Crafting a Brochure Mockup
The client sees a clear example of the visual impact, gets to handle the finished item and can discuss the design in a more open and informed manner.
Brochure Design covers the full range of the graphic designers skills. Beginning with the concept and following through all the procedures to reproduce and accurate mock-up of the finished article, which can then be used for producing the finished digital artwork, art directing the photography and briefing the people responsible for the final printing.
Visualizing and Communicating Concepts.
Whatever the purpose of the brochure or catalogue being designed, the first stage is to consider the visual images and text. The aim is to combine the needs of the client whilst engaging the reader with material that is visually stimulating and relevant. Depending on the specific requests of the client, a cover design with layouts for one or two spreads and including any representations of custom printing techniques with examples of the material the job is to be printed on is generally sufficient for the initial presentation.
From Rough to Ready.
Whether repurposing existing images and text or having to commission new content, the process starts with the graphic designer using thumbnail sketches to quickly and roughly visualise the various concepts and ways that the material could be arranged and styled. As the ideas become more positive final decisions are made on colour, typestyles, visual treatment of images and page layout.
The designer uses thumb-nail scamps to sketch out ideas on page content and thoughts about ways in which the pages can be laid out.
The styling and layout of the pages is created using DTP software, then printed out at the actual size so the design can be critically appraised.
The finished front and back cover designs are mounted before the mock up is folded and trimmed to size.
Making up the Mock Up
When making up the brochure mock up, it's important that the size, weight and number of pages included simulate the proposed finished item as closely as possible.
Final designs for the cover and spreads are output and mounted on to an appropriate substrate. As the thickness of these pages should match the final weight of the finished printed job, both the paper that design is printed on to and the paper it's mounted on need to be taken into consideration. This also applies for the outer cover if it is to be laminated or have any special finish.
Once mounted, the pages are trimmed to slightly oversize and each double page spread has a fold made by scoring with a blunt edge of an instrument, such as the back of a scalpel or a pair of scissors, along a steel rule aligned to the registration marks.
Each double page spread is carefully scored by using the back of a scalpel to make the folding easier and sharper.
Dividers are used to create holes in the fold to take the staples and hold them firmly in position.
With the cover and all pages in place, the mock up is folded and then given a final trim to the finished size.
For stitched or stapled finishing, an open stapler or staple gun is used with a large soft eraser placed underneath all the pages to receive the staples. For a brochure with a substanstial capacity, piercing the fold with a compass point at the position of the staples will make the binding easier and more accurate. The staple points are folded down with end of the steel rule. Finally the pages folded along the score marks and given a final trim to the finished size.
Before the presentation it's wise to make up 2 or 3 copies of the mock up as a reference for the production of artwork, art direction and briefing printers. And it's always handy to have a back-up in case the client copy goes astray.
The benefits of mocking up a brochure design as close to the final printed material as possible is that the client gets to handle the product for bulk and weight, important if it is part of a mailing campaign. The brochure mock up will give them a clear example of the visual impact that the finished item will have and enables the client to discuss any special finishes, inks or features with the examples at hand. Any discussions around budget or revisions in the design proposal can then be made in a more open and informed manner.