What’s the difference between a printed leaflet and a printed brochure?

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The trouble with printing is that many printed items are essentially the same thing; but under a variety of different names. This article is the latest in our series explaining the difference between similar printed products which are frequently called different names.

People often talk about getting a leaflet or brochure printed. The problem is that there is no accurate definition which clearly defines one from the other!

Nonetheless, let’s try to separate the two with some big, broad-brush rules of thumb.

  • A leaflet is generally smaller than a brochure. Or to put it the other way round, a brochure is usually multi-page whilst a leaflet normally just one or two sides.
  • Brochures are often produced in multiples of 4 pages. So a 4, 8, 12 or 16 page A4 are all popular brochure formats for example.
  • A printed brochure may well have a heavier stock used for its cover, whereas the inside pages might be on a regular gloss or matt paper. So a 300gsm cover with 150gsm inner pages is a typical brochure print specification – but you would never turn this as being a leaflet.

Printing is littered with examples of products which are not clearly named or defined. Indeed her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) frequently go to some lengths to try to explain the difference between some of these products items, primarily because they can attract different rates of Value Added Tax (VAT). It’s not unusual for these cases to end up going to court in an attempt to bring some clarity to the otherwise problematic world of printed product descriptions.

But for the most part when it comes to distinguishing a leaflet from a brochure you can happily use the following rule of thumb. Expect a brochure to be made up of multiple pages, potentially have thicker materials (paper or card) used and perhaps be a higher quality production than a straightforward leaflet.

Hopefully now the difference between a leaflet and a brochure is clear as mud in your own mind!

Dan Jacobs is the Sales Director of PrintHouse Corporation London. you can request for either leaflet or brochure design and printing here.

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