACK BG”. Using the rectangular marquee tool to select the whole right panel of our design. Fill this up with your darker theme color. In our example, we used the gradient color tool to add a seamless color changing gradient in this panel.
5. Then, we create another layer for the FRONT panel and do the same process. We name its layer “FRONT BG”. This time we used a Lighter colored gradient with white as one of the main colors.
6. Before we start adding the “Meat” of the design, first we shall add a few more creative background elements to our design. One particular design effect we will add is some typographic art additions. So, using the text tool, we type in some theme words into the FRONT COVER part of our design in different colors and font styles.
7. Next, we select all the text layers as one by holding the CTRL key and then clicking on all the text layers one by one in the layers panel. Then, press CTRL+T to start the transformation. We then TILT all the text layers making them move upwards a bit like so.
8. Next, right click on the text layers, while they are still selected. MAKE SURE, that you are comfortable with the content and positioning of your text before you do this. As you will not be able to edit the text as text after this step. So once you are ready, in the context menu that opens, select the option to “rasterize type”.
9. Once done, right click again on them and select “Merge Layers”. This will merge all your text layers into one big pixel layer. Once done, Press CTRL+J TWICE, to get two more copies of our text image.
10. Now, we rearrange the layers so that the “text” layers are behind the darker purple layer of the back cover, but in front of the lighter layer of the front cover. We then reposition ONE of the duplicate layers downward and reduce its opacity to 65%.
11. Next, move the other duplicate text layer a little bit to the top and to the right. Reduce this layer’s opacity to around 20%.
12. One of the most distinctive features of course of a magazine style design is a main feature image. It must be totally attractive and eye catching. That is why usually it is either an impressive image of a product, irresistibly beautiful fashion models, or of course something shocking or funny. In this example we used this nice image from a generous artist in Deviantart (http://memelsteak.deviantart.com/art/Koton-ole-SS2012-289935240?q=gallery%3Amemelsteak%2F19714597&qo=2). We process the image by erasing its background and then just pasting it over to our design.
13. Then, we paste in more images for our back cover design. We also merge them together by selecting them, right clicking on them and choosing the “merge layers” option. Once merged, we just reduce their opacity a bit to 75% so that the background color is more visible.
14. Finally, we type in the text for our front and back brochure covers. Of course, the brochure title should be in front. The other minor details should of course be smaller when compared the original brochure title. Make sure though that you also vary the color and the font style in the text.
15. Once your text is done, that should finish our FRONT design for the brochure. SAVE THIS as the front template for yourbrochure.
16. Then, just using the same techniques as those above, we create the back of our brochure design like so. Take note that we flipped the background designs as this is the OPPOSITE side of the full color brochure.
17. Congratulations! Now, press CTRL+H to see both our FRONT and BACK designs without the guidelines. Save these for our printing procedure.
Kate Manhaven is a graphic artist who works with PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers business cards, brochures, postcard printing and poster printing services. She spends her free time either wakeboarding or snowboarding whenever the season permits.