Brochure Design. Tear it up

A guy I know knows a guy that has a barber shop.
He has a neon logo that I have to use so keep that in mind. They just opened in a midrange type of town…not exactly a pricey area. They do pretty decent work and a lot of modern styles and typical barber work. He employes people ages 26 to mid 30s. While clients around that age and younger.

They want a brochure. I haven’t made a brochure in…3 years. So its been awhile and took a bit longer. Might mess around and put their tag line in a ribbon :ribbon:

I used 3 pantone colors, 1 Adobe stock image. A photo of a chair (photographed on the edge of the photo so it wasn’t able to be centered) they posted on insta and recolored that chair in photoshop. And while I’m pressed for time I decided to use more stock images of rustic barber tools. They weren’t perfect so that involved some time fixing those up.

Im sitting at about 4 hours of work. The client had the type exactly laid out as he liked it. So there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room.

I used Roboto Slab and Century Gothic for a modern but rustic look. Classic barber colors for the Pantone.

The logo I havent received yet:

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Before even getting into commenting on the design of the brochure, the first question that is begging to be asked, is ‘why the Pantone if they are not corporate colours?’. That will put production costs up considerably. If you can get away with breaking them down into CMYK, then it will make your client much happier.

The text needs looking at. Why ‘Male Services’ and ‘Women Services’. Make them consistent. Either Male and Female (which, to me sounds too cold and clinical), or Men and Women. If the latter, it would need to be possessive, ie Men’s Services and Women’s Services.

There are commas missing, some odd sentence construction. Blowdry as one word? (Maybe it is in US English?). On the prices; why Is no currency indicated. Of course it is going to be $, but Is very odd not having the dollar sign in there. 25 what? If it is in there, you immediately know that figure is a price, not a quantity.

‘Non-toxic retail’ reads very badly. It implies that other products not on that list are harmful.

Why does ‘Requires consultation’ have an asterisk in two instances. The point of an asterisk it to reference a note at the end, if you want to use the text as it is (I wouldn’t, ranged right like that creates some ugly holes in the text), then drop the asterisk, or better just have and asterisk immediately after the title and then put ‘*Requires consultation.’ At the bottom of the page.

Aside from it being a terrible strapline, you can’t pride yourself by being clean, you can take pride in yourself by being clean, or you pride yourself on being clean

I could go on, but suffice it to say, the text needs a thorough proofing and in many instances, a re-write.

As to the design. It’s a bit lack-lustre I’m afraid. Very little hierarchy. The pic looks like an afterthought. If you are going to use it, then use it. You could drop the illustration behind (or use it instead). Both together with that blue slab just make for an ugly, confused shape on the page.

I’d definitely reduce the space between sub heads and text. They don’t really relate well to each other, as it stands.

The background makes the text hard to read in places. All black is a bit much too. Give I bit of pace by maybe varying the contrast across panel, ie some dark on light and some light on dark.

There are other details that need tightening up, but I really think hierarchy and pace need to be looked at first.

Finally, I’d suggest trying to persuade your client, he doesn’t need to replicate the neon sign. Even if you have to use that lettering (ideally not), it would be a lot better as a flat colour and thickened up a bit. If the neon sign has to be on there, take a photo of it lit at night. It will be much more dramatic.

Hope this helps, rather than disheartens.


Picking up on what @sprout said, the text needs major work. It’s full of typos, poor grammar, bad punctuation and awkward phrasing. I have a suspicion that it might not be the final text, but given the number of errors, I recommend having a good copy editor read through it before it’s printed.

It might be obvious, but a brochure for a barber shop / hair stylist really ought to show photos of great hair. Yes, that would likely require getting a photographer to take photos of people who had gotten their hair done there, but without those photos, the brochure seems lifeless and little more than a list of services.

Speaking of services, is advertising the specifics the best way to advertise the business? Perhaps it is; I don’t know. Maybe the answer depends on what the brochure is intended to accomplish and how it will be distributed. If it’s a giveaway specifically intended to be a menu, that’s fine. However, if it’s meant to be distributed as a promotional brochure, it might be better to emphasis style and quality over a list of services that doesn’t mention or show either.

The brochure seems very dark. Does a dark, formal look match the personality of the shop and its customers? If that’s the case, great, but if a trendy, fun, carefree, hip, stylish, young and vibrant look is more in line with customer expectations, the dark look with a brick wall behind everything is somewhat at odds with it.

The cover of the trifold might work better if you made it look more like a cover — one with some visual excitement enticing people to pick it up. That might just be the spot to run the neon large.

I’m wondering about the Pantone colors too. Why are you using Pantone when CMYK would likely be less expensive? If you were planning to print that dark brick background using only black ink, it will come across as a bit lifeless. If you do go with the dark background, it really ought to be printed with process colors to create a richer look.


These are all great points. I’ll drop the pantone and use CMYK.

In terms of type, its exactly as they wrote it out for me

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I hate to say it, but that’s clearer and more legible.

Ope. Well back to the drawing board.

It differs from one job to the next, but adhering tightly to what clients come up with is not a recipe for good design. I’ve found it useful to get beneath what clients say they want to what they’re trying to achieve.

Circumstances determine just how doable this might be, of course, but if you can offer something better and more effective, a client who turns it down is a fool. Copying verbatim badly written text is never a good idea. I’ve only occasionally come across clients so stubborn as to not want errors corrected.

As I mentioned, it’s important to find out what the trifold is meant to achieve. If all it’s meant to be is a simple, utilitarian list of services handed out in the shop to already existing customers, that’s one thing. If it’s meant as a promotional brochure designed to attract new clients to a new and exciting hair stylist shop, that’s another and one that warrants a very different approach from a simple list of services. If it’s a combination of both, a compromise leaning more toward style than a list might be the best approach.

For something like a hair stylist brochure, no matter case, I’d likely be more inclined to go with light and airy as opposed to heavy, dense and dark — even if it meant having to talk the client into it.

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I haven’t been able to figure out the clients purpose yet with the brochure. I still haven’t received the logo. Which I know for sure the client will want on there with no wiggle room.

I figured id take time to improve hierarchy and make a more interesting layout. InDesign isn’t my favorite tool and illustrator isn’t doing me any favors.

Massive improvement. The first is better than the second. However, I’d tweak the panels with the borders and concave corners. A simple 25% – 50% tint panel would be better, to my mind, and watch those sub-head / body test spacings. Much better on ‘For Men’. Too much on ‘For Women,

I’d still range the ‘Requires Consultation’ lines left, tighten the leading between them and the subject a little and make them italic (not bold italic, as you have done with ‘additional charges apply’ – which also needs the asterisk removing .

I’d also suggest, the same typographic treatment for all three (men, women and kids). Use the boxes to differentiate text, ie for chemical treatment and the works (not convinced by the centred type in this box).

Getting there. Huge improvement. Even has more of a traditional barber feel to it now.

Just as an aside, I learned recently, why barbers have the spinning red and white striped pole. It was from a time when barbers used to perform minor surgery and blood-letting. It represents blood and bandages. Nice! Apparently in the US, the blue was included as a patriotic addition.

Anyway, I digress …

It just needs a bit of tightening up now (and, of course, the text proofed).

Obsessive detailing makes all the difference at this point – as it does for anything. ‘God is in the details’, and all that. One rule of thumb to always work with in mind is, if there is not a good reason to include something – don’t.

Good job.

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Yea it was heading in the right direction. I finally heard back from. The client and he insisted on the dark background. -.- he actually hated the first light example.

Which I think fits into a barber theme better.

All I could do was inform him that it may not be easy to read and there will be some bleed. He asked if thicker paper would work and I informed him it would have to be scored, (likely a higher cost), and there isn’t much i can do.

I switched from sans-serif (century gothic) to Georgia and thats the best idea I have. He’s pretty firm in the dark style and turned down all the light options.

The neon logo on the black brick suggests they seek a clientele not attracted to the red white and blue barber pole idea of a barber shop. Maybe they want to be something a little more edgy? I don’t know, but maybe the issue here is finding out what they are trying to sell and to whom? If their clientele is mainly under 30, and into a clubbing scene or such, lighter and candy-stripey might not be the answer.

Well I determined its for clients and customers to take home. Used for promo.

Client is really into the brick and wood look. Neon logo. He has barber polls too. He’s trying to do a modern rustic thing which is where the old style barber came from with a strong serif. Classic toned down colors.

I can see what style he wants now based on the location. Near the Detroit Zoo/Royal Oak. Lots of bars and party scene

Thanks for the suggestions and help. These look like they are going to be the final designs. The client seems pretty happy. (he wanted the main color to be green - crisis adverted).

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Hi! I just got here. I like your HB neon in the center.

Are you open to touch-ups in your text? For example, on the very first segment, you have “to provide the ultimate breakage ins”. I would change that sentence to read, “We add it to your services to provide the ultimate in breakage insurance.”

Sentences that are real sentences should end with a period.
Under Shear Revival, it should read, “Dedicated to creating high-quality, safe, healthy and nourishing products for people of any age, race or gender to use every day.”
I can keep going if you’re still open to rewrites.

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Im open to rewrites, the last section of the project is waiting on the final text. Client hasn’t provided some descriptions

Ok, I have done work as a proofreader, so here you are. :slight_smile:

Leave off the : after the services.
Gives you worry-free hair. Gluten, sulfate, paraben and cruelty-free. Vegan formulations begin with a base of coconut water!

This is the world’s first professional organic hair color care and styling line with bio-dynamic, organic, and fair-trade ingredients.

Shear Revival
Dedicated to creating high-quality, safe, healthy and nourishing products for daily use for people of all ages, races and genders.

Under Kids and haircut,
We pride ourselves in maintaining the highest cleanliness standards.

for Men

for Women
no + use and

On Location
No problem… There will be an additional fee for a house call.
No worries. 24 hours without the ()
Within 24 hours or no-show will incur a 50% appointment fee.
We have a parking lot behind…

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