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How to put together the Ultimate Trade Brochure

Posted by Catherine Conway on

It may seem like everything is online nowadays and that leaflets and brochures are no longer relevant, but studies actually show that people still really enjoy reading in print.

Having a printed trade brochure is a sure way to grab potential customer's attention and is therefore an absolute must for small businesses when presenting your products or selling into shops.  Small shop owners often do their research and order planning whilst at their retail outlet and they may not always have a computer to hand in the shop front.

Great trade brochures will not only help you to build awareness of your brand, but will also help customers understand what your business is all about. Brochures are a great marketing tool which can be handed out at trade shows or posted directly to existing and potential customers. When it comes to making a good impression, a well thought out, professional and informative trade brochure is essential.

Creating the ultimate brochure layout

Good Images 

A trade brochure is often the first chance for a business to sell their product, which is why good quality photos are so important.

We humans are visual creatures and are more attracted to images, rather than long chunks of text.

Mister Berwyn Nocturnal Range

(Photo from Mister Berwyn)

People tend to skim through brochures and it's really the pictures that sell the products. The images need to be sharp, clear, colourful and compelling enough that the reader stops to take a closer look. Be sure to include relevant images that show your products clearly and at their best so the buyer knows what they are looking at.

If your budget allows it, consider having a professional photo shoot to get some good quality original photographs.

However as a small business we understand that hiring a professional photographer isn't always possible. Many small businesses nowadays manage to get great photos using their own cameras or sometimes even a Smartphone.  We will be covering more about creating great images in a later blog.


(Photo from Pogofandango)

Keep it simple

When you come to designing your brochure remember that your intended audiences may not be experts in your product, but there is specific information that all retailers will need to know so it is important that this information is clear and easy to locate.

  1. Product Price / RRP / Min order per design (case price)
  2. Product Code
  3. How to Order
  4. Contact details (email, telephone and contact name)
  5. Minimum Order Value
  6. Carriage Paid amount & Carriage Costs

Consider giving a mock-up of your brochure to a friend or family member to read. They can let you know if there's something they don't understand, check for typing errors and they can help you can make the necessary changes before you send it out.


If your business already has certain signature colours or even fonts you should use them in your brochure too! Consistency will help you to create a brand identity that your customers will come to recognise.

Logo examples


When designing your brochure ensure it is consistent from page to page, this just helps create a professional image whilst also making your brochure easier to navigate.

Short and sweet

When it comes to trade brochures, less is more. A good selection of products is often better than a never ending number of designs as retailers (often only purchase orders that take them to the carriage paid amounts).

This tip also applies to your writing. Remember, it's just a brochure, not a novel. It's natural of course that you want to tell the reader how amazing your business is but you may risk boring them with too much text.  Keep in mind what you customer is looking for, in this case they are looking for products so this is where your focus should be rather than your own personal history.

On a practical side a heavier brochure is more expensive to print and post.  Try to keep the weight below 100g and the paper size no bigger than C4 as this will keep you within the postage range of a standard 2nd class stamp.


Once you have spent all that time and hard work creating the brochure now you have to use it!!

So create a PDF (check it is a suitable size to email) and get a few printed off and then send them out to your dream list of stockists

We will have more on how to approach stockists and how to follow up in future blogs.

I hope you found this useful – please leave a comment with your thoughts about this blog and let us know what else you need help with so we can plan future Blogs.



For more information on any of the designers we are working with, visit our community of independent designers.  If you're a designer interested in ramping up your business you can find out more here.

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  • Fab blog, it can quite daunting putting a catalogue together at first. This blog simplified everything and really helped me put mine together . Thank you so much.x

    Sarah Drew on
  • Great blog post very informative, its really hard to find useful information about how to set out wholesale documentation! I’ve been googling line sheet examples and theres not a lot out there so thank you. x

    charlotte Bolton on

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