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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Brochure Design


To design and create a brochure using the computer, in order to explore how a brochure informs, educates, and persuades the reader through the use of typography and visuals. The computer helps facilitate learning and understanding through the use of various programs and the vast information it offers.

Technology Skills Used by Teacher

Scanning, utilizing the Internet

Technology Skills Used by Students

Scanning, utilizing the Internet

Software or Materials Used

Print shop program, imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop, scrap paper, pens

Steps For Teacher Preparation

  1. Collect interesting, eye-catching brochures to show students.
  2. Organize students into groups of four.
  3. Write the following vocabulary words on the board:
    1. Demographics: Who is this brochure going to appeal to? How old are they? What is their income?
    2. Layout: A plan for a design, that is, how you actually think it might look. Layouts can be done on scrap paper.
    3. Typography: Type or font style used to reflect what you are trying to convey to the reader.
    4. Clip art: Art found in books, on CD-ROMs, or on the Internet that, when used properly, represents an idea or is a symbol of what your type or words convey.

    List of Student Activities for the Project

    1. Students brainstorm in groups about a chosen topic, describing and writing down what they already know. Ask: "What is the purpose of a brochure and why would a business or group mail one?" (The purpose is to inform, educate, persuade and sometimes sell a product or service.)
    2. Look at the sample brochures to get ideas. Identify styles they like and ask students why a certain styles interest them. Encourage students to use those features in their brochures.
    3. Research topics on the Web using search engines. Pick out five interesting facts they feel would be significant in their brochure.
    4. Write title, headlines, and subheads. Ask groups to read them out loud to the class for feedback. Is it attention-getting? Are the words redundant? Use a thesaurus to replace overused words.
    5. Write descriptive text. Ask: "What information should the text contain?" Write examples on the board.
    6. Sketch out rough design ideas for the brochure. Graphics, which should include clip art, can be obtained from most software. A scanner may be used to scan photos of art you might find elsewhere (books, magazines, etc.).
    7. Try out different formats to fit your layout. Design variations on the setup of the brochure to see which looks the most eye-catching.
    8. Decide which fonts to use. Ask: "Why must the lettering be noticeable or stand out? Why is the letter style important to the success of the brochure?" (The lettering needs to be large for the titles, and medium-sized for the subtitles in order for the reader to easily notice it and want to read it. Discuss size relationships and how everything should be varied in size. Refer back to printed brochures as examples. Type styles are important in an effective design. A delicate flowing typeface would not work well for a tire company brochure, for example.) Use several fonts to create interesting designs with the letters.
    9. Figure out what color scheme will complement the graphics. Ask: "Why is a color scheme important?" (It's important to the person viewing it. It needs to be appropriate for the brochure. Pink will not work for a brochure for a men's gym. Colors that are opposite or contrasting work best together. Dark blue lettering on black background paper is a bad design choice; since the colors are so similar the type will be difficult to read. Try different color ideas.)
    10. Print samples to see which changes need to be made. Print approved copy and fold as necessary.

    Assessment Methods Used

    Each group of students presents brochures to the class. Students write the answers to a critique and vote by silent ballot for the most effective brochure.

    Use the following criteria for judging:

    1. Does the brochure draw you in, do you want to read it?
    2. Does the brochure give the reader the information they set out to give?
    3. Are the graphics and colors working well with the typefaces or do they look out of place?
    4. Does it make the reader want to know more?
    5. Is it neatly presented or confusing and hard to follow?
    6. Why do you like it?

    Integration of Subjects

    Career classes can discuss what types of brochures are used for various businesses. Language arts classes can write text for the brochure to help with writing skills and punctuation.

    Tips for the Teacher

    Follow up the lesson by having students design a brochure for a school concert or upcoming school event using skills developed. Have it printed professionally. Ask a local printer to visit the class to explain the printing process.

Diane Lufrano teaches art at Intermediate School 24

Email: dlufrano@teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/

Subject Area: Art

Starting Grade Level: 6th

Ending Grade Level: 8th

Estimated Number of Class Periods for Students To Complete this Project: 5


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