Mistake 1 – Trying to include too much
One of the classic mistakes many people make when designing their own booklets is including everything about their business. All this succeeds in is creating a piece of literature that is over complicated and difficult for a potential client to follow. Instead, think about one of two key areas of your product or service and make a feature of these, you can still mention more information as a simple bulleted list.
Mistake 2 – Using too many different typefaces
Keep the number of typefaces (fonts) you use to a maximum of two; you can of course use different weights of these fonts such as bold and italic. Avoid using comic style typefaces. If in doubt choose simple sans serifed typefaces such as Arial or Helvetica. Serifed fonts such as Times and Palatino can work well if you want to make the booklet very formal or traditional.
Mistake 3 – Not breaking up text with headings
Instead of putting large amounts of text together, split sections up with headings and sub headings which will make the text much easier to read.
Mistake 4 – Trying to use up every bit of space
Instead of trying to use up every bit of space on your booklet, remember that your design needs white space too. Don’t cram your text or pictures close to the edge of the booklet, allow decent margins and space.
Mistake 5 – Using too many colours
Keeping your colour pallet to a minimum will help hold your design together and make it look more professional. For instance, you may decide that your main headings should all be in blue, your sub headings in red and main body text in black. If you already have a logo for your business, it is advisable to choose the main colours from within the logo.
Mistake 6 – Using poor quality images
There really is no need to use poor quality images in your booklet design. Even if you can’t afford to commission your own photography, there are many websites nowadays where you can buy good quality photographs and images for only a few pounds each (eg. Istockphoto.com or 123rf.com). Avoid using Clip art if possible as in general it will make a booklet look very unprofessional.
One tip I would advise anyone who is looking to design their own booklet, or even looking to commission someone to help them, is to start collecting other companies booklets. Once you have gathered a few together, look at them carefully and you will see what works as a design and what doesn’t. Notice how big the headings are and how the images have been used. You should start to get an idea of the sort of design that might work for your company.