You’ve decided you need a leaflet. ​ We’ve discussed the virtues of having ​a good design brief​. We learned that great design is about communication; the better we communicate, the better the design outcome. As a result, it’s nice to have a quick chat with your designer before you finalise the brief, to make sure everyone will be on the same page. So, you pop over to your designer to have a quick chat about leaflets “Hi, I need a leaflet.” He says “Ok, what kind of leaflet?” inquisitively. “Just a normal leaflet,” you reply. "I’m not sure what you mean by that?” he replies. Now we’re at the point of the conversation where there’s confused looks all round; the conversation now works itself into a downward spiral. We’ve all had our share of this scenario at some point. The good news is that this can easily be rectified by improving the communication on both sides.

So let's start by stating a leaflet/brochure/pamphlet/flyer is a very arbitrary generic tool. Essentially it can be any size or shape and can be made out of a multitude of paper materials. So when one asks about a leaflet, it’s very hard for a designer to know what exactly that looks like. He or she needs some detail. There are some key bits of information that you can provide that will help determine the properties of a leaflet:

  • The information required to go onto the leaflet - quantity of text, images, diagrams, maps
  • Where and how the leaflet is to be distributed or displayed - at an expo, inside, outside, racked in a display unit, mailed to customers
  • The intended use of the leaflet - is it just a handout or does it need to be filled in and posted, does it need to be pocket size

Designers you have some work to do as well. Theoretically a leaflet can be almost any piece of paper, but there are some standard ones you can reference to your client that will help find the right solution. Offer up some information and examples of the common basic options:


International common leaflet paper sizes: A3 (297mm x 420mm), A4 (297mm x 210mm), DL (99mm x 210mm), A5 (148mm x 210mm), A6 (105mm x 148mm), A7 (74mm x 105mm);​ dimensions width x height (W x H) in millimeters(mm)

  • A3 (297mm x 420mm), A4 (297mm x 210mm), DL (99mm x 210mm), A5 (148mm x 210mm), A6 (105mm x 148mm), A7 (74mm x 105mm) - UK


North American common leaflet paper sizes: Ledger (17in x11in), Letter (8.5in x 11in), Half page (5.5in x 8.5in), Rack card (4in x 9in), 6in x 9in, 4in x 6in; dimensions width x height (W x H)

  • Ledger (17in x11in), Letter (8.5in x 11in), Half page (5.5in x 8.5in), Rack card (4in x 9in), 6in x 9in, 4in x 6in - US

Note: All dimensions listed width x height (W x H) in inches (in)

Once both sides have discussed these basics, it becomes a naturally flowing conversation. This exchange of ideas is where you can discuss some of the flashier options. The designer can also gauge some of the more technical details of a leaflet. Any folding required to get the leaflet to a prefered size for example. At this point the designer can alert you to any potential problems based on the required parameters. It’s also good to bear in mind, while a leaflet can be any shape or size; a bespoke shaped and complicated fold leaflet will come at an additional cost. The client and designer have now had a pleasant exchange of ideas on the upcoming request and both parties are on the same page. The client can now confidently supply a detailed brief. Once the brief is received, the designer now has an informed concept for how to proceed.