I am a computer science student hosting a programming contest at our college. We need to design a nice brochure for the contest.

I don't have any idea hot to create such a thing. All I know is how to edit my photos in Gimp (low level editing; I even don't know about professional tools).

I wonder if someone would help me (with no knowledge of designing) design a good brochure.

  • I know Gimp (Cropping, adding layers, increasing brightness etc... )
  • How big of a brochure are we talking about?
    – Ryan
    Mar 4 '12 at 18:04
  • Well, I am looking for an approx size of 25 x 35 (cm) in size
    – Surya
    Mar 4 '12 at 18:27
  • We are actually looking to design two models (1st - Big one, double the size of the small; 2nd- small one, I previously mentioned)
    – Surya
    Mar 4 '12 at 18:28
  • Right but how many pages long?
    – Ryan
    Mar 4 '12 at 19:17
  • Just 1 page. I expecting it to have some nice background graphics and all to attract people
    – Surya
    Mar 5 '12 at 12:38

Since you're looking for affordability I would suggest using Inkscape. I'm not sure if you're on Linux that you're using Gimp but this would be a good option since you're flyer is presumeably going to be printed and need vectors since you have multiple sizes.

Find some stock photos which can be located for free at http://www.sxc.hu or better yet if you have photos from the club or competition those would be more applicable and result in more interest.

You're not really doing what we would call a brochure since it is only 1 page. It would be more like a flyer. Do what Lese said and go look for flyers that exist particularly for competitions and find one that has a simple layout you feel confident you could reproduce and has the necessary areas for what your competition entails.

A google image search for 'Competition Flyer' or 'Contest Flyer' will give lots of great results to start to look over.

Ultimately with a competition you want it to catch someone's eye, announce the prize, and how to enter. More details will probably be on a website or somewhere else because I doubt you can fit it all on a single page flyer with any effectiveness (ie: it will be really busy and lack attention grabbing elements because everything would have to be small)

Alternatively since you're at a college or university see if there is a graphic designer that might be willing to help you all out. They might like adding something to their portfolio and getting experience and you could give them credit on the flyer.

  • 1
    Some good points here, but I'd suggest actually spending money on a nice paid font or good stock photos. Otherwise, get a good student photographer to take some high quality publicity photos for the flyer. If you're weak on design abilities, keeping things simple and relying on good photography/fonts can be a way to produce a good flyer with minimal work. A good example of this are web/blog sites with very simple/basic layouts but a really awesome background photo. It might cost money, but requires minimal effort. Student designers are also a good resource. Mar 5 '12 at 15:37

The standard design process applies:


Think about your target audience and examine professional designs for other programming competitions, programming events, programming organizations. Make note of common themes/motifs and aesthetics. Copying has a very negative connotation, but it's also the way we learn and an effective shortcut. If you're not a good designer, then take a page from someone who is. You lose your creative freedom, but you benefit from their experience and judgment. Look at the design trends in this niche, especially the ones that are feasible for you to replicate (minimalist designs that emphasize strong typography or making effective use of stock art). Identify what's good about a particular design and apply it to your own project.


Think about what you need to communicate in this brochure. Your research should help you with this. Identify all the resources you need to collect to create the brochure: logos, copy, stock art, etc. You should start wireframing at this stage to get the basic layout of your brochure down. Looking at some professionally designed brochures should give you some inspiration. I would suggest finding a simple ad that makes effective use of color & typography—things you should be able to easily duplicate.


By combining the positive elements from other professionally designed brochures (e.g. the layout and typography from one design, the color scheme from another, etc.), you should be able to come up with a decent-looking brochure yourself. You may need to purchase some fonts and stock art to actually create it, but if you're attentive to details, you can get surprisingly good results with just a little trial and error.

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