New Brochure for PTP

This week I've been wrapping up client work on a new brochure for Patterson and Tedford Pediatrics. Just submitted the final draft for review.

A few months ago, I was approached by PTP to make a new brochure for them. They had run out of copies of their old brochure, and wanted to update it before printing new ones. Most of the content in the old brochure was out of date.

The Design Doc

The first step in designing the new brochure was to put together a design document. The purpose of this document was to establish requirements and specifications for the brochure while also providing the client with a means to review, make corrections, and update content for the new brochure.

The client didn't feel strongly about how the new brochure should look. Only that the content within should be up to date. This allowed me a good amount of freedom while designing the new brochure. 

The old brochure uses a bi-fold layout. For the new brochure, I opted to use a tri-fold layout. I figured using the standard tri-fold format might make the brochure easier to showcase and distribute. Also figured the extra panels might help with organizing the content better.

Initial Sketches

For the background, I wanted to use calming colors, and broad curves that would flow seamlessly between the inner and outer flaps of the brochure. I also wanted the background to have some variation between the two sides of the page so that it wouldn't appear to be simply duplicated on both sides.

Considering the client is a pediatric clinic located in the Central Coast of California, I wanted the design to represent the local region in some form by using flat, simple shapes to suggest the appearance of rolling hills under a blue sky. The shapes on the front cover were designed to curve upward like a smile while visually separating sections of content.

To figure out how these curves would flow seamlessly between the inner and outer flap panels, I began by sketching the design for the background on paper.

Making the Background

Using these initial sketches as reference, I began drawing vector shapes for the background directly in InDesign.

To ensure the two flap panels would flow seamlessly into each other, the background was made four panels wide instead of just three. This includes the background for the inside flap panel of the second page, along with the outside flap, the back cover, and the front cover panels of the first page. 

The background was then duplicated and moved to the second page, and offset to the right by one panel. The mid-ground curve was also adjusted to better match the initial sketch, which gives it some variation to differentiate it from the original copy.

Adding Content

The content for this brochure required quite a bit of rewriting and restructuring. It needed to be condensed down from walls of text into smaller blocks of text that are easier to digest, especially at a glance.

My goal for the front cover was to include all important contact information, including street address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation. The back cover would include QR codes linking to the client's website, Instagram, and Facebook pages.

Content from the back cover of the old brochure would now live on the inner and outer flaps of the new brochure. The welcome message and mission statement would also now be on the same page as the content spread that introduces each of the healthcare providers.

Printing a Sample

To get a better sense for what a tri-fold brochure actually looks like when folded, you really have get your hands on it. For this project, I'm printing samples from a home inkjet printer using card stock fed in from the rear tray. 

When configuring printer settings, Media Type should be set to Matte Photo Paper, Print Quality should be set to High, and Borderless Printing should be enabled. Also be sure set the Amount of Extension slider to minimum to avoid cropping with borderless printing.

Note that duplex printing isn't supported while borderless printing is enable. The page will need to be flipped by hand and reinserted in the rear tray before the second page can be printed.

Once the brochure has been printed, it can be folded using a straight edge and a ruler. Using a smooth, hard object can help with creasing the edge of the fold.

Final Thoughts

Working on this project was an iterative process with frequent check-ins. My first check-in with the client was after completing the first draft of the design document. By checking in early like this, I was able to get valuable feedback, make corrections, and confirm that the client's understanding of the project requirements aligned with my own. 

The next check-in with my client would be after assembling the first draft of the brochure using placeholder text. I printed out a sample for review to provide a better sense of the layout. After receiving approval for the design, I continued to iterate on the design and content until the final draft was ready for review.

Throughout this process, I kept returning to the design document to add to it, and make changes and corrections based on feedback from the client. This project should wrap up in the next few days, just as soon as the final draft is approved without any further change requests.

It's been a long time since I last used InDesign in any meaningful way. This project was a good refresher. I have a few book ideas that I'd like to move forward with. This project may have provided me with the motivation I need to get started on those.