If you've ever received a quote from a graphic design company, and sat looking at the screen, a low whistle escaping you, wondering incredulously how people afford to market their businesses ... you have probably also considered just doing your own design! The most common corporate printed material (after business cards) is the company brochure - it's a necessity for many businesses. Today we are looking at whether it is more cost effective to outsource the design for your brochure printing, or do-it-yourself, and the extra benefits and disadvantages associated with each strategy.
Brochure printing as a corporate identity
Your brochure is the key to your corporate identity. Even more than your business card (which will be used mainly in B2B situations), your printed brochure is often the main physical point of contact for your customers when they are considering your products or services. It is vital that it be professional, attractive, and say everything that you need it to in a compelling way.
Does this mean I should DIY or outsource?
You should outsource if you:
- Are not comfortable with graphic design principles or software
- Are not comfortable with copywriting
- Are competing with companies with professionally printed brochures
- Want to improve a flagging perception of your business
You should DIY if you:
- Have solid graphic design and copywriting experience, or access to someone in the company that does
- Have little competition in your niche
- Need to literally watch every cent and want a tiny (<25) run of brochures printed.
Skills needed for DIY brochure design
Beyond an understanding of what your company does and your corporate philosophy for doing it, there are quite a few skills needed for brochure design. You may be able to cobble these skills together from your circle of friends, employees and family. If not, it makes sense to have your design and brochure printing outsourced. The skills you'll need to acquire or find include:
- Graphic design principles
- Use of graphic design software
- Flawless English grammar and spelling
- Knowledge of persuasive marketing words
- Skill in structuring copy
Cost comparison - DIY vs outsourcing
Looking at that quote in your inbox, it can be tempting to think that DIY will save you thousands. In reality, the DIY process has its own hidden costs! These include:
- The cost of purchasing graphic design software
- The lost productive hours in learning the software and producing the brochure for printing
- The possibility of needing to review the design as the company grows
- The cost involved in buying a printer that is up to the required standards, as well as decent quality paper
- The cost of ink cartridges/toner in self-brochure printing
It may simply be that you haven't yet encountered all of the options for professionals to design and print your brochures. Often the staff at printing houses have graphic design experience as well, and these services are much more budget-friendly (with similar quality) to professional graphic design houses. You'll be able to revise your design as many times as you like, and have the benefit of expert help at DIY prices.
For example, a popular brochure printing house charges $300 for a set of 250
Is outsourcing Brochure Design for you?
With all these thoughts and tips, deciding on outsourcing your brochure design should be a little easier. Once you have made your decision and the brochure design has been