The Asian design aesthetic usually has that mystical, spiritual and often auspicious aura to it that is great for business. It draws in the curious customer, giving you and your marketing tactics a great chance at landing a connection with the market.
In this guide, we will teach you how you can design your own elegant Asian style brochure. With Adobe Photoshop in your hands and some free graphic resources from the Internet, it is very easy to do. Let’s get started.
Setting up the document is the most important initial Step when creating and printing a full color brochure. In Photoshop, just press CTRL+N to bring up the new document window. Once this window is open, you will have to set the width, height and resolution of your brochure. Now, take note that there are tons of different brochure type variations so you will need to decide carefully here. You can however use the following values below for a standard trifold brochure that you can print from your home or office printer.
- Width: 14 inches
- Height: 8.5 inches
- Resolution: 300 ppi
- Color Mode: CMYK
You will then get a nice legal sized document in landscape orientation. Before anything else though, we will set some guidelines and margins. For the margin, we will want a 0.25 inch margin for the top, bottom, left and right sides of the canvass. To do this Precisely, go to View -> New Guide Once the window opens, you can set horizontal or vertical lines at a set distance. You will have to do this four times, using the following values:
- Top Margin: Horizontal 0.25 inches
- Bottom Margin: Horizontal 8.25 inches
- Left Margin: Vertical 0.25 inches
- Right Margin: Vertical 13.75 inches
We also set the fold guides. There are two fold guidelines that represent where the brochure fold should be. This is important in design as you do not want crucial elements to be caught in between them. Just like the procedure above, you just go to View -> New Guides and set the following values:
- Left Fold: Horizontal 4.635 inches
- Right Fold: Horizontal 9.375 inches
Now that our margins are setup, we can now deal with the main design itself. The first element we will work on is the background. Red is a most auspicious color of course and is part usually of the more Chinese style color palette. So we will use it as a base. Of course, you can use any theme color that you like here. We will use the gradient color tool however to add our color background. So we set the foreground and background colors to a red and dark red and then inscribe a slightly diagonal color red gradient as our background.
Before we continue, make sure that you already have a good idea of what you want to do with each panels of our brochure. Save this initial design as your main template. In this example, we will first be creating the FRONT part of the brochure. So we again re-save this as the front design. Afterwards plan out your layout. The right most panel should be where the cover is. The center panel will actually become the back, and the left most panel is the flap within the brochure itself.
With the panel locations in mind, we now start with the FRONT cover first. For this, we will add a nice background accent. We downloaded some great and free dragon vectors from this site here (http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/all-kinds-of-dragon-element-patterns-01-vector_548669.htm). Take note that the file here as a JPG and an EPS file. While you can use the JPG to get the dragon vector, it is typically best to use the EPS as it is a scalable vector. First we open the dragon EPS file in Adobe Illustrator. We then select it using the selection tool (v) and then press CTRL+C to copy.
Then, go back to Adobe Photoshop with our document active and press CTRL+V. A window should open, asking you how to paste the vector. In our example, we will choose shape layer. This allows us to easily change the color of the vector whilst maintaining its scalability. Press OK once done.
With the new shape selected press CTRL+T to scale it to your liking. Hold down the SHIFT key as you click and drag the anchor points to make sure that you do not warp it out of proportion. Also, we changed the color of the shape by clicking on the color box on the layers panel beside its thumbnail. We used a dark red color to make sure it is in line with our theme. We position it so that the dragon covers the half the brochure at the right side. Do not worry about it intersecting the guideline as this is a background accent.
Next, with the shape selected press CTRL+J. This will duplicate our dragon layer once. Select the duplicate and press CTRL+T. Right click on it and then select the option to Flip Horizontal We then move the shape so that it mirrors our original shape.
Then, click on the dragon shape layer on the layers panel. Change the blending mode of the layer to color burn and then reduce its opacity to around 35%. Do this as well for the other original dragon shape.
Using the same processes as above, we also paste in a smaller dragon shape (from the vectors we downloaded) just at the center of the central panel. This adds a full dragon shape at the center for people to see. We also reduce its opacity only up to 50% to match the color value of the other two shapes.
The next accents that we will put in are golden curls or decorations. Red and gold often go together, and of course, always look auspicious and lucky. First, we download some nice free decorative brushes from a generous artist here (http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/applications/psbrushes/?order=9&offset=144#/d1mlysa). Then, we go to the brush tool by selecting on it in the tools panel. Right click on the design area and then click on the right arrow in the context menu. Select the option Load Brushes.
After clicking on the Load brushes item in the context menu, you will just have to navigate to the file of the brushes you just downloaded to install them. Once installed, create a new layer by Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. Then, go to the brush tool again. Use a bright yellow or gold color (we used this here ) and then test out one decorative brush for the border or accent of our brochure.
For the first batch of decorative brushes, we placed them as accents for the front cover and the flap area. Note that we used a different layer for each set (press CTRL+SHIFT+T to create extra new layers).
We also add upper and lower borders using the same decorative brushes,
Now, once you are satisfied with the look, select all the decorative layers and right click on them. Select the option to merge layers.
Then, double click on the merged layer. This brings up the layer styles option. Click on the gradient overlay item and then change the following settings.
- Color: Dark yellow to yellow
- Style: Linear
- Angle: 60 degrees.
Then, click on the drop shadow option. Set these following values.
- Opacity: 40%
- Distance: 0px
- Size: 1px
That finishes our main background accents for the design. Now, we can add our text. Using the text tool, we add our headlines, body text and other important content for the front area of our brochure. Take note that it is best to use a golden yellow color here to keep to the theme. We also used the made in china font from dafont.com.
Finally, we just paste in our brochure images. For our example we add in two color images. We scale them down by pressing CTRL+T and then just adjusting the image through their anchor boxes.
Now, to make the images adhere more to the theme, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Photo Filter. Choose color as the filter to use and change that color to the golden yellow we have been using. Finally, change the density to a full 100%. Apply this to all the images you have.
Also, for our image with the neon lights, we erase the black area by changing the blend mode to black.
That finishes our front design for our Asian style brochure.
Then, we just create the back part of the brochure, along the same lines as the front. Using some more text and these images (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3091831132/sizes/o/in/photostream/) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kattebelletje/3852825865/sizes/l/in/photostream/), we finalize the back of our design.
Congratulations! That should give you the correct ideas and concepts to creating a creative Asian style full color brochure.